Back to square one

Category: , , , ,

"Today, they are spending millions of rupees to preserve the bodies of the nine militants who launched the attack, just because at international level we have to show that we are showing humanity. But the bodies of martyrs were lying there unattended. What is happening in our country? And when will there be a change?” – Kavita Karkare, wife of late ATS chief, Hemant Karkare.

It’s been a year since the horrible attack that spilled a lot of blood of innocent people and valiant soldiers. It’s been a year since we started mourning. It’s been a year since our blood started stirring. And it’s also been a year since nothing has happened.

We are still in the same position we were a year ago. Every city in India is still as vulnerable as it was a year ago.

So what’s up, Mr. Prime Minister? Which coloured turban have you been asked to wear today by your NRI (Non-Resident Italian) leader? Blue? Fine. It suits you well, but you should try baby pink sometimes. It also suits you well.

Just peel back your memories a little and you’ll remember how the politicians had hollered at the brutal attacks and the country responsible for it – Pakistan, how the media people had behaved for the next few weeks; and you’ll also remember how WE had talked about it. ‘Enough is enough!’ This is what we had said, right? So has anything changed? I guess not.

’93 Bombay serial bomb blasts, bomb blasts on Bombay suburban trains and stations, Varanasi, Jaipur, Panipat, Malegaon, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Tripura, Imphal, Assam, etc. These are just a few examples. Apart from ’93 Bombay blasts; there had been an attack every 4 months in the past 5 years in one city or another. The only satisfaction is that we have not been assaulted in the past one year, after 26/11.

Forget 26/11 for a moment and consider the attack on the Parliament of India in 2001. Afzal Guru, the terrorist responsible for such a ghastly act, was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in the 2004. The sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006. Afzal was given a stay of execution and remains on death row. It’s been 8 years since the attack, but he is still enjoying Indian hospitality.

Upon asking the reason for such a nature of law, this is what our former Union Home Minister Mr. Shivraj Patil had to say: "There are 30-35 files pending (mercy petitions). Why do you single out Guru? Why this desperate hurry in the case of Guru? The files of those involved in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case too are still pending."


To put an icing on this stale cake, Ajmal Kasab’s trial is still going on. Is it that difficult to sentence a terrorist to death?

The recent development is that the FBI has taken David Coleman Headley (Daood Gilani) and Tahawwur Hussain Rana into custody, in connection with 26/11 attacks. This might have been a big blow to the ego of UPA, which was beaming with the lone achievement of catching Ajmal Kasab, as the holes in the Intelligence Agencies became too conspicuous for everyone to notice.

It requires clearance by the Home Ministry in case of persons born in Pakistan, but how come they traveled across the country so easily? That too 9 times between 2006 and 2009!

One of the main reasons behind such a gruesome attack, which was a piece of cake for the terrorists, is the failure of spy agencies.

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is the most important among the spy agencies of India, whose primary function is collection of external intelligence, counter terrorism and covert operations. The other important agencies are Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), under the Cabinet Secretariat, is responsible for coordinating and analyzing intelligence activities between the RAW, IB and DIA.

Based on the reports provided by these agencies, Indian National Security Council takes decisions under the leadership of our Prime Minister. It’s no secret now that RAW had warned the JIC about the possible attacks long before 26/11 happened, but the warnings were neglected, which led to a lot of blood spilling on that peaceful evening.

Dr. Manmohan Singh demanded the resignation of the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the Home Minister of India, but why didn’t he take any action towards his National Security Advisor, Mr. M. K. Narayanan? Is it because Narayanan is close to Gandhi family? Narayanan was pulled out of retirement when Sonia Gandhi led the congress party to a surprise win in the 2004 polls.

Our Prime Minister takes most of the decisions related to National Security based on Narayanan’s advices. (Decisions related to other issues are influenced by Sonia Gandhi of course).


There are only blunders, and nothing else.

Apart from these, there is one more unusual thing: RAW is not an agency, but a wing of the Cabinet Secretariat. Hence it is not answerable to the Parliament of India on any issue, which keeps it out of reach of the Right to Information Act. Meaning: we cannot know anything about its actions. Unlike intelligence agencies in many democratic countries that are subjected to public and parliamentary scrutiny, the activities of RAW remain shrouded in mystery.

In spite of having so many spy agencies in India, it was Chicago based FBI that made a startling breakthrough by pinning down Headley and Rana.

If there are so many flaws in the system, how can we ever expect that such a barbarous attack will not repeat? What kind of security can we expect? Late ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s wife is still requesting the officials to tell her about her husband’s last minutes. Why didn’t he, along with ACP Ashok Kamte and Inspector Vijay Salaskar, get the help soon? His bullet proof jacket is still missing. When he died, he had multiple chest wounds, and his jacket had eight bullet holes. It is now clear that they were given low quality jackets. If these bullet proof jackets are of low quality, then which company manufactured them? And how did it get the tender to manufacture them? Which politician got them the tender? What kind of bonanza was he offered for such a scam?

There are only questions everywhere, but no answers. Even if there are, they are worth zilch.

“I wouldn’t like to forget the attack, but the fact that the energy and vitality of the place have not been lost should send the message to terrorists that they cannot panic us and create chaos in the city,” said a young girl, who is a regular customer at Café Leopold. This is exactly our problem: these things don’t scare us anymore. Why? Because we have got acclimatized to such things as we’ve seem them all. AK 47, hand grenades, bombs, car bombs, serial blasts, RDX, everything. These things are not new to us, are they?

On the contrary, there is a certain Mr. Barack Obama, who is lending 3.2 billion USD to Pakistan through International Monetary Fund (IMF). Post 9/11, US of A has given around 7.5 billion USD to Pakistan. I wonder why.

Then there is China, which is constantly poking us for all the more infamous reasons. Moreover, its friendship with Pakistan has deepened.

Are these things not enough to get scared? They sure are.

“Even heroes know when to be scared…” – The Rising Tied, Fort Minor.

This is the real time to panic, folks. And there is nothing wrong in panicking. At least it’s better than getting into comfort zone and taking everything in an easy way, isn’t it? It’s time to get scared, because we are not safe enough.

So Mr. Prime Minister, it’s time you chose the colour of your turban all by yourself. We are counting on you.

Copyright © Karthik 2009

Comments (54)

A very telling post. It attacks the issue on hand head-on. I have a piece that laments on India's inaction as well vis-a-vis Pakistan. But the fact of the matter is, unless we grow spine , a la Israel and adopt a zero tolerance policy on incursions and terrorists, we will do just this -- posturing.

Unfortunately, the posturing albeit not enough for us,does some amount of good for India in the international diplomatic circles -- underlines India's sahansheelta . Flip side ? Terrorist know we give them a looooong rope and at times hang ourselves before we hang them.

nicely summarized...

irony is we can only lament in this way by pointing out that we have all the facilities of avoiding the attacks and how they are useless..

our gr8 political system will ensure that this remains as such without any improvement :(

I agree with you entirely on "we are not scared" part.

Thats been our attitude; and as I said elsewhere; I say the same. We are proud of resiliency and flaunt it and have accepted that these things are nominal and "Lets move on"

Till when? There would be no one to move on with you!!

a bang on post! u echo my thoughts...
i wonder how long the trial wud go on if god forbid a terrorist plants a nuclear bomb in one part of our country...??
i wonder wat info they are extracting frm him?
n if they still want evidence whether he s the same guy who gunned down ova a hundred ppl at cst?
hats off to indian LAW..
hats off to its tolerance..
hats of to its ability to protect ppl who casually walk in our city n kill ppl!

Bravo!!! a hard hitting article.. deserves to be in a front page of a newspaper... but alas! none of the Indian newspaper have the guts to print such an article...
if a commoner like me can see what is the exact intentions behind the statements of USA and China then how is it that 'know it all' politicians dont see... the truth is that they prefer not to see it...
Who the hell is Obama to say to us wat to do and wat not to do... if he cant keep univited guests out of his own party how can he keep terrorists out of the country??

Bang On!!!
This has been the case with India all the time!!!!!
We are a nation with emotional spikes!!!
Alas, very few of such spikes lead to a substantial change in ourselves!!

You are absolutely right!
It is pitty to realise that we are still in chaos! I remember a comment from a political leader which says 'today, people's interest in joining CBI is decreasing!'. I felt that may be corruption will be the reason for such a behaviour as chances are really low in CBI department. if it is right, i think our own people are leading us to chaos. 'democracy is of the people by the people but, is it really for the people?

Hiiee..Liked the opening sentence that u quoted.... it is so true.....

I really wonder when will the system in India be judging the victims quickly and be responsive to actions to be taken... Everythin i nthe country is seeming to b a blame game n dirty politics...Hope this changes soon..Nice work..!! :)

@ Madhu
You are absolutely right, sir. Unless we learn something from Israel and other nations, we won't be able to do anything, except posturing. The attack on Gaza by Israel a couple of months ago is quite an example for us.
Raising our voice is the only thing we can do now and hope that it is heard.
Thanks for the comment.

@ divsi
Girl, your comment is scarier than my post. Nuclear bomb, did you say? Let's just not even think about it.
I agree with everything you've said. It's so sickening to know that a few captured terrorists are still alive.
Thanks for your opinion.

@ Sundeep
Unfortunately, our laments are not heard. In fact, even we stop raising our voice after some time. Do you remember a few days after 26/11, we stopped shouting the slogans, we stopped showing our anger, and eagerly awaited the release of Ghajini. Now, it's 3 idiots. It's not only the politicians, even we should blame ourselves to a certain extent.
We can only hope we are not attacked again.
Thanks for your opinion. I appreciate it.

@ Insignia
Now that's a, isn't it? Some people and politicians talk about 'moving on' as if they've had a break-up. Utter stupidity!
You are right. When there will be none, with whom should we move on?
Appreciate your opinion. Thanks.

@ Tanmaya
Politicians do see the exact intentions behind their statements, but they are good at turning a blind eye. Joginder Singh, former director of CBI, once said, "there are some 'honest' officials of the highest rank, who are ready to sell the classified information to rival nations for a bottle of scotch. There are politicians, who feed them, and there is a government that supports such things. So talking about National Security would be a cruel joke."
What do you say about it?
Let's not even talk about Obama. I wonder what made the Swedes to honour him with a Nobel!

And I'm really glad you felt this article of mine deserves to be published in a news paper. Thanks a lot.

@ Niharika
I don't think any spikes bring about a substantial change in us, and definitely not in the system. We can only do one thing: hope that these things are not repeated.
Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

@ Raghu
You are spot-on, mate. Is democracy for the people?
Of course it is corruption. What else could it be?
Thanks for your opinion.

@ Urvashi
That's all we can do, right? Hope this all changes soon and we strike back real hard.

One year has passed,huh!!
And sick and tired of all the melodrama that followed 26/11,we have almost forgotten that something ever happened(public hain bhai...and public ki memory short-lived hoti hai)
I wonder when the policies of our government's gonna change...such soft-heartedness..These soi-disant politicians and diplomats have a way to get into news...Who cares if hundreds of people are dying every four months...Apna chal raha hai...bass!!After the attack, they play blame-game..come up with all kinds of fake statements and then...after a few days some other news catches attention and it's all forgotten...and the case goes on..I can guarantee, with these kind of tactics being employed surely my grandkids would be able to catch the news of Kasab's case...But like they say,Justice delayed is justice denied!!


hmm..i agree with your every word..we seem to adopt 'ye sab chalta hai attitude'...we seem to have accepted this kinda incidents as a part of our life ..we feel sad , we mourn and then , we too are back to square one , like the concerened autorities , busy in our own life and lighting candles on those moments evey year !!! had the public been strong n adamant enough to punish the acuused and the guilty ones , i guess we wouldnt have even been discussing all these over here, but who cares !!!

Nice thought provoking post with valid questions ..but as you said , if onle someone was able to answer them !!!

Hard Hitting and Well Written...

I agree with each and every word you wrote...

You know wat.... I've started hating the term "The Mumbai Spirit" People just want to show the world that they can continue living with infinite number of hardships and still wear a smile. Well this won't help much... Its time we strike back. And I believe the Blogosphere is gonna play an important part in it!

@ Jaunty
Our government's policies are never gonna change. That I am confident. They shout and scream, and it's forgotten soon. You are right. That's what happened, right? A few months later, elections started, and everything was forgotten. And yeah, your grandchildren will follow Kasab's trial just like we followed '93 attackers' trial till a few months ago.
Thanks for your thoughts.

@ adreamygal
That's a pity, isn't it? We forget too soon. We forget to show anger and frustration, we forget to ask questions. But even if we do, who's gonna answer them? When Hemant Karkare's and Ashok Kamte's wives are not given answers, how can we expect to demand answers?
Anyways, thanks for your opinions on this.

@ Saurabh
Rightly said, man. The term "The Mumbai Spirit' sucks really. Barkha Dutt will rant for sometime on NDTV, actors like Rahul Bose will come on News channels and talk; and finally we discuss this on blogosphere. We can only hope this changes somethings.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. Appreciate it.

very well written indeed, I wish our dear Mr. Prime Minister could read this...but again, all we can do is hope for things to change...but given the state our country is in, the chances of that seems very bleak...

u r right...one year and nothing is changed...we both have said the same thing - in different style...amazing post..

btw, three years down, we will still be yelling about the same thing with few more attacks added to the list u have mentioned above..

@ Neha
We neither can move on nor tolerate such things. It's a tough situation. Let's just hope we are not attacked again.
Glad you agree with me.

@ Umesh
Welcome to Eloquence Redefined.
That's what I said: Hope.
But even hope seems to be blighted.
Thanks a lot, Umesh.

Gee - I thought you were describing the US justice system - Nice post.
What is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. UGH!

We as a nation have endured and survived many threats. But of recent, the frequency of trouble has increased as you pointed out. But Being Israel means more and more bloodbath, no lasting peace. As I perceive it, we are in a peculiar whirlpool where the arms firms are the biggest trouble makers. They either sell to nations creating fear of terrorism or equip insurgent groups so that they can sell more. The world will soon see another upheavel followed by an era of peace.
May faith, vigilance and good deeds see us through the rough times ahead.

I have no words to leave a comment.

I just hope what if this article gets published in the very newspaper our prime minister reads everyday.

It wouldn't make any difference to his actions but it must bring shame to him if he is still a human.

Lives have lost its worth since this attacks have become common and common in India. Is that what we have been waiting for?

Very well written and its naked truth about whats going on in India.

I appreciate your post and your attempt :)

A very well written post as always.

True our govt. sucks but we as people can make a 'difference' too(but we will never do that). Instead what we do is react only when such an incedent as this happens.
And why won't we? Were we all not stuck to the tv all those 3-4 days. Wasn't it exciting to watch all those live action with a beautiful heritage hotel and finally name it 26/11 to match 9/11?Then as the drama ends, go and lite a candle and forget everything until the next year.

We all tend to think and remember, what the media wants us to. I don't refute when someone blames the govt. for such gastly incidents. But is that all we are supposed to do?

There is something more we can do apart from lighting a candle,calling idea-idea b/w 8-9pm on some particular day, or confute our govt.
IF our govt. failed,its also us who failed. Afterall we chose the govt.

I hope Kasab will not be given the death sentence any time soon. I hope he will be tortured so much and he must have no human contact/correspondence such that he should live through the hell before he can finally die.

Every single "life" lost in a terror attack is a blow to every Indian spirit :~(

@ Grayquill
I do admire US justice system, sir. In fact I'd originally written a paragraph about it esp. about Saddam Hussain's trial and sentence. It was so damn quick. But later edited it out since the post became too long and it was a bit of diversion from the topic.
And yes, you are absolutely right. What is right is wrong and what is wrong is right - most of the times.

@ The Holy Lama
When I mentioned Israel, I only meant its resilience and quick decisions. At least that country is not dependent on anyone else. No one dares attack it.
But as you mentioned, firearms are the biggest trouble makers. But ironically, they were made for the defense. This just reminded me of John Grisham's novel 'The Runaway Jury.'
Anyways, thank you so much for your views. :-)

@ Archana
We laymen can't do much about it as I said earlier, Archana. The only thing we can do is raise our voice and send a message that we have not forgotten - whenever we get an opportunity, whenever we get a platform.
And calling between 8-9 through idea: this is after the attacks happened and after one year, buddy. These things will not stop any attacks.
You were right when you said we choose the govt.
Every single "life" lost in a terror attack is a blow to every Indian spirit - rightly said.
Thanks for your views. I appreciate it. :-)

@ Mahesh
Thanks a lot, Mahesh. I only hope whatever we say, on whichever platform makes some difference.
And Prime Minister reading this? I don't think that changes anything.
Thanks again. :-)

These are times, as you pointed out, where no one is safe nowhere. Just a few days ago the Indian Express ran a four part series on the corrupt practices within RAW. Trials are taking eons to complete(read: progress any further), we get fresh threats each day...these are times when you can't guarantee whether you will reach home safe and sound. Your post echoes the voice of millions across the country who wonder when the country will be safe enough.

In the days ahead,we need to be afraid, very afraid....

Keep writing! :)

yes you are right..
we are known for our patience and...our patience is being tested and its even thought of as our weakness.
The youth can make a change..
the youth can show the same interest towards NCC as they show towards their cricket team..
when someone one wanted to attack a young and armed india..they will think twice!

HEy I was only mocking about the idea-calling thing...

We can't do anything? :( Except raisng our voices that make little or no differnce?
:( I don't want to believe this...

Anyways...Your article truly refelects the agony,which we have learnt to silently accept.
Cause we can do nothing and the govt cares not.

hmmm quite an eye opener post indeed....but how many of the present youth are willing to step forward....pointing fingers is all we do!...nice blog yu have...wil keep trotting around...cya as well.

@ Sorcerer
I agree with you totally. Patience is not a virtue anymore, is it? It's really wearing thin.
And I'm really happy that you mentioned NCC. That really makes some difference.
Thanks a lot for sharing your views on this. I appreciate it.

@ Destiny's child
My knowledge about RAW is limited, but all I know is that it is having problems ever since it was started in the early 90s, only to be decommissioned later on, and then start again some time later.
We are really not safe.
I am very glad you agree with me. Thanks for your views. Keep visiting.

@ Archana
You were only mocking at it? Oh, sorry, I dint know it.
Raising voice and taking part in writing or talking on a given platform does make some difference. Then at least they realize that people have not forgotten it, which will force them to take some hard steps.
Thanks again.

@ Harry
You are right, Harry. Most of the times we just point fingers. Hope we too change our approach towards such things.
Thanks for dropping by. Keep visiting.

I totally agree with you.
This post is a very clear portrayal of how our politics has made you feel. Your anger is fair and genuine..
Just like most of the other people, I can only wonder what the solution can be for these problems we face in our day today life.. It is really tough to arrive at any decision for the betterment of the whole system.

However, this is a great article and usage of phrases and words to kindle the correct kind of emotion is excellent. I don't think it could have been written better.
Keep writing.

Best Regards,
Vikram Kumar.

really nice post... i think this same post has to be posted by every indian.. hmmmm... india is no different...
y don u try writing some novels or somethin..? i really like ur writin skills... really nice.. :)

hunch story is also gr8... ;) i jus read it today... :D

@ Vikram
Welcome to Eloquence Redefined.
I'm glad you share my thoughts regarding this issue.
And thanks a million for the compliment. I appreciate it.
Keep visiting.

@ Anoop
Thank you so much, Anoop.
I do have plans to write novels. I'm really happy that you feel I could write it. :-)

It was really very good, but still I am not scared. Wish I could do something about all those attacks and stuffs.

i like your blog for its plain honesty and sincerity in writing and voicing your opinion. if nothing else, atleast one can vent the fermenting frustration within and im sure most of us are with you in this feeling.

@ Nethra
Thank you.
You are not scared? Now that's something!
And yeah, you just echoed everyone's words. Wish we could do something about it. But still we are doing something, given the circumstances. We are bloggers, aren't we. So we are writing about it and keeping our hopes alive.
Thanks again. :-)

@ Tongue Trip
Welcome to Eloquence Redefined.
That was a beautiful compliment. Thank you so much.
I'm glad you agree with me on this.
Thanks for dropping by. Do keep visiting. :-)

Any chance this theme was chosen from "pagdi nilli baandhu ya safed" joke of bhagwant maan ... :P

anyways ..gud one ..
Someone once said "our constitution is a lawyer's paradise" ..guess he knew what he was talking about ..!! one visit to the court makes the situation of judiciary in our nation clear to even the most ignorant of minds


@ Naveen
Never heard of that joke, dude.
"Our constitution is a lawyer's paradise" - never heard of this one too, but it's one hell of a statement. So very true.
Thanks for the comment.

@ Raksha
I don't know whether it happens in India ONLY, as I've not been to any other country. But it does happen in India.

Hi man.
Thanks a lot for taking time to go through my blog and commenting. In one way or other you have encouraged me to keep on blogging.
Thanks a lot!

And keep up the good work.

Hey come on, man. You are being too formal now. The main reason I read your blog is that you are a wonderful writer. So I'll always be around to read your posts.

A very well-written and hard-hitting post, indeed.

I think there is more to it than meets the eye.

I think 'incidents' like these are a part of a larger gameplan. Acts like these are aimed at creating sectarian mindsets. They are aimed at creating disharmony, especially , communal disharmony. They are aimed at creating distrust... between people, nations and communities. Besides much else.

Success of such operation is measured by how much they are able to poison the naïve minds. They succeed when one group sees the other - individual/group/community/nation - as terrorist and enemies, and the other feels victimized and wants to avenge.

When Gandhi was assassinated, nobody talked about 'Marathi terrorist' or 'Marathi terrorism'. Yet, when Mrs G was assassinated, the emphasis and stress was on the words 'Sikh terrorist' and 'Sikh terrorism'.

When it was the turn of her son... another organisation and group was brought into the limelight.

Elsewhere, in the land of our estranged sibling... when a high-profile lady was sent to meet her maker - well before her time, a few other names as well as the names of some other organisations were bandied about.

There was a series of events after that. Another hotel, public places, then 26/11. This was a ploy to get this so-called 'War on Terror' squarely onto the subcontinent. The Big 'O', etc had given you-know-who... the much needed foothold into this part of the world.

I think it should be called the 'War of Terror' instead.

Notice how the media - worldwide - parrots the same stuff.

Unfortunately, no organisation/institution is free of influence. The media included. They are owned by mortals... who inturn are tied to other mortals/angels... and the 'chain-of-command' goes very far indeed.

Thank you.
Sure they are a part of larger game plans. I agree. I read somewhere that a particular property in mumbai was also on list of terrorists, but since the property owners (some big shots of course) knew about the attacks already, protected it so well that the terrorists were not able to touch it.
And about Ms. Gandhi's assassination! Well, what followed next is a shame to us. About 3000 sikh people were brutally murdered by congress the very next day. Every year, people mourn the Lady Gandhi, but not those innocent lives.

Thanks for such an informative comment. :)

Alredy so much praise about your post that my words will only be a repetition! I only pray that this effective write-up of yours is read by the concerned authorities and some day India really wakes up to take matters into its own hands!
Like we fought for freedom from British Raj it's surely time to demand freedom from such chaotic systems running our lives!

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Library

Karthik's Book Montage

The Negotiator
Malgudi Days
As The Crow Flies
Swami and Friends
The Devil's Alternative
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Godfather
The Seven Minutes
The Prize
Atlas Shrugged
The Fountainhead
If Tomorrow Comes
Digital Fortress
The Chancellor Manuscript
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Identity
The Fist of God
The Fourth Protocol
The Odessa File
The Day of the Jackal

Karthik's favorite books »