July 12, 2006

71/11 : Media ,Politicians and Soft Centre

We, you and I, have become cannon fodder for terrorists.

12 July 2006: By now, we have become predictable in our responses to terrorist outrages, and it is no different with the Bombay serial bombings, which have killed nearly two hundred people since yesterday, and injured more than three times the number.

The media leads the act in playing down the terrorist attack, by painting up a perfectly fraudulent picture of a city hurtling back to normalcy within hours if not minutes, and the more pseudo-secular, pseudo-liberal of the papers come out with absolutely crummy headlines. Just as the politicians ordered. When has tearing into the authorities for their inability to preempt such terrorist acts become non-secular? And why mustn’t the horror of it be fully published or telecast, without attempting to make it a routine violent incident, no more worse than a train disaster or airplane crash? Although with airplane crashes probably, India’s nouveau media would go aggressive. Those who get bombed in trains, or while shopping happily on Diwali eve, or sightseeing around Srinagar, are obviously lesser people, to become statistics at the soonest. It is nauseating.

Followed by the media, comes the charade of the political establishment. The President and the PM’s condolences are dutifully reproduced, as though they can speak to the contrary, Sonia Gandhi, after expressing the routine commiseration, dashes off to the tragedy site, if the death toll is high enough to give her political mileage. Once she lands, of course everybody forgets the relief work and serves her, from the chief minister down. Incidentally, we have a grotesquely incompetent Maharashtra CM, Vilasrao Deshmukh, under his charge, Bombay shuts down in two consecutive monsoons, a record number of farmers – nearly seven hundred, would you believe it? – commit suicide in Vidharba, he and his officials thoroughly and cynically mislead the PM when he visits there, and now this catastrophe.

Followed by these worthies and the condolences and ill-timed visits, condolences pour from abroad. Previously, the occasions were probably famine deaths, or natural disasters, tsunami and their lesser cousins, or assassinations, now, they are terrorist attacks. We sort of get a grim pleasure, a masochistic pleasure, in publishing these condolences, from the US and the rest, as if almost glad that they have remembered us, even if at a time of the wanton massacre of our people. Not to forget, because it is politically convenient now, Pakistan wires in its own sorry message, while congratulating whoever masterminded the terrorism on their side, and it looks a clear giveaway on the Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Less publicly, the agency “responsible” for counter-terrorism, the IB, sends its fattened, over-the-hill, retiring officials to make the investigations, and in a couple of days, their consolidated report will be read by the PM – and dumped. And, meanwhile, since scapegoats have to be found, a committee has been set up, our PM, ever an official, loving committees, and this will seek to neatly place the blame on the junior partner in the Maharashtra government, the NCP, which has the home portfolio. Not directly, but through leaks to the press, all attempts would be made to divert attention for intelligence failure from the Congress-led Central government and the Congress-led Maharashtra government.

In about a week, the Bombay blasts would be forgotten – until another serial explosion rocks the country.

History repeating itself as farce.

We have become a soft state, and our rapid regression should bring us in serious competition with Pakistan and the other failed states in some years. The Bombay blasts are the result of systems failure, and the entire political-government establishment at the Centre and in Maharashtra must take blame, and not one or two individuals, although they may happen to be in the line of fire.
While at some level, it is the obvious failure of the Centre and the state governments, the PM and CM, and the Central and Maharashtra home ministers, the rot lies deeper. Officials say prime minister Manmohan Singh takes more interest in intelligence matters than his predecessor, A.B.Vajpayee, who left them to his principal secretary and national security advisor (NSA), Brajesh Mishra. Mishra was an official, and like most officials, he could not think more than two days into the future. Vajpayee, a politician, on the rare occasions he pursued security issues, gave visionary direction.

Manmohan Singh’s problem is that though he is the PM, he remains an official, and therefore is able to add little to intelligence briefs. His home minister, Shivraj Patil, though a politician, is not attuned to his portfolio, he would be a fit where personal intelligence is not a consideration, and action is discouraged. Now why do we have a PM who is weak because he is not a politician, and therefore lacks insight? Because Sonia Gandhi wants him there, she wants a weak PM (Commentary, “Election mode,” 11 July 2006). And just in case the PM wants a half-decent home minister, who would say no? The Congress president, of course. So if you have a collapsing state, a soft Centre making way for a soft state, well, you know whom to blame.
And now, the Intelligence Bureau is infected by this ever-growing softness, and that can be traced to another Sonia fixture in the PMO, the PM’s national security advisor, M.K.Narayanan. If Narayanan were to be NSA alone, that would be tolerable, although he neither understands strategic issues nor foreign relations, but he also functions as Sonia Gandhi’s eyes and ears. From his official perch, he tasks the IB with such political intelligence demands, spying on the NDA, spying on Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Laloo Prasad Yadav, the Left, now M.Karunanidhi, that the agency is shorthanded for and neglectful of operations, its core works of counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism.

With political intelligence-gathering privileged over counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence, the result is disastrous. The National Security Council secretariat is penetrated, and we come to know too late. Terrorists plan the Bombay serial blasts with precision, and we come to know after two hundred people die. The PM says this “won’t scare us”, but he can say that from the absolute security of 5 and 7 Race Course Road. What about the rest of us? And while terrorists between nineteen and twenty-four blow us up with insouciance, our near and dear ones, wherever and however, the IB officers charged with countering them rank in their mid-fifties, planning their post-retirement future and the careers of their children, pushing files.

Such is the political establishment, and these are the men, who will fight the terrorists.

2 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?

Naxal Watch said...

Indus organization is a great idea and there are many parallel organizations working like RGS , PSMI etc and appreciate if you can contact hsitah9@yahoo.com