Sunday, July 27, 2008

Terror attacks in our cities

We Indians are not new to terror attacks. It has become a part of our life. True, the terrorist has the choice of choosing its target. The police and the intelligence agencies have a tough job on their hands, especially when our own countrymen and women have joined forces with the foreign enemy. It could be understood if a few of the 16 bombs had gone undetected and the rest had been defused, but the fact that all of them went off killing and maiming members of our society, shows that our intelligence and police machinery is seriously in need of an overhaul. The fact that our Home Minister says that a plan is being worked out shows the dismal state of affairs. Now he is planning to make a plan! Tell that to the dead and the maimed and their relatives!

There is no use waiting for the government to wake up. Now we must wake up. We have to become proactive, alert and report any suspicious activity or person around us. We must report even if the suspicious person is our family member. We cannot be sitting ducks for the terrorists. We must co-operate with the skeletal police force that is at the disposal of the public.( with a large force deployed to safeguard our ministers and politicians, the vacancies not being filled and the police being paid peanuts to do one the most crucial and difficult tasks in our society.) The leaders of our society must talk to the police and inquire what help do they expect from the general public. Maybe, it is time we formed vigilance committees in each neighbourhood. But in that case we cannot afford to fall into the trap of taking law into our own hands. That is a trap which we can easily fall into and must guard against.

It is very easy to blame a particular group or community for all our troubles. There might be overwhelming evidence of the participation of a particular community in these terror attacks. Before doing that we must ask ourselves the all important question, ’what is the aim of these attacks? Is it to kill just a few hundred people here and there in our country? Can they destroy us in that manner? Can they really destroy our economy by damaging a few structures?’ The answer is a resounding no. The aim of these strikes is not just killing a few hundred people, the aim is to make us get angry and suspicious of a community and induce a backlash in the form of riots. That is the surest way of inducting new recruits to the terror organizations. The aim is to make us and the world lose faith in our booming economy. We must fight terrorism and must defeat the nefarious aim of the terrorists, the aim of dividing our people. Nothing must ever be allowed to divide our society and country.

Once we start dividing ourselves there is no end to divisions. We can go on dividing and subdividing ourselves, in terms of religion, sects, sub-sects, castes, sub-castes, class, language, state, district and so on. If we want to defeat terrorism, we cannot afford to serve their purpose and hand them over disgruntled members of our society on a platter. Yes, we must show the callous government that our life is not cheap by showing what we think of them at the time of casting our ballot. That is the only language the politicians understand. Let us never vote on the basis of caste and religion but only on the basis of performance.

Mired Mirage