Thursday, November 26, 2009

A year after 26/11 Mumbai terror strike

A year has passed after the cowardly attack by terrorists on  innocent civilians of Mumbai last November.

What is the situation now? Did the terrorists attain their aims? Have the terrorists strengthened or weakened as a result of the Mumbai attack? Are we capable of preventing such terrorist strike in future? Let me try to find some answers.

Did the terrorists attain their aims?

What were their aims?

1.To attain maximum publicity for themselves and their cause.

They got good publicity for themselves but I feel most people are unsure about their cause.

2. To increase the Hindu-Muslim divide in India, there by destabilising it.

They failed in that aim. The terror strike actually reduced the Hindu-Muslim divide in most part of the country. Those who died were of all religion, caste and class and this fact helped in rallying the country together against terrorism All most all Muslim organisations condemned the attacks in unison. Even most [not all] Political leaders behaved maturely, not attempting to fish in troubled waters. A.R.Antulay, the Congress
Minister was one of the regretful exceptions..

3.Induce a Hindu backlash in India which will help them to get more supporters in Kashmir and in Pakistan.

Here again they failed. The secular fabric of India remained more or less intact. The fact that BJP failed to win elections to the Parliament and Maharashtra Assembly is an indicator that the public at large is fed up with hate politics. The good participation of electorate in Kashmir elections is also a pointer in this direction.

The gruesome attack discredited the terrorists through out the World. The Pakistani public also was shocked at the incident. After the attack the support framework for the Islamist terrorists in Pakistan actually weakened.

4. Induce a military response from India against Pakistan, which will help in uniting whole of Pakistan and most Muslim countries against India.

Even though warmongers with vested interests tried their best, the Indian Government behaved maturely. Using diplomatic channels and with help of USA and other countries India was able to make Pakistan start a process of prosecution of the main accused. India might not have had everything the way it wanted, but a war would have meant disaster for the sub-continent.

Have the terrorists strengthened or weakened as a result of the Mumbai attack?

I feel the terror outfits have weakened considerably after the Mumbai attacks. After few months of self-denial Pakistan was forced to admit the role of Pakistani jihadi outfits. Many were arrested and court cases have started. May be the turning point was the attack on Sri Lankan Cricketers in Lahore. The fact that these terrorists are more dangerous to Pakistan than any other country was revealed to the Pakistani public. The Pakistani army started a crack down on terrorists and Taliban. Now many are on the run or killed.

This does not mean the terrorists are completely defeated. They are sure to re-group and try to mount an attack again as they did in Dhaka recently. An India friendly and democratically elected Government in Bangladesh was able to thwart the attack.

Are we capable of preventing such terrorist strike in future?

We have a much stronger security apparatus now to defend our Country. Will that be sufficient to prevent such terrorist strikes? I do not know. A different style of attack may still find us napping. So eternal vigilance is a must.

Prevention of growth of homegrown Islamist terror outfits is also very important.
Measures like

a. Clamping down on all types of communal propaganda both by Sangh Parivar and Islamists

b. Speedy and just handling of all cases of atrocities against minorities

c. Speedy and just trials for all terrorists, whether of Saffron or Islamist variety.

are all important for this.
Government should be able to win the heart and minds all minorities of India including Kashmiris by a just and secular administration.

The present Government has to go a long way to achieve these aims.

As we bow our heads in memory of the dead of 26/11 Mumbai terror strike let us hope that such an attack will never happen again in India or for that matter anywhere else in the World. Let us work together for  attaining such an aim.


  1. Good analysis done doc..

    The first image still freezes your blood doesn't it? And at this point of time how do you feel the VIP treatment meted out to the only person we managed to get into our hands? Ajamal Kasab is still shuttling around...

  2. Layman, yes let us hope this will not be repeated and may be we can work for it by being vigilant against divisive forces both with out and with in.

  3. scorpiogenius, thank you.

    My feeling is our handling of Kasab,the terrorist according to the laws of the lands raised India's stature as a democratic law abiding country of the World.

  4. Charakan, I am so glad to read something positive. I too have been positive and have been distressed at the negativity around. I think there is both good and bad one year after, and it is not a good sign if people are seeing only the bad.

  5. Yes Nita, I see more good than bad. I feel it is the sensation seeking mass media that is spreading the gloom.

  6. One cannot fight terrorism,unless the basic cause is dealt with.Behind all the facades,there is religious extremism.You cant fight an enemy who doesnt fear death.Islamic terrorists embrace death.It is just the gateway for them to another world of milk and honey.They are fighting a war.No one wants to talk about it in the open.Could you believe that in a place like Kerala,there are wings of these groups operating in full swing?It is the same at every other place,just waiting for their orders.
    Everyone knows it is difficult to fight suicide fighters.After all,in every war we have fought,we only claimed victories.No one counted how slow and weak our responses were.Our politicians are afraid of displeasing communities as they are vote banks.Dont be misled by the sights you see in the media.Just because Shah Ru Khan or some one else comes and talks in a meeting, doesnt mean anything.They are all orchestrated meets and nothing more.

  7. Antony, Welcome to my blog.
    Yes religious extremism of all shades are primarily responsible for terrorism. There may be a real or perceived injustice behind the mobilisation of common ppl behind these extremist movements.
    A secular and just Government and society is the need of the hour. That will prevent ppl becoming followers of such movements.

  8. Loved this post Charakan!!!! I agree with Nita- it's a wonderful, positive post.

    I totally agree with all your points. War mongers and those who create communal hatred should learn that this country is tired of hate politics - and that basically we are all a secular and peace loving people.

  9. IHM,
    Thank you. Yes there are positives that we should highlight post 26/11. Saying that everything is the same is like deliberately closing your eyes to see the imagined darkness.

  10. A very hopeful take and it sure does make one look at the positive side..

    nd yes the country has not faced another attack..

    but prolonging Kasab's trial is only going to test the patience and needs to be avoided..please dont forget that we had to give up many such terrorists years back and they continue to be at the helm of all these terrible acts...

    and the timing of this report worries me..

    Report: 2,600 bodies found in Kashmir graves

  11. Happy Kitten, Most of the aims of the terrorists were not fulfilled. We learned many things from that cowardly terror attack. So there are many positives. Things need to be better still and we all have to work together for that.

    Was there any deliberate prolongation of Kasab's trial? Shiv sena helped prolonging by attacking and threatening lawyers who were ready to defend Kasab. The Defense attorney used the usual delaying tactics and he went too far and is out of the case now.
    Kasab has already been written off as dead by LeT. He is no use for them alive as he is just a suicide attacker. They may try to kill him,but will never try to rescue him. So there will never be a 'Kandhahar' for Kasab. Anyway India's civil society has become stronger now and [hopefully] will never think about exchanging terrorists for hostages. On the other hand, Kasab a Pakistani terrorist, alive and facing trial in Mumbai is a propaganda tool for Indian Government Internationally.

    Situation in Kashmir was bad but is now getting much better. People there are fed up with militants and Pakistan and there are few takers for union with Taliban- bombs-exploding-Pakistan.

  12. nd how about the cost for maintaining Kasab and his trial? if the next defense lawyer is also going to delay the proceedings will we ever see an end to this case? Does India really need such an expensive tool for propaganda? nd should one forget the pain that this country is giving to those who was closely affected in this attack? was not the attack itself more than enough?

    if not punishing Afzal aided the likes of Modi and his senas, wont Kasab be yet another timely tool too?

    nd to find elements in a place like Kerala which should have no reason/excuse for home grown terrorists only shows how lax our authorities were..nd this is not a recent finding... we just closed our eyes and pretended that it never existed...

    in spite, let me hope that some serious lessons have been learnt and that we shall see no more such attacks..nd no more Afzals and Kasab's..

  13. Happy kitten, I can understand your feelings. Look at it like this.
    Any criminal drains the exchequer whether he is a terrorist or just an ordinary robber.Kasab is an important criminal and so drains more funds. Such expenditures are necessary in a good legal system.
    Delay tactics by defense lawyers as per the regulations of the courts are inevitable in a society based on the principle of justice for all. But it will not go on for ever.
    What is your suggestion as an alternative to what was done in Kasab's case ? Hanging him in public without a trial [or without a defense lawyer]at the Gateway of India?
    Should we sacrifice the principles on which modern India was built and go back to laws of Jungle Raj for killing a terrorist?
    Now about Afzal Guru. Many in India and abroad including legal luminaries and human rights activists believe that his trial was a mis-trial and there was no definite evidence to conclusively prove his guilt. The Govt is most probably delaying the decision because of this.
    Did the authorities closed their eyes and pretended jihadists never existed in Kerala? Yes, I think so. Now the lessons must be learned.

  14. Doc.. sorry if I am wasting your time by dragging this discussion..but even I am trying to seek answers and you have given me much...thank you..

    As for your question on Kazab's hanging, if this was put up for a vote I am sure millions of Indians would say yes.. but then as you said we live in a democratic set up.. yet I am sure within this one year we could have revised our laws in a way Kazabs can be punished in a shorter time. Did not the whole world watch it? Was there not enough and more evidence?

    If Americans (another greater democracy) could take out their frustrations after Sept 11 by bombing a country that they chose, we Indians yet again chose to be patient... I know we dont have the same resources and war is not the answer but the country needs to heal it's wounds and patience may run out..

  15. Happy kitten, A debate is always welcome.
    Yes our legal system needs lot of reforms and especially it need to speed up. Actually I am more worried abt the fact that instigators of communal riots are going scot free while many innocents are jailed just because of their names.
    In Kasab's case a special court was appointed just for prosecuting him. It is not a simple murder case as hundreds of witnesses are involved and because of International attention.So it will take time and we need to be more patient.
    Draconian anti terror laws are always used against innocents by the authorities for vested interests.Such injustice will create more terrorists.
    Americans lost about 1000 soldiers and billions of dollars in Afghanistan and is still fighting. Taliban is still going strong.Is there any reduction in threat to USA? I do not think so. It is difficult to fight and win over religious extremism in the battle field.


Comments are welcome especially if you do not think like me. But anonymous comments behind masks and those not relevant to the post are not encouraged.