The outrage of a Mumbaikar
July 19: The tragic Mumbai bomb blasts will be followed by an all too familiar process now for a week. Interim investigations will ‘reveal’ the hand of Lashkar/Jaish terrorists or the infamous ‘foreign hand’; the US will condemn the blast and advice India to show restraint in this ‘hour of crisis’ (translation: back off from our partner in the "war on terror" and let us handle that end); committees, whose reports will never see the day of light, will be formed to see how security can be "beefed up"; politicians and babus will be shown on TV, looking important, as they come in or go out of endless ‘meetings’ whose net outcome will be 0; the police will be seen patrolling the streets ; the ‘spirit of the Mumbaikar’ will be praised by politicians (translation: good thing Mumbaikars help each other out and know not to expect anything from us. We are busy with dance bars and 2 bit attention seekers like Rakhi Sawant); Sonia *hi and her troupe of jokers will pay lip service along the lines of, "the perpetrators will not be spared" even as the evil doers, safe across the border, plan the next attack; cash compensation will be announced but even this meagre amount will be never received, because 90 per cent of it will make its way into the pockets of politicians and babus.
After the week is up, news channels will move onto some new issue, the police on the streets will go back to protecting alleged VIP's, the average Mumbaikar will lose interest knowing he's helpless to do much, India will continue ‘talking’ and sending buses to Pakistan and undertake other "confidence building measures" like presenting them with a list of wanted terrorists that Pakistan will deny are in their country, politicians will be glad they rode out the storm without lifting a finger- in short, life will go on till the next blast happens, and the same events outlined here will repeat itself.
Indian Governments through the years have shown that they are most unwilling to take stringent action against terrorists. This is not an isolated incident. Bangalore happened just a few months back, as did Varanasi, and the wounds of Akshardham are still raw. Bombings in J&K are a regular occurrence. The terrorists, and their home country, have realised that India might be have a huge arsenal of weapons, but they don't have the courage to use it because that courage, unfortunately, cannot be bought.
The only time India acted, when the Army was sent to the border, was when the politicians’ own backyard was attacked. So long as their kin are not the one's dying, the politicians are least bothered about what happens to the average taxpayer. The soft underbelly of India has been exposed time and again, and successive governments have done little other than pay lip service to how "terrorists will be defeated", while terrorists from across the borders seem to be able to sneak in at will to do their dastardly deeds.
Why only terrorists? Even a non-entity like the Bangladeshi border guards can apparently come in, kidnap our BSF men, carve them up like turkeys and deliver the carved bodies, gift wrapped, while the Indian government is perennially busy "taking up the issue" with Bangladesh. It is a certainty that even if the ISI's hand in the blasts is proved beyond a doubt, India will not do a thing-just as it hasn't in all the previous bombings.
Just why do we fear to strike at terrorists when they show no fear in killing Indian citizens? What are we trying to prove to the world, and at what cost? That we are this great peace loving country that is willing to sacrifice the lives of citizens while letting terrorists run amok? Ironically enough, the very countries whose praise and accolades we are trying to win, at great cost to the taxpayers’ life and limbs, are busy running a Guantanamo Bay and designing vigilance policies to keep a close watch on Muslims. It is outrageous that Indian politicians beg us for votes and take their orders from America or Britain. We must realise that the world recognises power and bows down to the powerful. Nobody is going to help us. Britain and America have their own problems and are least bothered about Indians dying. The misfortune of Indians is that our own government, perhaps, holds a similar opinion of us.
If we are to move forward, certain things need to be done. It is about time that our ‘secular’ country realised that the protection of its citizens comes first and foremost. There is no doubt that though outsiders may have brought the material and money for the blast, the meticulous planting of the bombs was done by local Mumbaikars, just as it was in 1993.
Another thing that needs to be done is overhauling of the intelligence. Just muttering "we knew something was up but didn't know exactly what and where" is simply not good enough. To make the intelligence departments more efficient, along with an increase in the budget, the red tapism must go. Indian intelligence officials have to inform a thousand different babus and politicians, to make these inept creatures feel important, before they can do a single thing. This is a cardinal waste of time. Compare this to the FBI and the CIA which can, short of deploying the army, do pretty much anything else by informing just a few people. The Mossad is equally efficient. Why, even the ISI seems to be far more organised than IB/RAW, judging by the number of times they have outwitted the IB/RAW.
The citizens also have a major part to play. It is about time that we, the citizens, realised that there are some issues more important than putting food on the table, for there might come a day when we won't be around to put food on the table, like it happened to the victims of 11/7. Citizens must get together as one, and use the Right to Information Act to see the status of investigations into previous blasts in Mumbai, what the government has done so far to bring the perpetrators to book, how many police officers are on the job etc. Armed with this information, citizens should go to the Supreme Court for justice, because it is patently obvious that unless politicians suffer losses to their near and dear ones, they will do nothing. So, a higher body has to order them to get their house in order. Lawsuits against the Indian State for regularly failing to discharge its duty of protecting the Indian citizens would be a start.The only way we can cut down on terrorism, instead of constantly having to see 11/7 repeated with alarming regularity in different parts of the country, is for the citizens to take an active role in the administration of the country, for an apathetic citizenry deserves an apathetic government like the one currently in place.