London, Nov 29: India and its financial hub Mumbai need new leadership that is better equipped to fight terrorism, Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga said in a newspaper article on Saturday.
Adiga, who was born in Chennai but now lives in Mumbai, slammed authorities in the city and the country`s capital New Delhi, writing in The Times: "The failure of the rulers of Bombay and India to anticipate or prevent this terror attack has been complete."
"We should applaud the bravery of the police, firefighters and soldiers who have fought the terrorists so valiantly -- but we should hold their bosses, the politicians, to account."
In Mumbai, meanwhile, security forces were fighting it out inside the historic Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where a tiny group of heavily armed gunmen were engaged in a fight to the death as the more than 52-hour-old battle, which has left up to 155 dead, entered its final stage.
Adiga described the Mumbai city government`s ruling Shiv Sena grouping as "xenophobic Hindu nationalists who have let the city`s infrastructure go to seed, while deepening the divisions between its various religious communities."
"The government in Delhi has given the impression, for over four years now, of being clueless on how to tackle the growing problem of terrorism within India," he continued, before noting that opposition politicians were no better.
"This system is not working for Bombay or India," he wrote.
"This attack was not inevitable, it was not unpreventable.
"Every blackened scar, every charred roof, every smashed window in the facade of the Taj Mahal Palace screams to the onlookers of Bombay: `You must find better men and women to lead this city; to lead this country. You must not let this happen to me again`."
Adiga, an Oxford-educated former journalist, was awarded the 2008 Booker Prize, one of the literary world`s most prestigious awards, last month for his first novel, "The White Tiger".