Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai Attacked/ Essay/ India Today, December 8,2008


A harvest of terror

It was a cavalcade which, for once, brought out not the pomp but the limits of power. And it was not the sight Mumbai would have liked to wake up to after living through the dread and fear of the city’s longest night.

At six in the morning on November 27, when Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and half his cabinet drove past the Oberoi, the hotel where terrorists held sway, in a procession of 25 cars and well-protected by grey commandos, the worthies didn’t dare to take even a surreptitious glance at the policemen and reporters who lined the street. In another time, in another Mumbai, these gentlemen would not have missed the moment of photo ops and platitudinous banalities.
But this Thursday morning, as Mumbai bled and mourned, they were on the run. And it’s unlikely that they would have found a place to hide.

Well, there is no place for the entire political class to take refuge, for, the whispers of the dead—India’s political donation to the global enterprise of jihad—will frighten them out of every conceivable hiding place. Mumbai 2008 is the bloodiest of ironies that India, unarguably the softest victim state of hate, could have lived without. As the Indian Navy was excelling in its daredevilry by fighting pirates in the faraway Gulf of Aden, a few rubber boats could offload around two dozen armed jihadis in front of Mumbai’s prominent landmarks— the Taj and the Oberoi, the twin towers of the maximum city. And among the dead in the war on Mumbai was the boss of Maharashtra’s ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad), which has been in the middle of a politically volatile investigation into the so-called saffron terror.

Sadly, the enormity of the Evil threatening the foundational solidity of the nation is yet to be comprehended by the political class, particularly the ruling establishment, which in every hate attack sees a million electoral possibilities. The impotent rage and vows of punishment in the wake of every terrorist strike—the frequency of which would have put any other country on permanent alert—are customary political theatre meant for the consumption of the gullible. The dead—who continue to multiply—don’t power India to new national resolutions.

They remain statistical trivia: 1,202 have been killed in 23 terrorist strikes in the country since the attack on Parliament. Five of them took place between December 2001 and May 2004 when the NDA was in power and the rest during the last four-anda-half years of the UPA Government. In three instances, terrorists were killed, but in all others, there have either been noarrests or, when arrests were made, the Government has not been able to secure their convictions. Still, we are not ashamed. And still, we are lining up to be killed.

As Mumbai becomes a horrific finale to a year that made India a nervous wreck, the politicians are back in the game—to be played with added deception in this season of elections. This could not have come at a worse time for the Congress which is already on the defensive over the twin issues of terrorism and national security. This week, voters in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan elect their new rulers and though L.K. Advani, who talked to the prime minister after the attacks began on the night of November 26, wisely desisted from playing the political blame game, no one doubts that his party stands to gain.

Grief and fear do not unite India. They divide us, for the nation is negotiable, but the vote bank is not, sorry. Mumbai 2008, perhaps more than Ayodhya 1992, is bound to change the syntax of Indian politics, and, immediately, it may reward the Indian Right. The colour of power in 2009 will be determined by the blood that discoloured the night of Mumbai on November 26.
Let that alone not be the political conclusion of Mumbai. India cannot afford to remain a nation in denial, and a nation shackled by the politics that divides. Winning an election is no longer the same as winning the soul of the nation. India, the most savaged nation on earth by the mercenaries of gods, is waiting for its political redeemer.

10 comments:

maharana said...

अब सिर्फ़ मुझे सुनो क्योंकि मैं बेहतरीन हूँ.
मैं इस वक हिंदुस्तान की हर बिगड़ी हुई तस्वीर को 24 घंटे के अंदर बदलने का माद्दा रखता हूँ, वह भी केवल अपनी एक स्पीच से. क्योंकि मैं बेहतरीन हूँ. क्या आप के ग्रुप के सभी एड़ीटर्स सिर्फ़ एक बार मुझसे बहस करने को तैयार होंगे? एक ही बार में फ़ैसला हो जाएगा मैं यक़ीन के साथ दावा कर रहा हूँ की प्राकृत ने मुझे ही चुना है देश की तकदीर बदलने के लिए . अगर मुझे आपका जबाब नहीं मिला तो भी यक़ीन दिलाता हूँ की किसी भी वक़्त इस देश की पूरी सत्ता को पूरी तरह बदलने के लिए एक ऐसा खेल शुरू कर दूँगा जिसमे आठ दिन के अंदर सब कुछ बदलने की गारांट भी है. संत महात्मा, पीर, फ़क़ीर, गुरुओं व 100% सच्चे इंसान, जिनका रूप फ़रिशतों का होता है को छो. किसी से भी किसी भी वक़्त बहस करने को तैयार हूँ. हर प्रश्न भी सब कुछ बदलने का माद्दा रखता है व मेरे हर जबाब में जीत का ही प्रत्यक्ष दर्शन होगा.हर जबाब men . आपके मीडिया क के इतिहास में आज तक ऐसी क घटना न घाटी है. बल्कि आज तक सुनी भी नही गयी है बल्कि आज ताज किसी ने सोच ही नही पाई है. मुझे बहुत प्रसन्नता होगी आप जैसे महान देशभक्त, देशप्रेमी, सच्चे जागरूक , बहादुर , कर्तव्यनिष्ट, विस सर्वोक्च पद दयावान इस संदेश को बेवकूफ़ी, पागलपन, सिरफिरा,बडबोला समझा ही सही अपने मीडिया धर्मं व अपने मीडिया अभियान के तहत नीतिगत मुझे शीघ्रातिशीघ्र ज़रूर जबाब देंगे. इंतज़ार अभी से शुरू है, जो आपके जबाब के लिए ही जागता रहेगा.
साधन्यवाद
आपका अपना ही 'मस्ताना'

Daman Prakash said...

Indian Media I fear could have been more resposnible during the grave crisis. Every channel was claiming they were first to do this and that. Media. Goevrnment and principal opposition are very powerful in India and all powerful people have always acted irresponsibily during the crisis. I thought this time we will be different. But sadly NO. It is as if you all wait to score powerful points. You all talk about no attacks in US after 9/11 without going in to reasons how they achieved that. Take some cues from role of US media during 9/11.

Even experienced journalist like you were at your shouting best. Same jingoism. There is no quality in debate. There were some panelist trying to infuse some sense like surveillance duties to local police devoid of political work and saluting powerful people. There were some voices to depoliticise Intelligence personnel posting as we do in case of Judiciary and Election commission.All such voices were not allowed to dominate and were lost in political din.

You gave more importance to Arun Jaitley and Rudy who never had a shame to resign after Akshardham or Pariliament Attack. What they will of POTA when terrorist themselves are out to die but to take hundreds with them. POTA will be used by Jaylalithas to prosecute VAIKKOS or many lustful officers to arrest innocents to get medals. Of all poeple how can they say " Too little and too late".

Please elevate the level of debate to specifics and apply constructive pressure. Policeman out there is a victim of politician and powerful people. Just help to elevate his morale and free him from his chains.This is the time to apply pressure and see that ruling classes do not use police for their work. Police must be made to protect citizens.Withdraw all NSG security to all VIPs. Let these VIPs develop separate wing dont dare to pouch on precious officers.

We expect you to build pressure on Government on specifics. Dont make them immune by regular shouting. You are a successful journalist. You have duty to take a lead. Please reassess yourself.

Srilekha said...

Mumbai lost three of its top anti-terrorism officials almost immediately when the violence began; they were gunned down as they rode together in a van; The staff of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel saved hundreds of wealthy guests as heavily armed gunmen roamed the building, firing indiscriminately, leaving a trail of corpses behind them. Among the workers there were some whose bravery and sense of duty led them to sacrifice their own lives” these are the headlines which we see everyday in our news channels, news papers but does it bring any kind of awareness amongst our ministers . Today a middle class family a localite is unsafe on the roads because half of the security forces are covering our elite society and the ministers. Today when there is an attack where are the ministers? Where was Raj thakre’s so called gundas? We where the victims ….no one came forward to save us amongst these people who we vote, we elect to rule our country and provide us protection. When Mumbai was in the hands of terror it was the victims only who were saving each others life apart from police ,military and commando forces. The attacks demonstrated how a small number of well-trained terrorists could paralyse a city and perplex the local security forces. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to strengthen maritime and air security and look into creating a new federal investigative agency. I would like to ask the government of India why is it after every horrifying attack govt realizes that we should change or upgrade in the system. Enough of blaming each other parties and trying to get rid of its own mistakes if our security system is strong and political parties have clear vision for the nation I am sure this kind of incidence will never be repeated . Our real heroes in today’s date are commando’s, army force, and Maharastra police, Taj Staff and last but not the least the media who showed a tremendous amount of good work without even thinking of the terror they were standing by all the time.

Rather than collecting votes for there vote bank politians should think that they could have been the victim too, its time to fight against terrorism not to collect vote.
Lets stop blaming any religion and country lets accept the fact that there is corruption in our own country and today after all this if we vote and think any of the parties will bring any changes then I must say we are giving these terrorist a chance to prepare themselves again for another attack this time may be somewhere else. I will request the people of India lets take our own responsibility and force the government to open its eye and see the blood, tears of a mother, a wife, a son and a daughter and tell them enough now we Indians will not accept it anymore continuous attacks one after the other city is not a joke is it not enough to make our Mr. Ministers realize that our govt system is corrupted and we need to correct it as soon as possible before there is a much bigger disaster takes place.
Lets come together and salutes our heroes and take a pledge we won’t allow any terrorist to breath in our country We salute all the Indian army, navy and air force families and my deep condolence to the families who lost there loved ones .
• Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan
• Hemant Karkare, Chief of Anti Terrorism Squad
• Vijay Salaskar, a well known encounter specialist
• Ashok Kamte - Additional Commissioner of PoliceMumbai

Srilekha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Srilekha said...

Mumbai lost three of its top anti-terrorism officials almost immediately when the violence began; they were gunned down as they rode together in a van; The staff of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel saved hundreds of wealthy guests as heavily armed gunmen roamed the building, firing indiscriminately, leaving a trail of corpses behind them. Among the workers there were some whose bravery and sense of duty led them to sacrifice their own lives” these are the headlines which we see everyday in our news channels, news papers but does it bring any kind of awareness amongst our ministers . Today a middle class family a localite is unsafe on the roads because half of the security forces are covering our elite society and the ministers. Today when there is an attack where are the ministers? Where was Raj thakre’s so called gundas? We where the victims ….no one came forward to save us amongst these people who we vote, we elect to rule our country and provide us protection. When Mumbai was in the hands of terror it was the victims only who were saving each others life apart from police ,military and commando forces. The attacks demonstrated how a small number of well-trained terrorists could paralyse a city and perplex the local security forces. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to strengthen maritime and air security and look into creating a new federal investigative agency. I would like to ask the government of India why is it after every horrifying attack govt realizes that we should change or upgrade in the system. Enough of blaming each other parties and trying to get rid of its own mistakes if our security system is strong and political parties have clear vision for the nation I am sure this kind of incidence will never be repeated . Our real heroes in today’s date are commando’s, army force, and Maharastra police, Taj Staff and last but not the least the media who showed a tremendous amount of good work without even thinking of the terror they were standing by all the time.

Rather than collecting votes for there vote bank politians should think that they could have been the victim too, its time to fight against terrorism not to collect vote.
Lets stop blaming any religion and country lets accept the fact that there is corruption in our own country and today after all this if we vote and think any of the parties will bring any changes then I must say we are giving these terrorist a chance to prepare themselves again for another attack this time may be somewhere else. I will request the people of India lets take our own responsibility and force the government to open its eye and see the blood, tears of a mother, a wife, a son and a daughter and tell them enough now we Indians will not accept it anymore continuous attacks one after the other city is not a joke is it not enough to make our Mr. Ministers realize that our govt system is corrupted and we need to correct it as soon as possible before there is a much bigger disaster takes place.
Lets come together and salutes our heroes and take a pledge we won’t allow any terrorist to breath in our country We salute all the Indian army, navy and air force families and my deep condolence to the families who lost there loved ones .
• Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan
• Hemant Karkare, Chief of Anti Terrorism Squad
• Vijay Salaskar, a well known encounter specialist
• Ashok Kamte - Additional Commissioner of PoliceMumbai

sreeiyer said...

i am an Indian citizen . I would like to say that the Indian Politicians are going very soft or terror. They are fighting among themseleves and blame game continues also the same for taking up the chief ministers post. Time is being wasted instead of concentrating on terror they have laid back attitude.

Just like South Africa was alienaated we must alienate pakistan in all the field and my request to all the Nation is to alienate them shun the pakistanis all together till they hand us over the fugitives.

After this dastardly act was perperated in Indian Soil and apart from Indian Personells of the forces, Civilian and Foreigners lost their lives in India.

So till the fugitives are handed over and terrorist elements and their activites are wiped out from pakistian till then shun them from all spheres be it social,economic, sports or for that matter any feild. Then only the pakistan government will realise how grave the situation is in India.

How long can we suffer like this?


Thanks,

srinivas

sreeiyer said...

i would like to add Since this dastardly act was perpertated in Indian soil why should the terrorist be tried in pakistan.

They should be tried in Indian soil. India has the right to try them legally in Indian soil.

I feel treaties on such matters like terrorism etc. should be left to the country where it was perpertated.

srinivas

tnvaidyanathapura said...

Sad fallout of the Mumbai terror attack is the utter lack of remorse on the part of all the politicians across party lines while they addressed the media. Television, being a audio visual medium, starkly conveys the minutest emotion on the faces of the politicians and we, the viewers with more than 27 years of television watching experience could easily see through the farce. There was absolutely no remorse on any of the faces.

I can recall very few instances when the politicians were truly concerned – on former PM Sri Rajiv Gandhi’s face when Smt Indira Gandhi died, on former PM Sri Vajpayee’s face when Kargill happened and on former Karnataka CM Sri S M Krishna’s face when actor Sri Rajkumar was kidnapped.

tnvaidyanathapura said...

if i have the information right the taj hotel and the trident hotel had arms and ammunition in plenty. i wonder how these two hotels with their state of the art security systems could not detect these.

both the taj and the trident between them would have about 5000 people inside the hotels during their peak hour. this fact alone should have encouraged them to up their security. further the mariot hotel attack in pakistan should have alerted them to beef up their security. again, if reports are to be believed advisories were sent to these hotels on possible attacks and these two hotels should have reviewed their security arrangements.

now is it easier for two five star hotels to cover about 1000 feet of entrances to their hotels between them or the government to cover about 40,00,000 feet of coastline.

no media or the government has dared to question these two hotels on their lax security. why ?

tnvaidyanathapura said...

I wonder how the Mumbai terror investigation would have proceeded had it not been for the ubiquitous Mumbai police with their lathis and borrowed guns that apprehended the two terrorists of the CST target killing one and arresting the other. The arrested terrorist has been singing like a canary and the situation has come to a position where India is able to put pressure on Pakistan with strong international backing.

No praise or accolades would be sufficient to acknowledge the patriotic and selfless work done by the Mumbai police.

It is unfortunate that the NSG/Commandos/AST could not catch any of the other terrorists alive.

Don’t you think the Mumbai police deserve better treatment from the media