Union home minister Shivraj Patil has been rightly criticized for his lack of leadership in fighting terrorism in the country.
Merely saying responsibility for law and order rests with states won’t do. In the age of technologically savvy terrorists with a high degree of coordination, this is not even a good excuse. When terrorists move with impunity across state borders, the Centre has to step in. Law and order is a state subject, but states need help, and on many fronts—ones they cannot handle alone.
The fact is that security agencies, intelligence and enforcement have made little headway in any of the terrorist bombings witnessed in recent years. From the attacks at a crowded eatery in Hyderabad last year to Jaipur in May, and now in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, law enforcement agencies have been, to put it mildly, clueless. The limitations of intelligence gathering, a strong legal framework and other infrastructure cannot be addressed in states alone. As a result, the blame for this drift squarely lies with Patil. If terrorism in India is a coordinated affair, one can’t blame a constable for that. It’s the home minister who is to be blamed.