Anti-terror measures should not undermine democratic structure: VS

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New Delhi, Oct 13 (UNI) Describing terrorism as a ''horrendous cancer'', Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan today said the measures against terrorism should not undermine the basic structures upon which modern India has been founded.

Speaking at the meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC), he said the structures of democracy, secularism, and a rights-based approach to freedom protected not only individuals against possible excesses of the states but also small groups and minorities against majoritarian encroachment and against vilification by mischievous elements trying to appeal to majoritarian sentiments for narrow ends.

''If these structures get weakened or undermined in the fight against terrorism, then the terorists paradoxically would have succeeded precisely in their effort to defame, delegitimise and destabilise our nation-state.'' He said the fight against terrorism in short required a strengthening of the democratic and secular fabric, and not a compromise vis-a-vis these cherished values.

''The surest weapon against terrorism is to make every Indian feel that he or she belongs and is proud of being a part of this nation,'' Mr Achuthanandan said.

Referring to attacks on minorities in Karnataka and Orissa and elsewhere, he said these incidents constituted grist to the mill of the terrorists.

In this context, he said terrorisation of the minorities and communal game dividing and polarising people along religious lines must stop, while demanding the "most stringent measrues against the Bajrang Dal which has been spearheading the vicious hate campaign." While asking the concerned state governments to live up to their constitutional responsibility of providing security to the minorities, he appealed to the Centre to discharge its constitutional responsibility of ensuring that the concerned state governments actually did so.

Mr Achuthanandan said the communal elements found a fertile soil for their nefarious activities in the fact that the process of economic development of the country had been deeply inequalising.

Pointing out that world capitalism was moving into a prolonged and serious crisis which would inevitably cast its shadow on Indian economy, he said the people had to be protected against this crisis through a reactivation of the protective and interventionist role of the state.

"We may have had differences in the past about the effects of neo-liberalism, but these differences should disappear now, since the outcome of the functioning of unbridled capitalism is obvious for all to see. Indeed, now is the opportune moment to formulate a new development strategy that escapes the thraldom of neo-liberalism." Mr Achuthanandan asked the centre to extend the policy of reservation based on social deprivation to the private sector. While doing so, the dalits, the scheduled tribes and the minorities should be ensured appropriate educational opportunities.

He asked the Centre to make sure that the policy of reservation was duly implemented in all the world-class educational institutions that were coming up.

UNI SH SV SSC1319

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