Thursday, 27 November 2008

When will We Ever Learn?

There's been yet another terrorist attack in Mumbai, led by yet another outfit calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen. This is very different from the standard bombs in rubbish bins modus operandi and its target are British and American passport holders.

My question is: Why hasn't the Indian government woken up, even after the wake-up calls of the Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi blasts earlier this year, not to speak of the Hyderabad blast of last year? Why don't we have a suitable intelligence apparatus in place? We need good, credible intelligence, which is based on facts and reasoning, not just the opinions of yes-men and time servers. We have had enough of people who will do and say anything to keep their political bosses happy.

As for our politicians, when will these worthies wake up? When the entire nation is up in smoke? They don't care about the number of people killed, not just in terrorist attacks, but in traffic accidents that could have been avoided. Can they at least work at bringing our police and fire services up to a level so that the army does not have to be called in at every instance? This way, the army is used most often to quell civil emergencies that the police and fire services should be able to handle. Our policemen and firemen need world-class equipment and training, and they should enjoy a standard of life that would attract well-educated and intelligent people to the service, not just the dregs of society, who treat a government job as an excuse for collecting bribes.

I feel the inaction of our political class--or their tendency to stand up for one Indian community against another--will lead to a situation very similar to that in the Balkans. We may not have broken up in 1948, but it could yet happen, if our political class does not wake up to its responsibilities and work in the national interest, not just in permanent election mode.

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