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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Should Torture be allowed in the name of National Security?

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत । अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् 

A very good morning to one and all present here. I, Vishal Sharma from HPUBS, Shimla stand before you all to express my views on the topic: Should Torture be allowed in the name of National Security? I am here to speak against the motion.

Before I begin, let me first discuss what national security actually means.

National security is the ability of a nation to preserve its physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance from outside disruptions. This concept mainly developed in the United States of America after 2nd World War.

Talking about India, The National Security Act 1980 makes a provision for preventive detention in certain cases and matters related to the breach of national security. The act empowers Centre & state governments to detain a person to prevent him or her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India.

This preventive detention can take place on the orders of District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police for a maximum of 12 months.
The law, which was once promulgated with an aim to ensure overall security of our nation, today remains a failure in achieving its target due to gross misuse.

With immense increase in the corrupt practices at various levels of administrative and executive hierarchy, this law is acting as a best tool for the governments to torture the whistle-blowers and suppress their voices in the name of preventive detention to ensure national security.

We have various examples from the past and recent times that clearly show the misuse of national security act by the governments to suppress anti-govt. revolts from time to time. To discuss a few,

In the year 1992, various unarmed innocent Sikh youngsters were killed brutally on the charges of terrorism.

16th August 2011, Anna Hazare was arrested from Delhi against charges of threat to national security before he could start his indefinite fast against corruption.

13thApril 2012, Prof. Ambikesh Mahapatra of Jadhavpur University was arrested against charges of threat to national security along with numerous other charges. His offence was that he made a cartoon depicted Mrs. Mamta Banerjee, CM of West Bengal criticizing her anti-farmer policies.

And latest on 10th September 2012, Mr. Aseem Trivedi, a volunteer of India against Corruption was arrested from Mumbai against charges of sedition and prevention detention just because he expressed his anger against the central government by sketching cartoons depicting the corrupt practices of the government.

All these arrests were made against charges of threat to national security curtailing the Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India. Part 3 of the Indian Constitution guarantees 6 basic fundamental rights to all citizens of India. 

This is what is happening in my nation today. No action against those who are responsible for Rs. 2,000 crore CWG scam, Rs. 1.76 lac crore 2G scam and Rs. 1.86 lac crore Coalgate scam, whereas direct arrests for the whistle-blowers who speak up against these corrupt activities.

Is this the Modern India Gandhi Ji dreamt of? No, Not at all.

It is high time now for us and government to decide the actions that should be taken to prevent the misuse of the National Security Act, which was initially formulated for citizen welfare and prove that Indian democracy is truly of the people, for the people and by the people. 

Jai Hind, Jai Bharat.

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