Mumbai Terror Strike Please Leave Us Alone

First, we share the pain, the agony and the grief of the families, who lost their loved ones in the mindless onslaught of the terrorists. Peace on the departed souls.

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First, we share the pain, the agony and the grief of the families, who lost their loved ones in the mindless onslaught of the terrorists. Peace on the departed souls.

The siege of iconic, comfort zones of Mumbai, that started on November 26 came to an end on November 30. The four days would go down the history of terrorism as the darker ones, which claimed 195 lives besides causing injuries to hundreds others. Twenty security personnel, including three top ones lost their lives. The loss of property is yet to be estimated.

The primary focus of the attackers was not on Indians, but on American, British and Israeli nationals. They were 10. Nine were killed while one Mohammad Ajmal Aamir Qasab survives. The Taj, Oberoi and Trident hotels always have a sizable presence of the said nationalities.

The trained terrorists, armed with RDX, AK-47s and grenades were not novices. Their resistance to surrender spoke volumes about their macabre confidence and motivation. They were commando-like, well-versed in surgical operations and dedication. To quote Sir Meghanand Desai: “The attack was thoroughly planned, immensely audacious and devastatingly successful.” (Indian Express, Nov. 27, 2008)

How is it that New Delhi-based Intelligence apparatus, its branches in various States, particularly those in Maharashtra and Gujarat, had no inkling of the on-coming onslaught? The modus operandi of the intruders suggests they were not terrorists in the usual sense of the term. They appeared to be guerillas. Observers seeing their result-oriented behaviour, recalled similar tragedies in New York, Washington D.C., London, Madrid and Bali.

The Mumbai attack, in this backdrop, is a nasty spill-over of the past, when Britain, through the Balfor Declaration, brought Israel into existence on the land of Palestinians. This injustice, sadly, remains undone till date.

Thanks to the attack, the nation has got an opportunity to recall what the Father of the Nation maintained on the issue: “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians as Germany belongs to the Germans!”

But how and why our ATS, IB, CBI, RAW and even the Military Intelligence, once again, failed the country?

Our ruling elites have an inexplicable habit of shielding the top derelicts. Therefore, there is little chance of punishment. On the front of failure, no non-politician Indian is prepared to forgive the Union Home Minister and the State Home Ministers of Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively. It was their laissez-faire behaviour that failed the nation. But the truth is nobody cares.

Besides the top government executives, equally accountable is the national leadership. Regionalisation as well as the coalition or alliance politics has taken a big toll on the leadership issue. Is there anybody to call a spade a spade, to speak frankly on behalf of the billion-plus Bharat? Even today many are alive who have seen the leadership charisma of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Jaya Prakash Narain. Is there a single Gandhi, a single Nehru and a single Indira or Jaya Prakash amidst us? Does democracy also mean absence or fragmentation of iconic leadership? Our national leadership itself is on test, nay trial today. The ultimate question is: who lives if India dies? Amidst the petty politicking of politicians, there is no giant to assert confidently: who lives if India dies?

We have a strange variety of national(ist) leaders. They, in and out of season, wax eloquent on Nationalism and Patriotism. But if a suspect anti-national, belonging to their favourite colour Saffron, is brought to book, they start an incessant crowing. This crowing goes into top gear if a fake savant and a less-than-upright army personnel is interrogated, to justify their subversive activities. How to deal with this fringe of our so-called leadership, which has two yardsticks, one for “us” and the other for “them”.

Till date, the various State Governments have cold-shouldered the idea of a New Delhi based Federal Investigation Agency. The reason is the fear of the State Chief Ministers’ total inability to manipulate things to suit their narrow ends. Now the time has come  to ignore their opportunistic dissent and seriously start thinking on the issue.

It also appears as if there is no clarity or there is confusion in the mind of various heads of Intelligence agencies on the question of “this far and no further.” If this is the position, the internal security doctrine needs a re-defining, resulting in effective coordination among them.

For internal security, another “must” is honest implementation of constitutional provisions. Problems should be resolved on the basis of merits, not reaction of others.

The Saffron leadership has brazenly used religion and sectarianism in their politics. Now let all the recognised political parties decide to give up religious politics, which happens to be bane of civilized living.

Horrendously baffling is the Lashkare-e-Toiba or the Al-Qaida terrorists’ shedding profuse tears on the plight of Indian Muslims. How we wish they, once and for all, understand a few basic facts: Despite their ideological link with the world Muslims, Indian Muslims are Indian Muslims. They are sovereign in their space. We have our problems like all minorities living amidst non-Muslim majorities. We are here by choice. India is our country. We have constitutional opportunities to share political power. We have not to think of solutions from foreign quarters. For the resolution of our difficulties we do not see, and have never seen, across our national borders. By all standards, we are capable of ameliorating or solving our problems.

On several counts, it is common knowledge, we, as an ideological community, sincerely differ with our Ruling Party as well as the Main Opposition. It does not mean we need support from abroad. We are around 200 million. We have leadership, we have talent, we have money, we have manpower and what is not that you think to give us?

Your occasional words of sympathy – it goes without saying – not only create but multiply our problems.

Instead of sending commandos surreptitiously, come to India in civil dress, through passports and see for yourself how, with our chin up, we are conducting ourselves. See our ITS, our hospitals, our colleges, our schools, our organisations, our publishing houses and our religious seminaries. May be all this convince you that we are not in need of any form of foreign help. Therefore, please (repeat Please) leave us alone. This is our honest and sincere plea.