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Who should be Home Minister? Indian experience after repeated terrorist attacks (Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, etc.) and demands for resignations especially after 26/11 attacks on Mumbai version 1

Who should be Home Minister? Indian experience after repeated terrorist attacks (Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, etc.)

A part of 'Preparedness for Terrorist attacks'

by D. Devarshi


Every time the country faces a terrorist attack people, opposition, media etc. demand resignations of Union and/or State Home Ministers. I am

not making any comment on whether this is justified or correct response as it has to be taken on case to case basis and also in view of context of each demand. I feel majority of people will agree that as far as issue of Home Minister is concerned two broad things that count are Person and Policy. ( I am avoiding details that prove that in spite of clear and distinct policies a person counts and assuming that everybody accepts this fact). Thus the important issues is - What qualifications should a person have to be a Home Minister? In my opinion the following may be important criteria - Experience/Background Educational Qualifications Age

1. Experience/Background

For last many years India has trusted politicians, who may come from any background theoretically but usually have no specialized training. Internal security has gradually become a complex and technical issue. It may be said that a person without a particular training or background is quite likely to fail in delivering goods. I suggest that the following options may be tried -

Designating a Defense Personnel (Officer), in service or retired as Home Minister. Designating a Senior Police Officer, who has done commendable work, as Home Minister.

Designating an IT, or other technical expert as Home minister. Politicians who come from technical or Defense background (retired Army/Navy /Air Force/Police/Para Military officers. Politicians who have successfully handled Ministries in the past. Advisors or Senior Secretaries who have shown excellence in this ministry.

Justification It is a known fact that any MP or MLA can be given duty of Finance Minister but over the years we have realized that a person with solid training in Economics & Finance can do justice with the work (in spite of availability of all sorts of advisors). Similarly Handling internal security is also a complex issue. Any senior faculty member who deserves to be a minister may not be right choice for this ministry (unfortunately for other ministries as well, but right now our concern is Home Ministry). When ministers and miniseries are conceptually weak we need a huge parallel structures in form of task forces, advisory bodies, boards etc.


It is quite likely that a leading political party will not find a person of

this background so what is the use of this impractical suggestion. The counter arguments are- If parties think that they have potential to rule a country of 1 billion people and that they represent majority that they should certainly have such a person with them. It may be that they have not promoted him/her. May be s/he is down in the cadre.

If such a person is no where they should create space and scope for person of this description. A party who is likely to rule the nation should ideally have a cross section of all professions and people in its representatives, otherwise this party is not true representative of people. May be it will take some years to build parties on the lines suggested so for the meanwhile persons may be inducted from other services/sections and be designated as Home Minister as we have done in case of - Shri Man Mohan Singh as FM and Prime Minister ( Mr. Singh was Economist by profession as served as Lecturer (1957-59), reader(1959-63) and Professor (1963-65) at Punjab University, Chandigarh, as Director Reserve Bank of India (1976-80) but has never won a seat of MLA or MP. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam as President of India (An Aeronautical Engineer from Madras Institute of Technology, Chief Executive IGMDP)

2. Educational Qualifications

The person should be a graduate if s/he comes from technical

fields or post graduate otherwise.

3. Age.

The person should not be too old (I recommend 65 as upper limit). His/her appearance also matters (although it is not about casting for a feature film but just think about impression of an extra obese or pot bellied person on forces and criminals).

I am fully aware that the prescription needs a great improvisation. I know I am no one to suggest the recipe but as a citizen of India I have right to express my idea and I have a firm belief that ideas that I have expressed here may be to naive but if all of us continue brain-storming like this we will arrive at better solutions and in the process we shall also improve our mental faculty. Apology for any wrong information and I request you to post your


I am fully aware that the prescription needs a great improvisation. I know I am no