Warzone - Mumbai

Friday, November 28, 2008

I wonder how many attacks it will take to decide that living in an environment of uncertainty requires us to prepare accordingly. Even after suffering innumerable terrorist attacks, India still does not have a crisis management team. It is surprising that despite being on the hit list of terror groups, we still have to manage by acting upon each incident in isolation. It has been 9 years post Kandahar. We still don’t have a law that permits action against hijackers. If you insist, there is an anti-hijacking law of 1982 that had such glaring loopholes that we made a mess of the Kandahar episode. God forbid, if any hijack occurs today, we will still be in the same situation as we were 9 years ago. What a pity!
City under siege

The recent attacks in Mumbai are akin to the 9/11 incident that shook the World. Never ever has such a massive operation been carried by terrorists where they have held a city under siege for over a day now. The preparedness of the terrorists and the manner in which they went about executing their plans casts a grim shadow on the intelligence services. Is it enough to issue a warning and then doze off to let the terrorists wreak havoc? How is it that the terrorists are able to successfully carry out 12 incidents of shooting and bombing at 10 places in one area of a city within an hour before action is initiated against them? How do they escape any checks from the coastal guards who are expected to guard the shores? This is not a commentary on the acumen of the police force but an indication that police reform is an immediate need of the hour. ATS might be a welcome step in that direction but the failure to restrict terrorist attacks is a question mark that needs an answer NOW.

We must also critically examine the role of politicians here. The lechers don’t let anything go without a political overture. For them everything is a chance to strengthen their vote banks. The investigations in the Malegoan blasts have been plagued with accusations and allegations from political parties forcing the ATS to defend itself. That derails the speed of investigation and also shifts focus from terrorism to petty issues like questions on the religious affiliations of the terrorists. No one’s really sure if the ATS is under pressure from the ruling party as well. A similar incident happened in Delhi too. The sacrifice of a brave police officer served as a catalyst to ignite another political game in the recent Batla house encounter. Where are we heading to?

The Buring Taj - Pride takes a beating!

Terrorism has no face. But the common man can be fooled. He will listen to and believe everything that’s lobbed at him. That’s the reason why we talk of terms like “Hindu terrorism” rather than dismissing them as absurd political hypothesis. That’s the reason why the media goes about according authenticity to these ideas and they get engrained in our psyche. We all are contributors in the success of the evil designs of the perpetrators. We might give each other a shoulder to cry on when disaster strikes but come another day and we go about the usual business of widening the divisive rift based on every aspect of our living – religion, region or color. Let’s not veil our incapability to handle terror and present it as our inherent non-violent bend of mind. Inaction is not non-violence, it’s cowardice!

Wreaking Havoc - Is there any end?

Coming back to the latest incident that has assumed massive proportions in the light of the manner in which the terrorists have chosen to act. The tragedy has gotten worse with each passing hour with over 100 people dead and at least thrice the number injured. I wonder what the toll would read once the operation is completed. It’s shocking to learn that the terrorists numbering around 20 get into a city that is always on a red alert. They are loaded with sophisticated weapons and loads of ammunitions that have not seized to blaze in over 24 hours since the first gun shot was fired. Of course, the priority task is to secure the lives of people held up at the two hotels and get hold of the terrorists. However, the lapse in the security grip needs to be investigated subsequently. We have had enough of “condemnation” messages coming from the Government. We have also had enough of martyrs paying the price for the failure of the intelligence agencies. The terror attacks which were intermittent have become the order of the day now. Why should we have incompetent people who can at best do post mortem of a terrorist activity sitting at the helm of responsible positions? How many more such lapses will it take for the leaders to take the moral responsibility and face the nation and say that THEY have failed? They shamelessly come on TV time and again and accept that there has been a failure on the part of our intelligence. That’s not enough.

USA had a 9/11 and then no one was able to infiltrate its boundaries and get anywhere close to harming its people. That’s called action. On what basis do we, as a nation, claim to be rising in stature if we are susceptible to the whims and fancies of some animals baying for the blood of hapless people? What have we done to the terrorists arrested on various charges of terrorism? Have we punished them? Why is Md. Afzal not yet punished?

The list is endless

Spare a moment. We are not safe in your own homes now. Nothing matters more than figuring out how we prepare ourselves to deal with future attacks on our sovereignty. The time has come, the time is now!


B said...

So many ppl died in the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Very sad day.

We dont have any spirit left and its true. The feeling of numbness and resignation has always been misunderstood as mumbai's resilient spirit.

Mumbaikars are simply fed up of being treated this way :(

Sensible Garbage said...

@B: Resilience is the shield that the people use to get away from shouldering the blame with those who inflict the pain. Not just Mumbai, the entire nation is pained and fed up of the treatment that it is getting. The need is to stand together and brave the storm.

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