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The Devil, the Dog, National Security


Along with ‘The devil made me do it’ and ‘The dog ate my homework’, ‘It’s a matter of national security’ has joined the pantheon of overused excuses. The problem with such pretexts is that like crying wolf, few are likely to believe it when the devil does come a-tempting, the dog comes a-chewing, or the enemy really comes with a power drill at the nation’s gate. The Supreme Court may have borne this in mind on Wednesday when it chided GoI, ‘The state cannot get a free pass every time by raising national security concerns.’ By ordering an independent inquiry into whether or not the government had used the Pegasus surveillance software to spy on many India‘s citizens, it could be possible that the judges are, indeed, more worried about national security than those regularly showing concern about it in many untold forms. So, to stop it being like an overused brahmastra, the wise men of the court want to know bluffs from huffs.

National security concerns do seem a bit like the myriad excuses trotted up by smokers to puff away. One smokes when stressed, when happy, when down, when nervous, when worrying about national security…. Perhaps once the Pegasus inquiry takes wing, we will know a genuine national security concern from an imagined one. Unless, of course, knowing such a distinction is a national security concern.



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