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Religious fundamentalism can’t be tackled with education: Home Secretary RK Singh

Last Updated: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 19:34

Gurgaon: Religious fundamentalism is a "potent incubator" for terrorism in India which cannot be countered with higher education or "cent-percent employment" and the country will have to face this challenge in the foreseeable future, Home Secretary R K Singh said on Monday.
Delivering his key-note speech on the topic of `enhancing the effectiveness of national crisis management plan` at a counter-terror seminar here, Singh said faith and belief is something which education, logic or liberalism has "not been able to shake."

"This (religious fundamentalism) is not going to go away in a hurry. This is not going to go away when you have more literacy, when you have better educated population, when you have highly educated population. This is not going to go away when you have cent percent employment. That is a conclusion we have come to," he said.

The top bureaucrat, who handles crucial assignments in the internal security domain of India, said investigators involved in solving terror cases in the country will have to seek answers on this subject as they proceed with their task.

The first incubator of terrorism are reasons that lead to insurgency and militancy in India, he said.

"The second incubator which gives rise to terrorism is religious fundamentalism. Now that is a very potent incubator and that is something that is going to be with us for some time.

"Initially, when I started, I thought religions mellow over time...That was my understanding that when they start off the religious fundamentalists (are) non-compromising but over time they become mellower and create latitude amongst practitioners to recognise that there can be other ways to reach God and that he can get education towards greater understanding of other groups," Singh said.

Singh said, "Unfortunately for the past 10-15 years I
found that this is not correct. I found that many people who are terrorists...Many of the fundamentalists are very highly educated...That surprised me.

"I thought that with education will come enlightenment but that didn`t happen so this hope that with the spread of education, with spread of liberalism, with the changeover from fundamentally rural agricultural economy to an industrial service economy which makes for greater mobility you will have less fundamentalism (did not come true)," the Home Secretary said.

"These were the tenets I started out...So we will now have to think again and now what is the implication for this...What I am talking about is not philosophy," he said at the seminar organised by the elite counter-terror commando force National Security Guard (NSG) at its garrison in Manesar.

"It is something which all of us should be doing... looking at the root cause of this (religious fundamentalism). What is the implication of what I just said?...The implication is that this is not going to go away in a hurry. Now what is the reason for this? One conclusion that we draw is that this threat is something that we have to be prepared for and this threat is something we have to live with.

"What is the reason for this, why does this fundamentalist strain manifest itself again and again that is something which I think we will have to think about very carefully...There can be different explanations for this," Singh said while addressing senior police and military sleuths who are participating in the seminar from across the country.


First Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 - 19:34

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