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Will Indian Politicans Wake Up?

As the war on Bombay completes 24 hours right now (it's around 21.15 hrs right now as I write this), tension is mounting with every passing minute as numerous TV channels are claiming that the encounter and fierce engagement between the terrorists and the National Security Guards (NSG) heats up and hopefully nears to an end. The final assault, it seems, is moments away, as per the intense media coverage. This is not a terrorist attack. This is war. And as usual, it is the common man who is caught in the middle of it. Whether it is because of petty politicians that destroy and disrupt normal life by riots, violence and unnecessary politically-motivated bandhs or because of terrorist attacks, the common man is suffering once again. What are our politicians doing?  

They talk. They condemn the acts. Oppositions blame the present governments and demand resignations while governments tells us that the law will take its own course. What else? They talk about India Shining. They talk about India growing at eight percent and how such a growth has been achieved only by the initiatives taken by this particular party over the years. They talk about "protecting" local language, local culture and jobs for locals. Making the local language compulsory. 

They talk about reservations in prestigious educational institutions and at every place where merit should be given due considerations. They talk about threatening to burn Bombay if any of their leaders is arrested. They pose their ugly and grotesque selves in imposing postures in ugly posters and hoardings across cities pointing in some direction as if they are some tall leaders and are sort of leading the way or something. 

They are not concerned about people's security although they would have us believe otherwise. They are worried about their own security. Even after they order their cadres to run riots, they crave for 'Z'-Plus security. They crave for exemptions from all sorts of procedure, not only for them but also for their uncles, aunties, relatives, sons & daughters, and cronies. So much money is wasted on their security. They protest and agitate. They talk loudly. They make a lot of noise and create nuisance.  Infact, they ARE the nuisance. 

And if all the above is not enough, when it comes to the Pay commission and ensuring that the armed forces and our police are well looked after, they shudder and not give due respect to them. This is biggest irony of nine per cent growth. 

Professional terrorism

The way these terrorists have carried out their operation have done very professionally. A large group of youngsters armed with grenades, AK-47 and such artillery, that were brain-washed by their egg-headed terrorist masters in Islamic countries landed on Bombay shores in south Bombay right in the middle of a highly-densed fishermen village near Cuffe Parade. Then, they systematically dispersed in groups, reached thir targets at Cafe Leopold, Taj and Oberoi hotels. Such was their planning that after the group or bunch of terrorists did their killings at Victoria Station railway station, they allegedly went pass by Cama & Albless hospital (a women and children hospital), terrorised it and then moved towards Metro cinema and carried out random firing there, as per the numerous TV reports. Then, they also had the audacity to highjack a police van in front of everywhere and tried to escape. In the interim, they continued their shootings and also shot at the video-grapher of Times Now TV channel who was filming them.   

Meanwhile, it’s been 24 hours and such is the level of planning of these terrorists that the hostage crisis is still on! Reports around 21.30 hrs (27 Nov) say the death toll to 125. Around 1,000 have been reportedly been injured. No less than the military had to be called to deal with them; the Bombay police could not finish off this exercise. This act has been one of the most calibrated and well orchestrated terror attacks. Bombay has been attacked three times in the past eight years (the car bombs at Gateway of India and Jhaveri Bazaar in 2003, the serial train blasts in July 2006 and this latest one) in addition to the March 1993 serial bomb blasts around Bombay. Each time, the terrorists have targeted areas destined to have maximum impact and each time they have tasted success. 

We lost our brave soldiers. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare was shot dead, alongwith two of his closest aides, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar in retaliatory firing incident near Cama Hospital. These bravehearts gone, it is our loss. May God bless their souls. 

Half-prepared

The unfortunate truth is that our administration was not even half as prepared as the terrorists were, to tackle this situation. When the police couldn't’t much, eventually the NSG had to be brought in. 

Despite 24 hours passing by, we still haven’t been able to get things in control. Why isn’t our police capable of handling such situations and why was the NSG brought it? We have clearly not lessons from the past. Not only Bombay, but several India cities like Delhi, Ahmadabad, Surat, Bangalore, etc have been attacked. Still, these attacks are being carried out, regularly, across India. In the US, after the 9-11 attack, the authorities have successfully prevented any other attack. 

It seems that not much money is spent on upgrading the policing infrastructure. Even the pay commission hasn’t spent as much as it should have to the armed forces. The civil government employees get handsome hikes, but not enough is done for our armed forces. The nation clearly does not respect valor and bravery. Look at state of police housing headquarters in Bombay. The conditions, in which they and their families live, are pathetic. They do not get enough leave. And in such incidents, leave taken by policemen are cancelled and they are called back to duty. 

Not enough money is spent on improving our paramedics. Air ambulances are still many years away, and the injured are shifted to hospitals by road meandering the ever-increasing traffic! Lives are lost on the way to hospitals struggling through traffic. Look at the way the injured are excavated and taken on stretchers in a clumsy and chaotic fashion. Still, you have to give it for the spirit of Bombay public for coming to streets to help victims.   

The police force is not given enough freedom to act. The unfortunate truth is that they have to report to our Home ministers and defense ministers who themselves are not ex-army men unlike their counterparts in the western countries, and the government. If these people are not from armed forces or have not served the professional Indian army in their lifetime, how would they understand their plight? How could they do justice to them? 

Also, is enough being done to train our police force and also look after them? The Bombay police just don’t have to be trained to solve murder or looting cases, anymore. Terrorism is a well-established reality now in Bombay. Are our police and the havaldars patrolling the streets, equipped to handle trained and professional terrorists that are trained in combat and warfare? In western countries, the police force continuously patrol streets to suspect any suspicious movements and do not hesitate in approaching us, albeit politely if we cooperate.

Last note

Our governments are useless and legal system is inadequate to deal with terrorism. Neither have the governments been able to detect such activities in advance and prevent them, but they are also unable to counter them and bring people to justice. Repeated governments after governments have been unable to counter terrorism. When will our politicians wake up?  

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