I was planning to move to WordPress today. But, there seems to be a problem with the move. I still haven’t figured out how to move without damaging the blog. But, all these troubles suddenly seem trivial. I sat glued to television for almost 2 hours this morning. I couldn’t react. I was shocked beyond measure. A bomb blast is one thing. It has happened before, and will continue to happen for many years to come. But, the audacity with which terrorists stormed the Taj and Trident, is too horrifying to analyse. It has taken me nearly six hours to come to terms with the tragedy, and gather my thoughts to actually write about it. I am still not being very coherent. I am sitting in far-off Chennai, but you never know. I could be next on their radar. Or the people I love and cherish. Suddenly, the world seems a lot more unsafe than it was yesterday.
But, taking a step back from the human tragedy that is playing out all around us, we must ask the all-important question, "Is the Indian State soft on terror?" I am not an expert. I have no idea what kind of intelligence the government had. But, I do wonder how 20 terrorists managed to sneak into Mumbai, armed with AK-47 assault rifles and grenades, by sea, without being detected. Are our coastlines that porous? I understand that the coast can never be hermetically sealed. Fishing trawlers, merchant vehicles and catamarans will continue to ply, and for entirely innocent purposes. But, the terrorists used rubberised boats to get into Mumbai. It’s too scary to contemplate what this means to other, not-so-safe locations along the coast.
Amidst all this drama, the Prime Minister has not uttered a single word. We hear he has called for an emergency meeting. Good. But, is it not his responsibility, as the Head of the Government to reassure his people that his government will act? I don’t know about protocol, but the PMO claims it will be inappropriate for the PM to address the nation while military operations are still on. I just do not get it. Why? Why is it not appropriate for the elected representative of the nation to talk to those who elected him? We are not asking him for information on the operations. We are simply asking for a reassurance that the state will not hesitate to act. Is it too much to ask?
I have refrained from criticising the government so far. I have tried my best, despite my dislike for the Gandhi family, to give the government the benefit of doubt. But now, I am not so sure. They are keeping a convicted terrorist alive and politicking. Politicians are busy playing the blame game. They are delaying Afzal Guru’s execution for fear of hurting minority sentiments. Do we really think our country’s Muslims are pro-Guru? I seriously doubt it. What are they waiting for? For another attack on Parliament? Or one on 10, Janpath maybe? It is time for the government to act. Before it is too late.