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India: Political will, terrorism and Mumbai

Categories: South Asia, India, Citizen Media, Human Rights, Law, Politics, War & Conflict

Even as the unfolding hostage situation in Mumbai escalates, more reactions on the blogosphere – from India and other places. Desipundit [1] has pulled in links from various blogs – highlighting posts – from experience, to shock, despair and rage. The article on the attacks over at Wikipedia [2] is an excellent source, compiling information from various source. Sonia Faleiro [3] writes about being caught in the middle of it all.

We stepped out of the hotel and bullets rang in the air, people screamed, a tidal wave raced down the street and the security guard said ‘Inside! Madam, Inside NOW!’

We ran inside and I messaged my friend Chandrahas. ‘Encounter. We're staying in for now.’ We thought then it was a gang war, and it would end soon and Rahul and I looked at one another and we thought: This is what we're bringing our children into the world for.

Even then though there was no fear, only worry and stress. This is Bombay we said to ourselves, we fear no gangs, they are part of our bloodstream.

It's certainly not the first terror attack. Over the last year, there have been several cities targeted in various ways. From low intensity bombs, to grenades, and now open firing. Just a little something [4] writes

It’s been numbing to say the least. Every time something like this happens I am seized by different reactions – sadness, anger, frustration, and helplessness to various degrees. And I am sure that must be the case with a majority of people. To be so vulnerable to attacks in the spate of a year is extremely scary a situation. Imagine how powerless our Intelligence must be to not have a CLUE about the blasts / attacks coming to any of the cities this year.

The Mad Momma
expresses anger at the way politicians have handled the issue so far.

Why didn’t the PM get up at midnight itself and give us some words of comfort and confidence? Why do we need a doddering old Shivraj Patil to make crappy, ineffectual statements? Where is the young blood that will lead us? Oh, apparently old man did warn us about terrorism via sea routes two years ago. So why didn’t we take it more seriously? If they had the gall to turn up at the heavily populated Gateway – can you imagine what goes on along our coastline?

Kalachakra [5] raises some similar and pertinent questions about the ineptitude of the government machinery to deal with terror attacks, despite so many cities having been at the receiving end over the last few years.

Why have there been no resignations? Actually as a nation we are so immune to lack of action by the executive that we have stopped demanding that pubic servants accountable for the security and law enforcement take responsibility and resign. Ideally Shivraj Patil should have resigned many months ago, or should have been sacked and replaced with someone with a better track record.

India seems to be an easy target. With much of the anti-terror tactics hopelessly mauled by politicians after vote banks. Lekhni asks [6]

Do the people who carry out these attacks this believe the West will turn a blind eye to terror attacks in India? Or do they want to create the impression that India, and Mumbai in particular, is an unsafe destination? Or is India just an easy target with its crowded public places?

The hostage situation doesn't show any sign of ending soon. More on this as the day goes on.