July 12, 2006

7/11 : Enough is enough

Vikram Sood

July 12, 2006


There she was, a wisp of a girl in her teens, out in Mahim at 11.30 in the night, feeding strangers stranded after the bomb blast. This was her answer, and those of countless citizens of Mumbai, to the terrorists who thought they could break the city’s indomitable spirit. Salaam, Mumbai.

For many who remember, this was March 1993 revisited, as the death toll begins to soar to nearly 200 at the time of writing this article. Surely, it will go up further. They also say that the reaction of the State was similar; meaning that the State seemed to have learnt nothing. If the omnipresent TV channels are to be believed, in the first one hour and more after the blasts, there were no ambulances and no policemen at any of the scenes. Everyone subconsciously knew or understood that these bomb blasts were something that would happen given the friendly neighbours that we have.

Therefore, it is strange that in the first hour of trauma and panic that grips such incidents, the State showed commendable presence of mind through absence of body. It is true that the State cannot be everywhere all the time, but it must be somewhere. It is also strange that when VIPs have to travel, the police force lines up the route in strength or when doctors on a peaceful protest have to be disciplined, they materialise wielding the baton with thinly disguised relish. So, where were they on the evening of July 11 as Mumbai bled?

Alas, and inevitably, we have politicians making a beeline for Mumbai for an on-the-spot survey. All this does is to stretch the strained resources of the local authorities at such times. But apart from this, it is a cynical exhibition of vote bank politics over dead bodies.

Terrorism is here to stay for a long time and the way we’re handling the problem, it will probably stay forever. In which case, we may as well prepare ourselves. There can be no full-time, all-accurate intelligence covering all eventualities. Some terrorist group will invariably slip through. Mumbai 11/7 was obviously well-rehearsed and the terrorists had recced the area more than once, worked out the timing to perfection; there must have been dry runs before they chose the hour and targeted the upward-bound trains.

The latest Mumbai blasts took place following earlier aborted attempts and conspiracies that were unearthed when huge amounts of RDX were recovered in Maharashtra. The London Police were able to work out who the terrorists were from the CCTV recordings at the metro stations. We need to do that in India too. We also need to have body and luggage scanners like we do at airports. After all, more passengers travel in our trains and metros than by air. We need to have national identity cards. We need to have medical facilities, ambulances and police forces earmarked for counter-terrorist actions all the time — if we can spare them from VIP duties. We need to prevent similar strikes in other metropolitan cities. Crisis management must become routine — a part of our lives, not handled routinely.

Pakistan reacted quickly in condemning this act, even before we came out with our weak response, where we were neither angry nor had the courage to name an organisation we suspected as masterminding this attack. If the Pakistanis were covering tracks, they did a good job, as they immediately got favourable comments from the BBC alongside somewhat tongue-in-cheek remarks about the Indian reaction, where it mocked our comment that some ‘terrorist’ had committed the acts. Worse, we say the peace process will continue even after more than 200 have died in a single day. Possibly, these attacks were an attempt by the Pakistanis to divert attention from what is happening in Waziristan and Balochistan, just as the attacks in Srinagar the same day were a diversion from the fraudulent elections in PoK.

In the PoK elections held on July 11, it is estimated that in Muzaffarabad’s 14 constituencies, the turn-out was less than 5 per cent by 4 p.m., an hour before closing of ballot boxes. The election booths were manned by rather overbearing gentlemen from the armed forces (read ISI); many voters found that their names were not on the list; and candidates advocating independence like those from JKLF and Apna were not allowed to contest. Thus, by creating violence in Srinagar, the fraud in PoK was depicted as peaceful activity compared to the violence on our side of the LoC.

Investigations will reveal the inevitable external connection acting with a certain amount of local help. Organisations like the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba may be involved in both the Mumbai and Srinagar attacks, but with cells and even masterminds operating independently. Just a few days ago, on June 28, the Amir of Jamaat ud Dawa and the ideologue of the Lashkar, Hafiz Saeed, addressed a huge rally in Rawalpindi and said that the best way to preserve the honour of the Prophet was through strengthening jehad movements in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir. He added that conspiracies were being hatched against the jehad in Kashmir but the mujahideen would continue to fight the Indian army, and Kashmir would be freed only through jehad. This showed an unchanged mindset allowed to say what he likes in the unofficial capital of Pakistan!

Unfortunately, we look for solutions for this in India and, anxious to portray ourselves as the good boys of the region, are not even able to condemn the perpetrators of these acts or react strongly enough. The solution to this terrorist problem does not lie in India. It lies in Pakistan, it lies in the mindset of the Pakistan army, which will not relent unless it begins to pay a price. And now that Kashmir is not the prime mover for the people of Pakistan and Musharraf needs a quick victory, we can afford a relook at our policies.

In fact, we must.

5 comments:

SSJ said...

We Indians in particular hindus need to bypass the path of media, politics and 'harmony' when it comes dealing with terrorism. This has actually become a question of our identity and existence. If we look at history our pacifist nature has made us tolerate all kind of insults, conversions and aggressions. Pakistan and US are having a go at us again and again and we foolishly laugh, take the beating in the name of resilience. I think we need to harden up at this point of time otherwise we don't deserve a place in the history of mankind and known civilisations.

What we need is an 'Indus organisation' working in background independent of political and democratic institutions. Due to corruption, lack of competent people and infiltration of spies these institutions can not anymore be relied upon to give us security and respectable life.

Indus will be used to execute our strategic policies, protect our civilisation, dismantle terror using force and literally if needed use all dirty tactics in a discreet manner.

We can not solve the terrorism problem with looser concepts of love and harmony. It would have worked for instance with a pacifist minority of buddhists or sub-sects of hindu religion. My friends I am not instigating violence. The muslims in India are told by their overseas masters not to say 'Vande Mataram'. For them the Religion is above India. Concepts of 'Peace' and 'Harmony' won't work.

Want to join Indus?

Anonymous said...

"The muslims in India are told by their overseas masters not to say 'Vande Mataram'"

I disagree completely. 'Vande Mataram' was an issue long before there was Pakistan. Muslims don't sing 'Vande Mataram' because their mullahs insist it is against Islam. And Muslims are violent not becuase of Pakistan, which provides them arms, but because of Islam. It is Islam of the Quran and Hadith that makes Muslims into jihadists, and they use terrorism in the pursuit of this Jihad against kafirs. It would be irrelevant if Muslims put their religion before India, had Islam preached peaceful co-existence. When more Hindus realize that the reason for Pakistani and Muslim hostility is Islam and the teachings of Mohammed, we might begin to fight this grave threat.

Anonymous said...

Enough is enough

Vikram Sood
>>>Unfortunately, we look for solutions for this in India and, anxious to portray ourselves as the good boys of the region, are not even able to condemn the perpetrators of these acts or react strongly enough. The solution to this terrorist problem does not lie in India. It lies in Pakistan, it lies in the mindset of the Pakistan army, which will not relent unless it begins to pay a price. And now that Kashmir is not the prime mover for the people of Pakistan and Musharraf needs a quick victory, we can afford a relook at our policies.

In fact, we must.>>>>>

Dear Vikram Sood, I'm glad you and our Indian friends finally realized it that acting or portraying as "good boy of the region" is not enough and that terrorist will not understand any other language but the language of force.

It is time for Indian administration to become realistic and stop cheating themselves and their people of playing "the peace talk" game with Pakistan and take the bold step to eliminate this terrorist structure once for all.

This is the ONLY solution of this problem to eliminate and breakup Pakistan, otherwise the world in general and India and Afghanistan in particular, will continue to bleed in the hands of these Pakistani terrorists.

- A Hindu Baloch,

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Anonymous said...

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