A day after the fateful Mumbai blasts happened on what is being called now “13/7” I was watching the news where I saw our dear Mr. Rahul Gandhi delivering a statement to the media, “It is impossible to stop bomb blasts. Who all will we check?”
As I pondered on this statement of his I thought it made sense. Yes, we are all angry. Yes, we all want viable results and soon. But it is indeed a bloody difficult task to keep a constant vigilant check in a country with a population of 121 billion and growing! He is partly right. Who all will we check and where all will we check. Maybe in organized places we can, for example in a place like a mall, or Dilli Haat or an event happening etc. It is possible to keep checks on such places for there can be a tab kept on who is entering with what and with whom. But in places like open markets like Zaveri bazaar for instance, Opera House, or a Lajpat Nagar in Delhi or a Hazratganj in Lucknow, there is no particular entry or exit point. Where will we check? Who will we check? How will we check?
But a while later, I realized that while this statement does seem valid enough, it is, in all probability, merely an excuse being used by the government to cover up their backsides. The most in-our-face example we all know, is the case of 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in the US and what they did afterwards. They got their act together and how. One such failure, one attack and results COULD be seen. The attack employed the use of an aeroplane which flew into the building that unfortunate day – any particular entry point or exit point there? Not really. But, the US took measures, conducted rigorous investigations and rounded up the guilty (often even not so guilty for which they received much duly deserved flak) but the job was done.
However, let’s take a look at our nation now. The Varanasi blasts, the German Bakery blasts, the September 2008 serial blasts in New Delhi which was followed by the famous 26/11 terror siege in Mumbai – these are just few of the many, many blasts our country has witnessed over the years. Every time, innocent people suffer, anger simmers, people demand action, and authorities do a little something under public pressure, and while time moves on, the cases hardly do. How many cases can we say have been satisfactorily solved? Can we truly say our government and the concerned authorities have taken concrete steps to prevent further bomb blasts?
More so, when one hears jokers like Digvijay Singh make outrageous statements like “This attack (the 13/7 Mumbai serial blasts) has come after a gap of 31 months. Mumbai police is doing a good job,” and realises our dear leaders have no shame whatsoever; one feels even more discontented and livid. Instead of taking tangible steps like bringing about effective police reforms, bringing into place the Citizen Intelligence Network (CIN) a proposal to make ordinary citizens part of the intelligence gathering process [Refer to the TOI story http://bit.ly/pAIKsV ] and speeding up the hearing of such cases and ensuring that appropriate, effective and prompt punishment is meted out to the perpetrators, the government is sitting on its backsides banking on the ‘short lived memories’ of citizens and feeling comfortable in making statements like Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram made about there being no intelligence input about the Mumbai blasts but conversely adding that it was not an intelligence failure. Then whose failure was it Sir? The man who lost his livelihood thanks to his shop at Zaveri bazaar being reduced to smithereens due to the blasts, or the child who failed to foresee that he would lose his father if he went out to buy flowers at Kabootarkhana that evening, or then the woman waiting for a bus at Opera House to go back home after a long, hard day of work who is now battling for her life in the hospital?
And while, politicians scramble to cash in on the anger, resentment and outrage among the citizens trying to instigate communal passions (such as Janata Party President Subramanium Swamy did through his piece published by DNA on Saturday http://t.co/W7ZT9Wk on ‘How To Wipe out Islamic Terror’) by suggesting stupid, ridiculous and contemptible solutions as this ‘gentleman’ did, what we need is to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to such people and concentrate on forcing the government to take suitable measures to deal with the issue of terrorism and not use it as another ploy to build vote banks and seize power. The unrest among people after 26/11 spun the authorities into action but soon, the simmering anger cooled down and people settled back into their monotonous existence, and so Kasab is still around and justice has yet not been delivered. We need to continue with the pressure and only then can we expect results. Otherwise, we can submit ourselves to the idea that this will continue to happen.