Friday, November 28, 2008

Calling them cowards doesn't make you brave, Mister Minister!

We have been tested again and once again we have been found wanting. Wednesday night left us in tatters, almost naked in front of the world community. Two dozen boys defeated a country. Yes, politicians have called them cowards but let us not fool ourselves. Even if these guys are out of their minds and determined to commit suicide, the bitter truth is they succeeded in doing what they wanted to do and our security apparatus failed in what they ought to do. Wednesday night was shameful for us as inefficient, unfit and ill-equipped policemen fumbled as the terrorists sprayed bullets and walked the streets of Mumbai, from a railway station to a hospital, from a pub to the Taj Mahal Hotel. Of course, some brave police officers took them head on and made the supreme sacrifice but it also betrayed their level of sophistication in handling such situations.

Hours after the first burst rained out from their Kalashnikovs, one could see people carrying the injured with hands. Our disaster management system could fetch some stretchers to the spot. The hotel staff seemed more efficient in handling the situation that the police commissioner of India's shiniest metropolis. The excuse of intelligence failure works in case of timed bomb blasts. November 26 will go down in history as a direct assault on our resolve, with bullets and grenades. This is unprecedented.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad, the nomenclature explains it all, was busy unravelling the Pragya Thakur network. Just a few hours before he was killed on Wednesday night, ATC chief Hemant Karkare had told the press that 90 per cent of his resources are chasing the Malegaon case for over a month.His organisation did not have the foggiest that terror would paddle its way to the Gateway of India on a raft. Intelligence has become an oxymoron, thanks to the moronic ways leads are passed and pursued.

The home minister somnambulates to the waiting TV cameras at 2.30 in the morning but says few meaningful words. His soporific demeanour signals the inherent weakness of our system. Will we ever wake up? When will the policeman in megapolises, like Delhi and Mumbai, stop looking like mofussil havildar fiddling with his Raj-era .303? When will our ministers in charge understand the urgency to reassure a billion people by not appearing bored with blasts? These are clich├ęd questions but then so are talks about resilience; the spirit of Mumbai; terrorists are cowards; this is a conspiracy; and dastardly acts of violence against innocents. This Wednesday-Thursday India cried tears of blood. And Shivraj Patil was no comic relief, even if the country laughed at 2.30 am.


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Anonymous said...

yeah. your favourite home minister has resigned. any message for the new incumbent? ;-P

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