to the IS ideology will be dangerous. The government in Delhi must be alive to this danger, but society as a whole needs to be alerted and encouraged to recognise and help in combating the menace. The Hindutva camp has a point when it says that “secularism” has been used or misused in the past for electoral purposes. Nevertheless, it is in the country’s vital interest not to let politics make us deviate from issues of national security and to ensure that nothing be done to sow further divisions among communities.
At the global level, there is nothing that India can do to fight the IS terrorists. We cannot and must not join the armed battle. But we can and should condemn the phenomenon. We can offer political support to the campaign waged by the Americans against the IS. If there is an opportunity, we should support a resolution at the UN Security Council, which might condemn the atrocities committed by the IS and call upon member states to do whatever is in their power to contain the threat. This is one of those occasions when national interest and moral and humanitarian principles converge.
The writer, India’s former permanent representative at the UN, is adjunct senior fellow, Delhi Policy Group.
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