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Friday, November 26, 2010

Are we more secure today than on 26/11/2008??

"During the first anniversary of the terror attack, I was on a TV show along with a prominent politician. I asked him what the government was doing to catch the real perpetrators of the attack. He turned around and asked me what I would do about it. If a politician in one of the highest offices can ask an emotionally rattled survivor what he was doing to catch the terrorists, it shows a great deal of distaste for public accountancy," said Bhisham Mansukhani who survived the siege at the Taj.
This was a comment which to me was the proverbial last straw. I lost faith in the government, congress party and the channel. This was on prime time television with a young audience. The host sat there without interjecting or insisting that a more satisfactory reply to the question was needed.
Last year the solemn day was observed more as a celebration than a day for homage. This time round, I have not watched Television since morning. I am not aware if we have again had that ritual of parading the equipment as a scarecrow.
We are aware that it is humanly impossible to guarantee a terror free existence in the environment that is prevailing. However we do not even get the feeling that we are safe. The NSG hub or The Force one.This is the video link to Force or farce one? may have been created but they will only come into action once there is an incident. Our concern is on a daily basis and that area has not been addressed the police at local level is as it was.
Now another year has gone by and I am back to square one. We had submitted a citizens charter soon after 26/11/2008 with much fanfare what happened to that? Below are a few questions which come to mind my answers are mentioned. I am hoping readers would come to their own conclusions as per their perceptions and feelings. Will not be surprised if most would concur with me!
As a citizen have I contributed?...................NO
Has my perception changed?.......................NO
How do I feel today?.................................Betrayed, helpless, vulnerable, and hopeless.
Has the government done anything significant in this regard?...........NO
Have we achieved what we set out?...............................NO
Have new policies, practices been formulated and implemented?.........Unaware.
Is there a perceptible change in policing?....................NO
Have we rearmed and retrained the police force?..............NO
Is the state machinery geared up to face the threat better?...............Unaware
Are we being too critical of our government?.............................NO
Is there a definite policy for terror related issues vis a vis Pakistan?...................NO
Have we identified and punished officials for their ineptitude or dereliction of duty?..........NO
Has the mystery of 26/11 been unraveled in full?.....................NO
Why is the terrorist caught in action still not punished? ………..This is something that the government should answer on an urgent basis. Along with this why the convicted terrorist who is on the death row still there? If the mercy petition is to be allowed then it should be done and if not then that also should be done.
Why has the Ram Pradhan Committee report on 26/11 not been placed in public domain?

To view 26/11as a terror attack would be the biggest travesty. It was a well planned behind the line commando type operation which is an open act of war. Have we responded suitably to that? Unfortunately No is the reply. Tough on terror, coercive diplomacy are all catchy slogan which ensured votes during the 2009 general election, beyond that they have achieved Zilch.

This morning out off curiosity  I used to Google to see what the results would be thrown up with this search “Articles on David Coleman Headley 26/11 Mumbai terror attack links in Indian publication”……………………………………. 51,300…India pages
“Articles on David Coleman Headley 26/11 Mumbai terror attack links in other publication”……………………………………………. 725,000……World pages.

Not surprised at all imagine the quantum of information that is in the public domain, and I cannot even imagine how much more must be with the Government of India and USA. Then why is it that we have still not been able to bring a closure to 26/11? Is it lack of political will power? Geopolitical reasons! Or is it that we just do not want to.

Contrast this with the Times Square failed bombing earlier this year. The suspect was apprehended, interrogated, charged produced before the court of Law and punished. We are still grappling with 1 terrorist caught red handed. It has been turned into a spectacle instead of justice for the victims he has become a sharp knife who pierces the hearts of the kin of victims and martyrs everyday. Two years we have not been able to close this chapter.

We have exchanged dossiers with Pakistan is that how we intend to bring perpetrators to justice? It is not going to happen. Have we exercised all our options? Again the answer is No. We have heard enough and more statements from our Union Home Minister they are repetitive in nature and shall yield no results. People of this country are waiting for past 2 years, and our government instead has tried to enter into a dialogue with Pakistan, as if cross border terror can be eliminated by this process. Government had to beat a hasty retreat from this path in the face of intense public pressure against this approach.

We just seem to be going around in circles with no end in sight. Justice for victims does not seem to be a high priority. Given the levels of corruption that we have unearthed recently in the present setup there is not much hope that we are well protected and safe in our own country from any and every marauding merchant of death.  

I would like to conclude with a wishful thought. I want to see that day in India when our political class is moving around without its accompaniment of Black Cat Commandos or roads being blocked to ensure their unhindered passage. That is the day when I would be able to say yes I am safe in my country. 

This link is for views from People of Pakistan on 26/11

Twitter @ sandybansal This is why I dont support Indo-Pak dialogue.Just look at what people of Pakistan have say regarding 26/11



Other recommended readings from this blogpost:

Is war with Pakistan a viable option?

I would like to share what I wrote on 28th December 2008 in response to debate on NDTV "Why War is not an option?"

Has anything changed after 26/11/2008?

What does America have to hide?

Do we have it in us??