The Financial Express

Who\'s laughing now?

| Updated: October 18, 2017 03:55:36

Who\'s laughing now?

When the first vehicles of Rapid Action Battalion rolled down the streets of Dhaka and waded into action there was a quiet sense of relief among the general public even in the face of the idealist human rights activists. The unofficial licence to kill was castigated locally and internationally until those opposing it found out the political advantage of such a force. Today, disappearances and such are so common place, that those escaping the ultimate and re-appear choose silence over protest. It is a policing that spanks of everything against democracy but could be a precursor of things to come.
For example, how are we to react when the embattled Theresa May declares that human rights laws will be amended if they come in the way of preventing terrorism. Her thinking comes in a scenario of attacks that have changed the very concept of terrorism to individualistic mayhem. Putting individual's security ahead of human rights is a bold initiative and resonates with an idea eschewed by this scribe, human rights are for human beings- not those of depraved mentality that attack innocent passers-by, women and children and rape infants. Ms May has gone further in spelling out that she means to take action against persons who are identified terrorists but against whom not enough evidence is available for legal action. 
Those from the legal profession are better qualified to comment on how tenuous such a premise is given 'a person is presumed innocent till proven guilty '.However, there may well be a very fine line between following the law and taking the law into one's hand by a select group of security agencies when national security and order is in peril. As always, the accountability aspect has to be brought into the equation. Essentially, such special forces throughout the world have been known for excesses under the umbrella of immunity. Human rights have been tossed to the dogs in putting down insurgency and dissent simply because the democratic process wasn't allowed to work and worse, because the time tested values of democracy were going for a toss. 
The inherent conflict in democratic governance arises from its definition. Anything 'of the people, for the people and by the people' rests in the hands of a few, for want of a better solution. This exacerbated by the intrinsic penchant for self-seeking and greed and the sordidness of 'deals' with businesses and groups alike are the central detriments. Ms. May is desperately back-tracking to undo the 'mess' created by calling an election only to lose ground. She had two choices and went for the difficult, almost impossible rout. The honourable way out, akin to David Cameron was not for her. Her choice of the small LUD party from Ireland creates a mess of its own. There are divides in the philosophy of the two parties and it would appear that whatever support she needs for the coalition to work may well be in return for investments in to the Irish economy and infrastructure. There's not too much scope for discussions on the deal simply because the Brexit negotiations loom large and no one knows whether there's a plan or strategy ready. Ms. May has even had to call staunch 'remainer' Michael Gove into her cabinet.
Information that trickles out suggests five terror attacks were neutralised by the security agencies prior to Manchester and London Bridge. Some pretty embarrassing cock-ups by the agencies have also been revealed. But rather than just tighten the loose screws, Ms. May has said 'enough is enough' and that if needed she 'rip into shreds' human rights laws that come in the way of stringent action against terrorism. There lies the profound danger of civic liberties coming under the gravel. 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has faced up to terrorism swiftly and effectively, no matter the gripes and questions. Her latest initiative to get scholars and preachers to spread the word against terrorism is a perfect foil to the threat of force. Ms. May is correct in taking a hard stand but Jeremy Corbyn has as much relevance in saying motives have to be understood, concerns gave to be addressed and adventurism must truly be thought through. Perhaps now the hard-horned critics will acknowledge it's all about horses for courses.


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