In the past, mainstream media has compromised national security while reporting on terrorist attacks, army encounters and other such incidents. By revealing positions, discussing strategies and giving second by second updates on what is going on, the forces who are in combat are in a weaker position with information being delivered on a platter to the enemy. This time however, it is an Aam Aadmi Party MP who has compromised national security.
Over a Facebook Live stream, in what is apparently an ‘expose’, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann filmed the entire route from Vijay Chowk to Parliament, the corridors at Parliament House, and the Central Hall to the Lok Sabha to expose security loopholes. Filming in all these areas is not allowed, but the AAP MP violated all rules. It is ironic that while trying to expose loopholes, the MP instead committed a security breach.
On 13th December 2001, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists attacked parliament, killing 9 people. Even though Parliament had been adjourned, the then Home Minister L K Advani and many other MPs and Politicians were in the building when the attack took place. Afzal Guru was later convicted for his role in the attacks and hung in 2013.
Parliament is the temple of Indian Democracy, and it needs to be guarded at all costs. By filming inside to ‘expose’ the loopholes, Mann has also made this information available to terrorists and other security threats. While many are calling this an irresponsible act putting the security into jeopardy, Mann remains defiant and says he will do the same act tomorrow. The AAP has not made an official statement, but seems to be condoning this security breach.
Even though Mann had the option of reporting these loopholes to the authorities, he chose to broadcast the ‘apparent’ vulnerabilities to the world. Elections are due in Punjab next year and the AAP is making a bid to come to power there. This can best be seen as a publicity stunt, but a stunt that comes at the cost of compromising our security. National security has often been politicised, but this is a new low.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has taken note of this incident. “She has taken cognisance of the matter. On Friday, she will also call the security cell of Parliament security division to seek their views…No one is expected to reveal the sensitive security arrangements of Parliament complex,” said a senior official of the Lok Sabha secretariat.