"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