July 13, 2011, 6.45 pm. Place: Mumbai
Another usual day was culminating in the financial hub of the nation…People busy shopping, buying vegetables, commuting through long traffic jams; the usual scene in all major Indian cities in the evening.
However, out of the blue, a loud explosion shook Mumbaikars. Before an iota of semblance could be asserted when, again, they were shocked out of their life by another one and even this was not enough, so another blast ripped the city, leaving the already hapless people alarmed, crying and panicked. Hadn’t they suffered enough already over the years?
This all happened within a span of a few minutes by the clock, however, the repercussions were far more reaching. Officially eighteen people were declared dead and over 100 were injured by the multiple blasts in Mumbai. Unofficially, the blasts took a far heavier toll on the billion plus nation.
The Mumbai blasts were a remorseful incident, one whic
h keeps on repeating itself in many parts of the country. Despite decades of being on the target, the question that remains pertinent throughout is: How and why terror strikes India again and again?
Every time a terrorist organization attacks our country, the government has nothing more to do than just to condemn the heinous acts, is that enough? The internal security agencies seem as surprised to know about these terror strikes as any other common man! Why does the government fail to implement a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism?
It is undoubtedly the case of intelligence failure by the authorities. Why is it that a high alert is always announced after the terror strikes the lives of innocent people? Is it not possible for the government to find a solution to avert the attack? What are the internal security and intelligence agencies doing?
There are numerous unanswered questions that the government must come clean about to all the citizens of India and especially the victims of such tragic terror strikes.
The fact that India has a vast population cannot be used as an answer to these acts. The whole issue is not about blaming the government or the citizens of the country, as all are equally responsible for the safety of one another.
We are in the middle of a terror war whether we like it or not. In such a scenario, we all become the eyes and arms of the government if we are to survive.
Needless to say, authorities like National Investigative agency (NIA), National Security Guard (NSG) and Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) need to change their way of functioning.
Holding press conferences and expressing words of sympathy with declaration of miniscule compensations to the families of dead and injured is not enough and justified. Can they ever compensate the lives of those who have gone forever, leaving their orphan families behind?
India should take a lesson from the West in taking immediate and stringent action to fight against terrorism. It’s high time that terrorists should get the punishment they deserve rather than government offering them million dollar lock-ups and expensive security. Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who carried out Mumbai 26/11 terror attack that left 166 people dead, is treated luxuriously by the Indian government while the families of the ones who died at his hands still run around government offices, filling up papers.
Terrorists have the guts to attack Mumbai after two and half years because they know that even if they are caught, they will just sit in the middle of a political drama, alive and kicking. Enough of condemnations and condolences from the government, the countrymen want action and accountability. And they want it now.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)