Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some dates are so strongly etched in our memories that we tend to create an easy shortcut to remember them. 26/11 is one of them. Not a perfect fraction, it refers to the reign of terror that roiled Mumbai for over 60 hours by a bunch of mindless terrorists. Mindless doesn’t mean that they were insane, but bred hatred for anyone or anything associated with my great country. A country where benevolent souls like Lokmanya Tilak and Bhagat Singh strove tirelessly for its freedom, sadly to be given away to a small nation that can send a bunch of goons to destroy it. Yesterday, on NDTV 24X7, the home minister Chidambaram was reconciling this reality with the geopolitical bomb that we’re sitting on.

One guy asked the min why should India be targeted in this way and why don’t you act sternly? He responded asking what will you do? And the guy mumbled. True, Mr. Chidambaram, an average Indian may not have instant solutions. But we sent you to the Parliament to secure us, not to leave us at the mercy of some malignant forces. Admitting that there has been “accumulated neglect” during the time when UPA government didn’t rule is hardly an excuse. You even blame the system for being so vacuous from inside that it can’t keep up with terror tactics. Anti-terror hubs were established in metros as well as in Bangalore, and you said the response time is 30 minutes. But you didn’t tell us how any backup forces can immediately act on terrorist acts, while the National Security Guards reach the spot.

You are glad to enforce a rule of law on this land. But by what rule was the Salwa Judum (ironically translates into a peace campaign) created in Chattisgarh. And that too to let villagers guard themselves against the Maoists, but many claim the scheme is making the recruits a law unto themselves. You said that you hardly have any power over states in directing their security policy, except heeding to their requests of sending additional forces (like the recent battalions despatched to West Bengal).

I would want to plainly ask you one thing: how come US had no single significant terrorist attack after 9/11? Don’t tell me US’ geographical position is different and is not surrounded by hostile neighbours. Why should a man, who innocently gave water to two of the terrorists, be killed and a neighbour who watched this meet the same end? You labelled a guy who was unable to speak, overcome by grief, as emotionally affected. But so would be anyone who cannot be stoic, in face of such anguish. Maybe, you wouldn’t have been in the thick of such events—seeing it all unfold on the TV in your chilly drawing room. Most Indians don’t have such comforts and will react emotionally only. Please at least do something to contain damage, if not completely stop such terrorist acts from being repeated.

All those, known and unknown because of whom my country still breathes freedom, Rest in Peace. Peace to your family and loved ones. Shanti Shanti Shantihi

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