Thursday, December 04, 2008

After the Mumbai terror -India needs its Obama moment

After May 13 Jaipur blasts this year I jotted down following lines on this blog under the heading… Quake in China & Jaipur blasts - two shades of Democracy... "Several states have failed to maintain the sanctioned strength of police force, said Manmohan Singh and advocated for a federal agency to combat terror. Isn't it only the pep talk in an election year? Manvendra Singh, son of Jaswant Singh in an article in The Indian Express very rightly pointed out towards a vital organ, “a 19th-century, imperial police structure cannot confront the challenge of a 21st-century war by other means. The ineptitude of the higher police hierarchy and an interfering polity pooled together to corrode a vital national institution."On terror and many other issues Indian people are victim of the DEMOCRACY.
Doesn't it look germane after Mumbai terrorist strike?
India bleeded once again; unlike several terrorist activities this year it was a war like situation in Mumbai. Blast in local trains (lifeline) in Mumbai in 2006 and this terrorist strike on symbols of India reflects enemies are out to demolish what makes up an India and an Indian. Already in soup after recent blasts the internal security apparatus of this country has become the direct target of masses and bosses who are handling it has attracted close scrutiny.

Intelligence failure-yes it is, but the government of the day failed to learn from the recent pasts when blasts had shaken the people of Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabd, Bangalore, Hyderabad the list goes on…

Many stories, anger, heart-breaks, appreciation for forces, rolling-down heads, postmortem, discussions, brainstorming, condolence all are on the primetime and splashed on the spreadsheets. And, it's natural. But, my fear is that we are increasingly gravitating towards Israel like situation where blasts are part of the life.

Now, come to the bizarre political class of this country. Please have a flashback of three months before. A section of celebrity politicians, romantic authors and people who love to be called 'rights activists' gradually upped their ante and in a chorus questioned the September 19 Batla House encounter of Delhi in which police lost one of its best men. The ruling dispensation checkmated by its 'newfound savoir' in minority vote bank politics. Delhi Police, unfortunately, had to show the corpse of Inspector MC Sharma to defend itself from the strange outrage. TV Channels and printline carried many stories and versions and presented a quagmire of impression.

Now, the Mumbai episode brought once again 'internal security' in focus and what should have done earlier is being debated in the routine 'post-incident atmosphere'. The honourable Home minister had to go but, after ….. In an interview with The Sunday Express in the after-heat of Delhi blasts, he said proudly that he is so blessed to bear criticism that in the last two months, he hasn't experienced a single tense moment! Now, he is relieved. The other Mr. Patil also faced the axe. Routine remedies…Power politics in Mumbai has begun, in fact playing for a while. Remember, the hate campaign against North Indians… should we ask the perpetrators of victims of this campaign to come strongly in the open to take anti-Indian elements head on.

The moot point is- would something concrete come out after this strike. The UPA dispensation has little time and whatever it will do; I fear would make a half-baked product. The ongoing elections put Indian polity in a situation where they have to take a stand before the public. The ruling dispensation will certainly show some 'solid' measures to calm down the frayed nerves and the BJP will try hard to exploit the situation and have some circumstantial benefit out of this. Cow-belt allies of UPA have been clamouring for the Muslim vote space shown their faces on Batla house encounter and one has gone on to say that Bangladeshis infiltrators should be granted citizenship. Imagine…Perhaps 'soft on terror' remarks of BJP somehow seem to be accommodated on the plans of UPA.

In view of the Malegaon blast investigation, a 'pro-active' approach witnessed and sometimes it seemed surprising the way it was being handled. And, when atmosphere of fear and doubt is thick then charges seem convincing as the rightist groups leveled and said that it might be 'propelled from behind' to checkmate the saffron brigade. The flip side is that without filing all the evidences other acts of terror linked to it and in the aftermath of Mumbai terror Pakistan already put questions that first check your homegrown terror network.

The celebrated authors are splattering print spaces with their 'novel' ideas. One author who writes on economic issues simply put that- hold on- we can do nothing about this kind of terror when suicidal squads are out in the open. Ask him-after 9/11, the US, which is perhaps most on the target than us- faced how many attacks. One defence analyst suggested that think ahead of terrorists and upgrade the technology. These are the ideal things if happened but, think practically.

I believe when the political class shed its traditional baggage and put new blood into the system then only reforms take place and bloodshed perhaps is minimized. India needs its Obama moment - it strives for an upside down change!

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