The siege of Mumbai being over, it’s a time for all of us to reflect and introspect. What happened in Mumbai was a spectacle, if I can call it that, of a kind that this country had never witnessed before. I hope and sincerely pray that there is never a repeat of this kind of massacre, not only in this country, but anywhere in the world. The outrage of the people of India, is for all to see on TV channels.
As always, this incident will inevitably be followed by the following, (in fact some of the usual fallouts have already begun) :-
· Tightening of security all across the country in the aftermath of the strike (a case of shutting the stable doors after the horse has bolted).
· Blaming the terrorist strike to Pakistan.
· Numerous enquiry / study commissions, which will take an eternity to come out with their findings / recommendations, by when the circumstances in the country might have changed considerably.
· Political blame game.
· Blaming the terror strike to Intelligence failure.
· A few other half measures by government agencies like creation of certain new organisations to combat terror.
· Temporary rise of patriotic fervour in the general populace, including on this occasion accolades for security forces (NSG, Armed Forces and maybe even Police).
· The resilient return to normalcy………… till the next time.
Is there any hope whatsoever, that things may be different this time round, given the following:-
· unprecedented ferocity of the terrorist strike per se.
· public outrage, highlighted by the media.
· The targeting of upper strata of society on this occasion, as opposed to the middle and lower classes on previous ones.
· targeting of a large number of foreigners including Israelis and US nationals.
· our notorious western neighbour having its back to the wall, facing unprecedented pressure from the international community to clean up its act.
I hope and pray things are different. However, the thought comes naturally to me, "Will it ever change, or will our inept, corrupt, self serving, irresponsible and shameless politicians continue with their own private agenda while the Jehadis prepare for the next attack."
The signs so far are encouraging. What with rolling of heads of some of our top politicians and announcement of certain measures by the Prime Minister. But unfortunately, all of this may not be happening as a result of government's sincere efforts to make amends for their past inadequacies. It probably is more because, post this ghastly incident, there is hardly any time for damage control before the country goes to polls. While the world over, measures have been taken by countries who have faced the brunt of terror, our country is being spoken of as a soft target for Jehadists. In the words of Thomas Friedman
"Muslim jihadists — those brave warriors who specialize in killing women and children and defenceless tourists — have turned their attention to softer targets like India. Just as they tried to stoke a Shiite-Sunni civil war in Iraq, and failed, they are now trying to stoke a Hindu-Muslim civil war in India".
About time we woke up from our long slumber.
God Bless India. Jai Hind