Belatedly, the Union Home Ministry has realised that the twin curse of terrorism and radicalism in some of the States in the country including Jammu and Kashmir has raised its head and needs to be curbed. When ISIS became known to the world, commentators did not fail to raise their finger towards India as its ultimate target because it is India that stands between them and the Islamic Caliphate of their contemplation.
Home Ministry received input from two main sources, the intelligence and the army. However, it wasted much time in responding to the new situation that was developing in parts of the country including J&K. We have seen ISIS flags hoisted in downtown Srinagar last year along with the flags of Pakistan. We have also seen ISIS literature distributed among the youth in different parts of the country including J&K. That indicated clearly that a nexus was growing among the terrorists and radicals in our country which was posing a threat to the security of the country and international and regional peace. The reasons given by the Home Ministry for forming two Special Divisions named Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization (CTCR) and Cyber and Information Security (ICS) are highly disturbing. In simple words the Ministry wants to say that the country is very much in the throes of organizations and movements that pose serious challenge to the security and social texture of the country and immediate steps have to be taken to curb these.
Radicalization is evident not only in Jammu and Kashmir but in other states also like Kerala, Karnataka and some northern States. The two Divisions will be headed by senior IAS officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and the terms of reference have been explained to them. It remains to be seen what strategy they will adopt to deliver the goods and to what extent will they be able to control the proliferation of radicalism among the Indian youth. As far as control of cyber crime and containment of propaganda through social media is concerned, it appears somewhat easier to be achieved in comparison to controlling terrorism and radicalization. We are aware that ISI is playing a dirty game in misguiding the youth in Kashmir in both areas of terrorism, radicalization and cyber crimes. Not only that, the Kashmiri youth are getting connected to international crimes of terror and radicalizing and this shows that the task of the two divisions newly formed in the Union Home Ministry is formidable one.
After saying all this, it is important to invite the attention of the authorities in the Home Ministry to one more important aspect of this matter. We have seen how even senior leaders of some mainstream political parties have no qualms of conscience in giving such derogatory statements that are a direct assault on the security and integrity of the nation. While the Home Ministry is taking counter terrorism and counter radicalization measures, it has also to streamline its policy on how to curb and dissuade the anti-national elements among opposition parties who sometimes openly preach sedition against the State. What happened in JNU and some more educational institutions? Clandestine links of many of these institutions and individuals need to be probed and preventive measures taken. In particular sections of press misusing the freedom of press clause are doing much damage to the profile of the country. One more suggestion is that larger sections of people of all communities should be linked up with the two new divisions created in the Home Ministry to make the functionality of the two new divisions meaningful.