Mumbai – The Aftermath !

Its been 2 days since the nightmare ended ! Mumbai’s 60 hours of bloody terror may well have concluded …… But is the worst far from over ? One can really not say !

Now that the guns have ceased and the last of the merciless terrorists slain, the political wheels have stepped up to full throttle ! Fingers are being hastily pointed, errors and delinquencies being covered up by scape-goats ! Ministers are being replaced and officials who have had the responsibility of ensuring the safety of our cities are conveniently putting in their resignations ! Within a span of 2 days, the Home Minister is gone,  Maharashtra CM and his Deputy CM have put down their papers …and many more would follow suit too ! “Moral responsibility” is what they all claim. But in reality, what better way to wash their hands off and run away from the job at hand, which they had hitherto so ineptly performed !

In no time, we’d have new officials swarming in to fill the vacated posts……and when the terrorists strike again, they’d be replaced too ! But is this the best corrective action the nation can possibly get ? Definitely not ! We’ve been testimony to this for far too long, yet nothing seems to have changed and perhaps, we have not allowed anything to change either ! In the meanwhile, the terrorists continue to move about, operate freely within our borders, and strike us where ever they wish to, in whatever manner they please and at whatever time they chose !

The last few days have exposed a complete failure of our core systems. The ineffectiveness of our Intelligence Agencies, the unpreparedness of our Governing bodies and the vulnerability of our cities have been ignominiously made evident !

Frankly, there’s nothing startling about the vulnerability. We had known about it all along ! The back-to-back terrorist attacks that gripped our country in the last few years, and especially in the recent months, had consistently driven home the fact ! Time and again they’ve had the better of us, and we’ve always paid the price ! They’ve tried to shake our will, but we have survived !

Today, the world commends our ability to bounce back to normalcy in no time ! Mumbai has been at the forefront of this resilience – to the effect that in spite of the just-concluded attacks that held the entire city to ransom, the Bombay Stock Exchange hardly took an impact !!! But is this really something to be proud of ?

The resilience, undoubtedly is good – it defeats the very purpose the terrorists wish to achieve through their heinous acts. But what’s the point of it all if we don’t learn from our mistakes and take preemptive measures ? We cannot let India be a punching-bag to just hang there and take on blow after blow of madness thrown at us !

Sadly, a little bit of self-introspection would reveal that the repeated attacks on our soil have made us thick-skinned, forcing us into apathy ! Perhaps this is where the resilience comes from ! Even before the candles at the graves of our victims die out, we’d have something new to bother about and a newer attack that the media can focus their frenzied attention upon ! It seems to be in our blood to forgive and condone ! We as a race have been remarkably tolerant, much through our history ! But how much can we really take ?

One thing however, stands out amongst all this madness, and that is the sheer valour and courage exhibited by our men in uniform and all the unsung heroes behind the scenes. These brave men who selflessly plunge into the heart of the terror zones to bring down the forces of evil, are the ones who reinstate our faith in the nation and keep us going !

Scenes of the elite National Security Guard commandos landing on the Nariman House from their helicopters and fearlessly plunging in to bring down the heavily armed terrorists holed up inside, will forever be etched in our minds ! Not to mention the bravery of the police officers or the Marine Commandos who put in the initial fight, or the Firefighters of Mumbai, who battled the blaze without even having the protection of bullet-proof vests, whilst bullets and grenades whizzed by !

I’ve always wondered what goes through their minds when they put themselves in the line of fire, without the slightest hesitation, or a second thought about their future or their families back at home ! Obviously, its the sheer patriotism and sense of duty that motivates them – something that if each of us in this country had, no force on earth would have been able to dent us !

Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte, Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Gajendra Singh and all the other martyrs didn’t deserve to die….and its our duty to ensure that they didn’t die in vain ! Their losses are irreplaceable, and the nation will forever be indebted to them !

ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who had been at the forefront of the investigations into the Malegoan Blasts, had recently come under the wrath of right-wing politicians who feared the consequences of his unbiased investigations. Yet, when he died, they were the among the first to come forward and try to earn political mileage out of his supreme sacrifice ! Posters have sprung up across Mumbai carrying photographs of the martyred officers, and along side them – the politicians, who from the comforts of their air-conditioned offices, had ordered to put them up ! Isn’t this vote-bank politics at its worst ?

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s funeral took place in Bangalore on Saturday. A 31 year old, Kerala-born, product of Frank Anthony Public School, Bangalore; Major Sandeep is said to have been shot dead while trying to shield an injured comrade, during the siege at the Taj. The sight of his mother crying over his body, flashed across all news channels, echoes a billion cries of grief and pain ! Yet, what kind of treatment does his family get from the Kerala CM Achuthanandan ? Nothing, but a much delayed offering of condolence (more from the lure of political mileage and the growing flak from opposition parties, than out of sheer respect), and remarks to the tune of – “If it had not been (Major) Sandeep’s house, not even a dog would have glanced that way.”

Is this what Major Sandeep sacrificed his life for ?

CM Achuthanandan,  who had been snubbed by the Major’s father for failing to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice laid out by his son,  had turned up at his house in Bangalore a day after his funeral concluded…. much to the opposition of the Marty’s father – who had earlier desisted any politician from entering and desecrating the sanctity of his house. Yet, is this the best manner the CM could have reacted to a bereaved family ?

Reports suggest that the terrorists had arrived by sea from Karachi. The operation itself is said to have involved the hands of Lakshar-e-Taiba, and funded by Dawood Ibrahim, both of whom are harboured within Pakistan. The captured terrorist Azam Amir Kasav, all of 21 years, is said to be singing like a canary ! The terrorists supposedly, had undergone their training in Pak occupied Kashmir, and evidence collected from their satellite phones suggest they were in communication with sources from across the border. The GPS they carried had a return map to Karachi fed into it.  Almost every single piece of evidence has a clear Pakistani stamp on it. Yet, how do we tend to act ?

We suspend rail and air links with Pakistan indefinetely ! We call-off cricket tours ! We even go to the extent of threatening to mobilize our army along the Pakistani border. [The last time the Vajpayee Govt. did this, following the 2001 Parliament Attacks, it had cost India 6500 crores of Tax-payer’s money ! ]

Perhaps, it was American pressure, but it is now known that India has ultimately refrained from such an act. Build-up of Indian troops along the border would lead to a reciprocal mobilization by Pakistan. And that would mean cutting down on some of their forces on the Western Front, where they are supposedly engaging the Taliban currently. The US obviously wouldn’t be looking forward to that !

PM Manmohan Singh has rushed the Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon to Washington DC, to brief the Americans about the terror attacks and the evidence we have in our possession corroborating Pakistani involvement. But why on earth do we need approval from the Big Brother to defend or retaliate a blatant attack on our soil ? The Americans had far less substantial [or hardly any] evidence when they decided to attack Iraq. And did they ever consult our opinion ?

We need their expertise, no doubt . We could use all the technological and logistical support from the International community, that we possibly can. There are definitely positive signs though….a team of FBI sleuths have already arrived in the city and kicked-off their investigations. Also, reports suggest that an Israeli team of Anti-terror experts and Forensic Analysts are due to arrive to assist us in the intelligence gathering. This is in spite of India turning down Israel’s intial offer of sending their crack commandos to Mumbai while the siege was on !

Israel had ended up losing 8 of its citizens in the attacks, and by no means is it a nation that would take an attack on its citizens lightly….no matter which corner of earth it is perpetuated upon !

I also happened to read a report on the BBC a couple of days ago, that Scotland Yard officials had offered to send in their experts to help with the Investigations and Forensic analysis, but apparently, even after 48 hours, their request was still stuck at the Indian Interior Ministry, waiting to be cleared – much to the chagrin of the British.

But one does wonder how a bunch of 10 young terrorists could reign so much terror, engage our elite commandos for so long, and force the entire nation on its knees. However, it is evident that these were no mere lads from around the street. They were highly trained, hardened and motivated terrorists, who had come prepared to die and determined to kill until their last breaths. The fact that they kept innocent civilian hostages as shields didn’t help either.

There’s no doubt that these youngsters had been radically brainwashed to the core, and perhaps may have even believed that their deaths would earn them 1-way tickets to an eternity in heaven …… with 72 virgins thrown in, as well ! I read a user-comment to an article on Rediff that said that the only way to humiliate the slain terrorists is to bury their bodies alongside pigs. That would, supposedly ensure that they go to hell.

Nah, I guess they are hell-bound anyways. Why send the poor pigs there as well ?

A friend recently had this on his status message on Gtalk – “Its up to God on whether to forgive the terrorists or not, but fixing them an appointment with God is our job” !!!

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8 Responses to Mumbai – The Aftermath !

  1. Nikit says:

    The Mumbai carnage was unprecedented to say the very least. Insane and senseless massacres. The vulture-like politicians ready to swoop in and make a play for citizens’ votes. Then again we had some hoax bomb calls in Pune on 1st Dec … are we so depraved, deranged, outright disgusting that we the living do all these things? Why do we give footage to the politicians? Oh and where are the Thackerays’ of the Shiv Sena and MNS fame? The terrorists got our most brave, innocent people, what are we going to do about it?

    Lets drive out all the politicians … lets vote for stronger and corrupt central and state governments. Let us vote them in for what they can do for the nation and country no for our religion, community, city, etc. Do away with the Z security for all and sundry Let us ensure a stronger and available armed forces.

    I wonder if the deaths of the 3 Mumbai police brave-hearts, Karkare, Kamte, and Salaskar, were not actually political murders? It seems too much of a coincidence and convenience (of the politicians) that these 3 strong, brave officers are gone – all at the same time.

    Was it really the terrorists’ shots that did them in? Really? I wonder.

  2. aks says:

    The deaths of the 3 Mumbai police officers does indeed seem like a coincidence. But we may never know the truth and what really transpired ! One thing we do know, is that the people who are going to most benefit from their killings are the politicians, against whom Karkare was involved in investigations.

  3. Anil says:

    Latest News – Blast in Assam passenger train kills 2, injures 17.

    Is this kinda news gonna be forever the headlines of INDIAN newspapers. It is high time our government does something about it or is it something we shouldn’t be expecting from

    them… Everytime such an incident happens there are two sectors which gain undue advantage of this

    1. The Politicians
    2. The Media

    and only one sector which pays very dearly [apart from the heavy taxes]… “the aam junta”….

    It is really pathetic to hear that it took almost 10hrs for the NSG commandos to reach Mumbai and take over the situation. Whatever may be the reason, the question is WHY? Why a country which has an army [third largest in the world], air force [fourth largest in the world] and navy [fifth largest in the world] ends up in such a situation when there is an emergency???

    If the government really cared about the aam junta [leaving aside when it comes to beg for votes and collect taxes] then, why would there be so many terrorist attacks on our country… Why haven’t we heard about any major terrorist attacks on US after 09/11/01. Its the way they displayed their might to the world [especially the countries supporting terrorism] sending out a very strong message “Do not MESS with US!!!”. Though the way they carried out their actions is questionable??

    Initially when terrorist attacks happened in India we the aam junta bounced back to our normal life very quickly… the onlookers termed it as our resilience…. but over the years the same kind of events are happening and we still bounce back…. have we have got used to it??… can this be still termed as our resilience?? … or Is it our Ignorance?? something we should question ourselves.

    When we the public [aam junta] start revolting… ask questions … seek answers… the politicians make statements which really depicts their CLASS…

    1. “Itne bade shahar me ekhada hadsa ho jata hai” (An untoward incident like this can happen in such a big city like Mumbai).

    2. “Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians, spreading dissatisfaction against the democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir “.

    3. “Even a dog would not have glanced at that house had it not been a martyr’s residence.”

    Do we need such politicians?? their existence is dependent on none other than the “aam junta”… so are we to be blamed for this?? Does our responsibility end by just casting our votes?? These are some questions which we as aam junta should be questioning ourselves..

    Finally i would say that its time the aam junta wakes up… takes up more responsibility… and ensure that the country is not run a government with illiterates and fools [for whom the sole purpose of entering politics is to exploit the power obtained and rake in money for their next 7 generations]…

    we as aam junta should make the politicians realize that they cannot
    get away easily with anything they want… they are answerable to us…”the
    aam junta”..

    we the aam junta will let them live in their paradise as long
    as the nation is run in an orderly fashion..and the day there
    is any deviation… “the aam junta” will become their worst
    nightmares…

  4. Nikit says:

    In all this, we haven’t heard from our esteemed President Pratibha Patil … isn’t there a phone, Internet, TV in Vietnam? Or isn’t the ladyt feeling up to it? At this time of crisis, we have a PM who’s reading out from the tele-prompter his message to the country, RR Patil says ‘bade sheron mein aisi baatein hotin rehati hain … who 5000 ko maarne aayen the, sift 150 mare …!!! Modi grants 1 crore … thats guilt money perhaps … the Malegaon investigation is on hold, rt?

    Vilas Rao Deshmukh brings along his actor son and Ram Gopal Verma … on an official tour to check the damages at the Taj and Oberoi’s … RGV says all that he saw he’s already seen it on tv in the news .. why the heck did you come then RGV? Mr. Vilas Rao Deshmukh, this was not a “how are you feeling today Mr. CM” kinda talk show that you brought along your jing-bang along.

    Pranab Mukherji reads out a typed out sheet when talking to the press … nothing comes to you that comes from your heart for the citizens of the very country you profess to love? Nothing that’s not written by your secretaries?

    Why should we vote any of these jokers back to rule?
    People think … really hard before you vote. These people are without conscience. They are leaches that suck your blood and leave you to fend off for yourself in your hour of need.

  5. aks says:

    Totally agree with every word you say, Anil !

    The only reason why the ‘aam junta’ elects these incapable, morons into office, is for want of a better option, I guess !

    The kind of change we require in India is a complete revolution ! Right from the grass-root levels up to the Rashtrapati Bhavan ! And it cannot happen overnight ! But its got to start somewhere !

  6. Anil says:

    Just heard this in the news… “New CM for maharastra to be selected based on caste and not capability.”….. its been just a few days since Mumbai attained peace after the terrorist attack and our politicians are back in business…. and to think of it we vote them to manage our nation!!!

    Also saw a video footage of how the two terrorists [one of them was Azam Amir Kasav] they took control of the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus…. what really appealed to me was the optimism of the police constables… Even though they had only 303 rifles [manual] as compared to the AK-47’s [automatic] which the terrorists had they put on a decent fight to stall the terrorists for some time…. To top that the constables were sharing the rifles…. Hat’s off to their valour [even though they were crippled in terms of arms]…

    I still don’t understand… why do politicians need security?? Especially security guards with automatic guns.. whereas we the public are left on the mercy of the state police who defend us with their service revolvers and the 303 rifles!!! The fact that irks me is that we pay for the politicians roti, kapda, makaan, all other extra
    incentives and also for their security [Z-plus security]…. In turn what do they give us… higher taxes…inflation… corruption… and terrorists, bomb blasts as a bonus….

    A change [total] is required in the common [wo]man’s thought is required… religion, caste, social status and personal grudges need to take a back seat for now [if possible for ever]… people should make sure that their actions are in favour of the nation first!!!

  7. aks says:

    Something positive finally seems to be happenning. A nationwide movement against the inaction and fallacies of the government, on the lines of Civil Disobedience is being shaped up ! There are mass protests being organised in Delhi and Mumbai today. They are planning to continue with the protests every Wednesday until the Goverment takes concrete, quantifiable measures ! Also, they aim to reach out to every city and town in India.

    Check-out their draft manisfesto at http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/dec/03mumterror-wednesdays-will-be-days-of-national-shame.htm

    Hope we can all lend our support to the cause and bring about the change that India badly deserves !

  8. aks says:

    Pointed out by a friend -> “An ace shooter shoots at the Olympics and wins gold medal, Govt. gives 1 Crore. Another shooter dies while shooting terrorists, Govt. gives 5 lakh !”

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