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26/11 The Mumbai Attacks

The Mumbai Terror Attacks on 26th November’08 has acted as an eye-opener for us Indians in many ways. Apart from revealing the live bomb, the active volcano that we all are seated upon, it brings us the live picture of the state of affairs surrounding us. It brings us the truth behind the scenes. And, it opens the factfile, or perhaps, the dossier of the loopholes.

Loophole 1: Media
The complete coverage of 60 hrs of the Indian Media has been a complete sham and a blot on the face of the country. The live coverage of 60 hrs, and the intervention if media in the proceedings of the army/ police operations was simply horrendous. How bad and hazardous the media intervention can prove to be for a case was quite clear in the Aarushi murder case already. But I think we failed to learn a lesson there. The same mistake has been repeated and the consequences are to be borne, not by any individual now, but by the whole country.

I just can’t get the statement of our Navy Chief down my throat. He told that a police officer (not sure the exact rank or whether he was from Police or the Army) was suspended because he allowed a press reporter to hold his gun and fire a shot, due to presistent requests by the reporter. I wonder what a person, trying hard to concentrate on the terrorists, can do when someone is constantly bugging you for something. I think I would simply give the kid the candy and get over with it. So that I can continue to concentrate on what I was doing. But, I know an Army officer is not allowed to enjoy that freedom of choice.
In another of the horrifying facts I read about, the media was actually reporting how many army soldiers were going inside the hotel to rescue the people struck there. They even reported the exact locations where the personnels were entering from. And guess what? The terrorists were watching all of this too. And they were well alert and prepared for the welcoming of the surprise attackers.
Wow! Amazing!

Loophole 2: National Security
Mumbai has been the centre of attraction for everyone and everything that relates to India. It’s the business capital of our country and has been at the eye of the storm many a times in the Indian history. Still, it remains the most vulnerable and ill-secured state till date. Whether it’s about national security or internal state’s security, Mumbai is at the mercy of the attackers. Anybody who wants can keep a bomb at the major most station of the state. Anyone can enter the city with an AK-47, RDX, or any other weapons. Maybe even a Tank in the future, if things continue to be the way they are. Nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care! Is there nothing like National Security? What is RAW doing? Does the national security come into picture only when there’s a breeching of national borders? Isn’t inter- and intra- state security a part of the national security? Any Raj Thackeray can speak anything and there are riots in the state. Why are we taxpayers wasting so much money on the Defence, when there’s nothing like Defence and Security? It’s our hard-earned money and we have full right to know where you are wasting my money. Despite spending crores of money on Defence and the Army, I am still feeling so “on-the-road”, I still don’t feel secure! Is that money only to watch 60-hrs of drama on Television? Or, is that money going in to watch the fish market, bull-fighting of Politicians?!!

Loophole 3: Politics
At the end of the plethora of the drama, what are the after effects? One Anti Terrorism Act is updated and some more clauses are added to bring the terrorists to book. Our respected Foreign Affairs Minister is shouting at Pakistan but Pakistan is not even listening, and acting like an innocent. Pakistan’s enjoying th support of U.S and the sympathy of the West Asian countries, comfortably saying “Terrorism has no religion.” Ya, terrorism has no religion but it definitely has a region defined for it to breed in!
Mr. Vilas Rao Deshmukh resigned taking responsibility of the failure of security in his state. BJP has left no stone unturned to show what a big cartoon he was, or how irresponsible he was.
Is this the time for all this? Is it nothing more than one more point added to your list of election bootis? I want to know what BJP would have done if it was in power? I sometimes suspect BJP’s hand behind all of this happening, in Congress’s rule! I know a weird and silly thought. But, yes, I don’t hear anything more than re-instating POTA from the BJP clan to create my faith in them. And, what they did with POTA is also not hidden from anyone.

This is the time to find out effective measures of improving the internal system of the country. Our country is growing at a very fast pace and it’s economy is blooming. It’s time to strengthen our roots, to take into account probable situations and make necessary laws. When you start something new, you take into account the expected pitfalls and remain prepared for it in advance. This incidence is clear indication that we are not prepared…whether for the terrorists or for the economic growth/recession.
It’s not the time to curse or fire individuals and put the blame on someone, because it’s not just one person’s failure. It’s not a person’s or a government’s failure! It’s the failure of every politician living and purportedly serving the country. It’s the failure of every citizen living in this country.
It’s the repsonsisibility of every citizen to stay cautious of his/her surroundings and work like civilian- police. It’s the least we can do and just this much of an effort from our side will make a lot of difference.
I remember a famous scene from the movie “300”. The King of Sparta is meeting the King of another territory, with their respective armies. The King of Sparta asks the army men of the other King’s, “What do you do?” Everyone responmds with his respective occupation – blacksmith, barber, cobbler etc. Then, he turns to his men and asks them, “What is your occupation?” They all respond in one echo ” We are Spartans and we serve Sparta.” It’s time to be like Spartans. It’s time for us to become the Shahrukh Khan’s Chak De’s team, where every one belongs to just one region, one religion, one state – “INDIA”
It’s time to be Indian.