Sober response to terror sought

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary Gurudas Das Gupta has said that chauvinistic forces should not be allowed to use the Mumbai terror incident to further divisive tendencies in the country.

At a press meet on Saturday (after the 39th national meet of the AITUC, which re-elected him as the general secretary), he alleged that the BJP was using terrorism for electoral advantage.

There was no warlike situation in the country [as the BJP was making it out to be]. Responses in the aftermath of the terror incident should not be influenced by such propaganda pressures. War with Pakistan was not the solution. It would only make the environment more congenial for the forces of terrorism, Mr. Gurudas Das Gupta said.

The Union government should shape its responses on the basis of a consensus of opinion in the country. India should adopt proactive diplomatic measures to build international pressure on Pakistan to destroy the terrorist bases there. The AITUC would urge the UN to condemn the Mumbai terror incident in such a way as to make Pakistan act, he added.

A war would shatter the fragile democratic structure of Pakistan, leading to anarchy. India should work to get Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal along with it in a regional mechanism for combating terrorism.

Mr. Gurudas Das Gupta said the issue of terrorism was now being allowed to divert the attention of the country from serious issues such as inflation and the global economic meltdown now impacting India. He described the cuts in petrol and diesel prices announced by the Union government on Friday as just symbolic gestures.