Saturday, December 27, 2008

One month and one day later

And I purposely did not blog about 26/11 yesterday, because I knew that to do so would have been a purely symbolic gesture, and we have had enough of symbolic gestures to last us more than a couple of months.
As expected, nothing has happened in the past one month. A few ministers have tended in their resignations and been replaced, some token sound bytes have been provided by assorted people who do not matter, various agencies are questioning the sole surviving terrorist and everyone is getting on with their lives.
Nobody is asking what steps the government is taking to ensure such incidents do not recur, and if they are, they are not being heard. Pakistani journalists have located the family of the terrorist and got them to admit that he is their son, but still the posturing on both sides of the border continues. Had we been serious about wiping out terror camps, we would have taken the Pakistani government into confidence and done what needed to be done jointly. True, the Pakistani government has not done much in the past to inspire confidence, but could we not have taken a chance on the new government – a government headed by a man who lost his own wife to terrorist attacks less than a year ago. Too much water has now flown down the bridge, too much time has elapsed since the Terror Attacks. There is no way we are now going to nail down the culprits.
Closer home, our borders have still not been secured. Our fishermen can act as our eyes and ears, and are willing to do so, but nobody chooses to listen to them. A fisherlady saw the terrorists arrive and even questioned them, but the police is yet to record her statement. The various police departments seem more interested in trying to take credit for injuring the sole surviving terrorist than with doing anything concrete. Does it really matter whether it was Savalkar, Kamte or Date that put a bullet into the terrorist? If the departments are really that segregated, why is nobody telling us why three such senior police officers, from three different departments, rode in the same vehicle to take on the terrorists? Did they think it was a lathi charge that they were supervising – did they not know that they could have been a lot more effective if they used three different vehicles and tried to surround the terrorists.
And what about us? Are we doing our bit towards ensuring that the probability of such incidents happening in future is averted. I think not – after a few days of having security being beefed up, even malls belonging to the Tata group have gone back to the old days of perfunctory checking of vehicles coming into their car parks. My handbag continues to be opened, but only the main compartment – I could smuggle anything in the side pockets and nobody would be the wiser.
Bombay, and India, is as vulnerable to Terror Attacks today as it was a month back. The only thing that seems to be proliferating is the number of Facebook groups that want to ‘do something concrete’. If only even one of them had a real plan, instead of empty phases that even I can dish out.
The time is ripe for a Leader. Will anyone (other than Rahul Gandhi) step forward, please?

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