Terror: more of the same

Terror: more of the same

Inability to tackle terror has been a constant theme of the Manmohan Singh government.

Confusion on the subject is its latest achievement.

Just two days ago, it appeared the government might, finally, agree to an anti-terror law. This came after the Administrative Reforms Commission, led by Veerappa Moily, recommended a tough law.

As with many other things, it proved to be an illusion.

Information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi on Thursday ruled out such a law. At the same time, no decision has been taken on appointing a minister of state for internal security, who could have helped Shivraj Patil share the onerous burden of his job.

Instead, it was more of the same. Police modernization, greater staff strength for police. In effect, more money on salaries without any credible response to terrorism.

One cannot speculate on the motives behind cabinet decisions, but a lack of nerves is apparent. If, at this stage of the political cycle, the government does enact an anti-terror law, it may look as if it caved in under Bharatiya Janata Party pressure. That, one hopes, is not the reason for inaction.