Late, but kudos to the Indian Express
Even as the Indian government stoops lower and lower, it is heartening to see the Indian Express display the cojones so very lacking in the Indian media’s reaction to the kidnapping of Indian citizens by Iraqi terrorists.
Dont feed the terror: Appeasement of terrorist — perversely called “freedom fighters” by some — can hardly be a viable policy to deal with terrorism when the world is supposed to be at war with the phenomenon of terrorism. For us in India it is very important to adopt an objective approach to the hostage-taking in Iraq. Our sympathies are with the captured persons and their families, of course. And we must apply political pressure on those responsible for law and order in Iraq while pursuing all possible diplomatic option for the safe release of Indian truck drivers being held hostage. But that should not divert our focus from the reality that what we are dealing with is nothing but terrorism. And that we must under no circumstances capitulate to the demands of terrorists. We have had our share of terrorist hostage-taking in J&K over the years. And if the incidence of such lawless activity has come down in recent times, it is essentially due to a firm resolve not to strike deals with criminals. Whenever we have given in to the demands of terrorists, as the IC-814 hijacking showed, the final costs to the nation — to innocent citizens — has been overwhelmingly higher.
The government must know that its response to the hostage crisis in Iraq could have direct, and grave, repercussions within India. Kidnappings often inspire me-too adventurism and the last thing we need is for the Central government to signal its willingness to do business with terrorists. The Indira Gandhi government’s decision not to deal with Ravindra Mhatre’s kidnappers in 1984, for instance, must have been a painful one to take, but in hindsight it was correct. [IE]
Looking back at history, it appears that the only Indian prime minister who dealt with terrorism as it should was the much reviled Indira Gandhi. Instead of displaying the rubberiness of the government’s collective backbone, Nutwar Singh would do well to take inspiration from his former boss and stand up to terrorism. Manmohan Singh’s leadership, meanwhile, is conspicuous by its absence.