There is something bordering on the fascist to Arun Jaitley’s linking the “successful” action by the National Investigation Agency busting alleged terrorist modules to the upgraded snooping regulations announced by the NDA government.

That dubious move by which just about every communication on a computer can be monitored by “Big Brother” has come in for all-round condemnation: hence Jaitley’s linkage amounts to a desperate bid to provide justification for an over-inquisitive government’s encroaching on personal space.

At no stage have critics questioned any form of monitoring of criminal activity: only the present government is arrogant enough to consider every non-saffronised citizen as suspect. This is yet another flashback to the Emergency ~ which the BJP has consistently lambasted but the government insists on emulating.

And following in Ram Jethmalani’s footsteps, the NDA uses every possible opportunity to influence a decision on what would soon become a judicial issue ~ the move towards what one of the most eminent members of the Supreme Court has dubbed towards a “surveillance state”.

As a respected legal practitioner the minister need not have entered an arena for which equally competent persons are deployed. An apex court pronouncement on whether the snoop-order contravenes its position on citizens’ privacy is anxiously awaited.

Is the NIA-action, like the Army’s “surgical strikes”, being exploited for political advantage? It would be unfair and premature to opine on the effectiveness of the raids, but inevitably have doubts been raised after the political fanfare. The timing of the raids and that fanfare are too coincidental for plausible comfort, the NIA had lost its credibility long before the Army.

Unfortunately, the reputation and authenticity of all agencies concerned with law enforcement has been sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. By all players in the filthy game. Not everybody takes seriously the government’s claims on having cracked down on militancy in J&K and the North-east, or even Left-wing extremism because of the excessive politicisation of every operation ~ the election results in Chhattisgarh are proof of that.

When an election is in the offing an effective government would have proved its credentials over the past four years, been concerned with attracting voters by deliverable promises, not await the next manifesto (which few take seriously) and actually have a track-record to “sell”.

The present government made promises apleny, but its performance has not been matching. That is why it still harks back to the UPA days forgetting that the people had rejected that paralysed set-up. To depend on military or police accomplishments for electoral gain is an indication of a lack of self-confidence, Ministers ought to know that all claims of efficiency in 1975- 77 had not brought the Congress back to power. The grapevine has is that under Gen TN Raina’s leadership the Army stayed aloof from the political contest: do the people remain convinced of such principled neutrality now?