TADA was repealed to appease voters: Jaitley

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Aug 2017 09:34:44


Aug 19,


HITTING out the erstwhile Congress Government, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that it repealed the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Disruption (Prevention) Act, TADA, when it was needed the most only to appease voters. “When Rajiv Gandhi took over as the Prime Minister after the death of Indira Gandhi, terrorism reared its head for the first time in the nation in States like Punjab and southern India. “Problems in Kashmir and terrorism there wasn’t the same as it is now,” the Union Defence Minister said while addressing a gathering here.

“A law was brought against terrorism (TADA). When there were Mumbai blasts in 1993... And the TADA was used... The whole country had a narrative that a special law needed against terrorism because this (terrorism) is injustice against the nation,” he said. “After the 1993 blasts, when the law was needed the most, it was repealed. This was just around 25 years back... When Vajpayeeji was the PM, we brought the law back in the form of POTA. “There was a thought then.. That if votes are needed, then this law (TADA) should be repealed. There was nothing like anti-terrorism then,” Jaitley said.

The Minister was in the city to release a book on late Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, that includes all the interviews of the Hindutva mascot by senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut. Jaitley, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said in the 1960s and 1970s, if one thought only about the nation and its well-being, one would be politically isolated and nobody would be ready to sit with them. “And in that era, only an idea wasn’t required but personal strength as well to stay put with that idea whether people support or not... Those ideas and such people resulted in changing the fundamental thought process of the nation,” Jaitley said.

He further said that today the situation of the country was peculiar. For narratives like strengthening the country, its borders, being proud of the cultural heritage of the country, there was an alternative narrative as well.“That alternative narrative has many signs... Some ultra left people in a Delhi University talk about breaking the country. Those from major political parties supported them,” he said. He added that in the last few months, Jammu and Kashmir police, para military forces and military have gotten the better of terrorists.

“Some were caught, some were liquidated. Even infiltrators are under pressure. Instead of being proud there was an article which, talking about the Army and its Chief, said that he (the Army Chief) is like General Dyer (infamous for ordering the Jallianwala Bagh massacre). “It should have been condemned from all quarters but even this became a matter of debate. And some major political parties supported it (the edit),” Jaitley said.

Jaitley further praised Thackeray for being a master communicator and standing by his principles even when he did not have the support of his peers. Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, who was also present at the event, reminded Jaitley when the BJP was not in power, all political parties considered it as an untouchable and it was only the Sena, which supported the BJP then. Hailing the late Sena chief, Uddhav said that only Balasaheb Thackeray had the courage to win the Vile Parle by-polls in the name of religion.