India Burning

Wanted to write about terrorist attack on Mumbai since last post but couldn’t find rightful words and data to put down. It is one of the most shameful incidents in recent times, happened in India which has shaken whole country. For first time in decade, just few terrorists made whole city go undercover for couple of days. They killed more than hundred Indians brutally and took three of the big city buildings under their custody while kidnapping hundreds of people inside those constructions/hotels. By the time rescue operation completed, most of those who got abducted, were dead.

 

Mumbai terrorist attack 

 

It has been seen as an attempt by neighbor country to spoil image of India in front of world, prove India as one of the dangerous countries to be visited and in lieu of upcoming Commonwealth games, to divert the happening. It was really very low time for whole country, specially for the Mumbai residents. Must appreciate and commiserate their patience through this tough time and their attempt to rise once again. My whole consolation to those who got affected by this attack.

 

I wouldn’t blame Indian Intelligence which had already informed and spread the news about this attack few days in advance or the national security forces which played their part as good as they have been playing in past. Neither would I feel angry for task forces nor for the community who is integrated part of this country and is targeted for no reasons. But yes I want to condemn those politicians who played blame game, want to shout at those administrations who didn’t take appropriate preventive steps even after getting information beforehand and want to decry the governmental bodies who have never been able to take control of terrorism in so many years.

 

I was told about well written article by Mr. Milind Deora published in leading national daily Hindustan Times. For those who don’t know Milind, he is one bright GenNext Congress politician, Member of Parliament from South Mumbai and a volunteer member of many social campaigns and initiatives. Here are the excerpts –

Talk is cheap, lives are not

The last few days have been devastating for every Mumbaikar. All our hearts go out to those who have lost their dear ones. I’ve been awake since 8 a.m. on Wednesday, barring a few hours of interrupted sleep on Thursday and Friday nights, and have witnessed the most horrific yet moving events of my life.

Immediately after the news broke, my partymen and I prevented a mob outside Nariman House from becoming an easy target for a grenade attack, had a narrow escape when a seized police Toyota Qualis vehicle hurled grenades at the car we were in, assisted shattered relatives identify bodies of their family members, and helped government hospitals mobilise resources from other hospitals that weren’t as inundated with dead bodies.

We must never take for granted the efforts of Mumbai’s indispensable uniformed personnel: the police, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), the National Security Guard (NSG), Army and marine commandos, firemen and the staff of hospitals and others, especially those who are martyrs.

I’m in no way saying that we should stop expecting our state and central governments to guarantee our safety. Intelligence gathering, especially when it relates to threats emanating from abroad, can’t happen effectively if we work in isolation. India is working towards building important global strategic partnerships that will give our intelligence establishment access to the best information. All this will soon give us an edge when it comes to filtering through information and acting upon it decisively. However, these global partnerships would be futile unless we free our security establishments from political interference and corruption.

When I visited The Oberoi Trident Hotel with its general manager and the Union Home Minister shortly after the encounter was over, the scenes were horrifying. I don’t wish to divulge graphic details but I can assure you that it was clear that the terrorists weren’t interested in negotiating with the government. They were cold-blooded murderers. I was very pleased to shake the hands of the NSG commandos who had fought in the encounter.

All this leads to the point that while we, Mumbai’s educated middle-class, must make ourselves heard, we must also study facts before appearing in TV debates, otherwise succumbing to the anchor’s sensationalism. We love to criticise Lalu Prasad, Shivraj Patil, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena campaign, and speak liberally about how terrorism has no religion. Yet on election day, why do we vote for parties keeping our own religion in mind?

Immediately after a terrorist attack, we point fingers at a particular community or country, but when those from the ATS, who died fighting for us, pointed closer to home, why did we refuse to listen to them? While one politician states that India needs a strong national anti-terror law (which already exists), another leader asks each state government to cooperate with the central government in creating a national investigating agency along the lines of America’s FBI.

Do we formulate our opinions regarding which option will benefit India on facts or on uninformed chatter? Sadly, we have allowed religion and politics to enter the terrorism debate. As a result, expecting politicians to put aside their differences and work out a solution requires that we change our old ways. If we can’t get over our prejudices and spruce up our own intelligence before participating in the rumours and politics of terrorism, how can we expect it from the establishment?

 

For years, we have been witnessing dance of militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, feeling heat of naxalites in eastern states, wistfully observing the southern trauma about anti-national movements but then we were just noticing. We did nothing to stop it until it reached to our metros, be it Bangalore, Delhi or Mumbai. Recent terrorist attacks have proved that the day isn’t far when terrorism will reach to our homes, no matter in which part of country we are residing. It is not just about one state or one region or religion and can never be stopped until we as one India, feel this pain and stand against it.

 

It is high time when India is being reported as one of the most dangerous places to visit when we, as a country, know that this nation has one of the most powerful forces in world. I would prefer to leave it as an open question to be answered…

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