So much have been shown on the TV and written in newspapers and blogs about the cowardly attack by Jihadi terrorists on major landmarks of Mumbai in the last week of November 2008.
The major corporate 'free' TV channels and bloggers [mainly from urban India] has proclaimed loud the name of the major culprit of this terror attack, The 'POLITICIAN'.
I am confused. Let me try myself to get out of this confusion by asking myself some simple questions and trying to answer it.
1.Who actually carried out the Mumbai terror attack?
A. About 10 men most probably coming from Karachi via sea armed with modern weapons and ammunition and a will to kill innocents with impunity.
2. Which organisation is behind this attack?
A. Most probably a Jehadi terror organisation rooted in Pakistan.Whether it is LeT or someone else is irrelevant to this discussion.
3.Why this organisation [or other such terror groups] is carrying out such cowardly acts?
A. The primary proclaimed aim of terror organisations like Lashkar-e Taiba is to integrate 'Muslim' Kashmir with Pakistan. It also aims to introduce fundamental Islamic rule in whole of South Asia. It considers the Indian State, Israel and other Western countries to be enemies of Islam.By attacking high profile targets where Westerners are around[5 star Hotels] and targets where they can get maximum innocent victims like Railway Station and Shopping Malls they believe that they will
a) Get maximum publicity for their cause
b) be able to increase the Hindu Muslim divide in India,there by destabilising it
c)induce a Hindu backlash in India which will help them to get more supporters in Kashmir and in Pakistan[where they don't have much public support,but only the support of ISI]
d) induce a military response from India against Pakistan which will help in uniting whole of Pakistan and most Muslim countries against India
e) get further funding from those who are happy seeing attacks against Israel,US and India
4. From where do such Terror outfits get money,logistic and moral support for its Terror activities?
A.USA first funded such Terror outfits during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan to fight along with Taliban against Russians.US funding was through Pakistan Army's Intelligence wing the ISI.But Pakistan's ISI made it sure that these organisation fight for the 'Kashmir liberation' also.Thus the logistic support was given both overtly and covertly by Pakistan Army.
The moral and monetary support for terror come from Muslims all over the world.They spread the real and unreal stories of atrocities against Muslims in Kashmir and other parts of India to get donations.Donations are also obtained under the cover of charity from unsuspecting Muslims. They brain wash their recruits to make them willing for fidayeen attacks by showing them real and/or fake evidence of State and Saffron attacks against Indian Muslims. Lately organisations like LeT is also turning in to a pan-Islamic Jihadi group, supporting the so called 'suppressed Muslims all over the World.
5.What is the level of support such terror groups have among ordinary Muslims?
A. Most Muslims do not support such terror groups working in the name of Islam.This is true in almost all parts of the World.
6. Could we have prevented Mumbai Attack?
A. It is said that there were some information with Indian and American intelligence agencies about an impending attack.But such claims always surface after a big terror strike as in case of 9/11 and need not be taken too seriously. Most Intelligence agencies get tons of information of which more than 90 percent will be false. Anyway they conveyed the same to security agencies about a possible attack on 5 star Hotels.The ATS it seems conveyed the message to Hotel authorities to beef up their security as admitted by Ratan Tata. But the overall response by Police and Hotel authorities proved to be grossly inadequate.
7. What can we do to prevent further Terror attacks?
A.Terrorism have to be fought both ideologically and Physically.
Physical fight against terrorism includes
a)modernising and revamping our Security forces and Intelligence agencies,
b) Tight security at our borders against attack from Air, Land and Sea.
c) Diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to make ISI stop funding and training the terrorists.
d) Diplomatic pressure on US and friendly Islamic countries to make Pakistan clamp down on the terror outfits working there.
e) Being tough on all home grown jihadi elements so that they wont raise their heads.
f) Clamp down on all types of communal propaganda by both Sangh Parivar and Muslim fundamentalists
g) Speedy and just handling of all cases of atrocities against minorities
h) Utmost care to see no innocent Muslim is victimised in our War against terror.
i) Making sure that there wont be any Saffron or State sponsored terrorism against minorities
Ideological fight against Terrorism include
a) Active fight against all kinds of discrimination against Muslims in our mind,our Public space,Work space,homes etc etc.
b)Active discouragement of religion and Caste bank politics.People first should resolve not to vote on the basis of religion or caste.
c) Making stricter laws so that religious symbols or places are not used for political purposes.
d)Active encouragement of non-separatist political leaders of Kashmir.Government and the people should try to win the heart and mind of Kashmiris by good will measures and not by heavy security presence.
e)Promote rapid development in Kashmir so that employment opportunities increase considerably
f)Promote subsidised school education to all People so that illiteracy is wiped out in India
g) Ensuring that no sections of population or regions are left out in the economic growth of India.
These are some measures which may help.The chance of another such attack will recede if we could implement all these proposals.
It is not easy but if there is a collective will we may be able to achieve some of these.
Still there is no 100 percent guarantee that there wont be any terror attack.So be prepared.
8.Why Politicians are blamed for Mumbai Attacks?
A.Going through the blogs and citizens and reporters comments in the English TV Channels the focus of blame is on Pakistan and Indian Politicians.Pakistan we can understand,but why Indian politician?
Politicians are blamed because they failed to assure security to ordinary citizens of India.
Let me examine this issue in detail.
There has been a number of terrorist attacks in our Country. Two of our Prime ministers were assassinated by terrorist strikes,one by Sikh terrorists and other by LTTE.The seat of Political Power of India,the abode of Politicians,our Parliament were also attacked. This shows that many a time Indian State were not able to provide security even to its political leaders or its Parliament.This also shows that mere physical measures are not enough to prevent terrorism.
Yes I agree that our security forces have to be modernised and revamped.Many such measures have been taken over last 2 decades, but they are clearly not enough.
It is not only our security that is lacking in our country.We lack in good Roads,affordable good quality education and health care,affordable housing, safe drinking water etc etc. More children are killed everyday from preventable diseases in our villages than those killed by terrorists in all the terror attacks put together.
9/11 attack on World Trade Centre in US was a bigger and more terrible attack than Mumbai Attacks.It revealed a bigger lapse in security than our 26/11. Still I don't remember US politicians being attacked like this. Now I will come to my last question.
9.9/11 was never repeated in USA.But we are having repeated terror attacks. Why?
A. Simple answer will be USA is not India. We are a thickly populated poor,mulit lingual,multi religious country bordered by hostile neighbours.We also have Sangh Parivar, an aggressive communal movement of majority community with a long history of atrocities against minorities. We also now have a home grown Islamic Jihadi movement getting active support from outside.Considering all this our track record against terrorism is not bad.
In conclusion let me say that I am fairly satisfied with the way our Political leaders, both in the ruling Party and the Opposition handled this unprecedented situation after the Mumbai attack. As the new Home minister pointed out there has been lapses in security.The lapses according to him will be rectified soon.Let us believe him.Our role as a citizen in the ideological battle against terrorism is most important.Let us fulfill our role so that our children may be able to live in a terror free India.