Wednesday, December 03, 2008

From the Taj Hotel to the Taj Mahal

Last week, terrorists virtually destroyed the Taj Mahal Hotel, an iconic structure and the pride of Mumbai. They simply came by boats up to nearby Cuffe Parade area and walked in..

This time it was the Taj Mahal Hotel. I cannot think of a good reason why not the Taj Mahal next time? Or India's nuclear installations or the Army Headquarters (If they could attack the 'Pentagon' seven years ago, well - India's is streets behind in terms of its security arrangements.

India is still reeling under the shock and anger in the aftermath of the disaster that struck Mumbai last week. The Government in power at the Center and in Maharashtra are the scapegoats.

And while the criticism and ridicule aimed at those individuals who opened their mouth and put their foot in it, is justified, wishing away politicians and politics in general is certainly not the quickest way to prevent India from remaining a 'soft terrorist target' in the future. Rather, the course of action that India must focus on should consist of the following:

1.Strike while the iron is hot - Not the military option but the diplomatic one. Today, all the powers to be - USA , UK, Australia have woken up to India's long lasting tryst with terrorism. 
Use this support to bring Pakistan on the table. And ask them to "walk the talk". If they say they want to help, tell them for instance to ensure all LeT and other terrorists training camps and headquarters are searched, sought and destroyed in a swift focused internal military action, within 10 days.
Seal all their borders too. If India's borders are porous, so are Pakistan's. If 10 terrorists carrying the burden of huge amounts of arsenal can take a boat from Karachi harbour in an east bound direction, something must be amiss. 

2. Learn - Disband all the so called 'Intelligence Agencies' on whom we have depended wholly and solely, to provide vital intelligence inputs to the security agencies. They have failed us every time.
The time has now come to first 'unlearn' everything we know in the name of intelligence gathering and sharing. Then approach Israel, US and the like and request them to teach and train us on the subjects of intelligence and anti- terrorists warfare.

Seven critical days have passed. The common  Indian has focused on venting his or her anger at politicians, and the anti-Neta 'movement' has gained some momentum. However in terms of concrete action, not much has changed in India that can provide a sense of comfort and security to the common citizen that  such a terrorist attack in the future is less likely.   

1 comment:

  1. Did you hear Pranab Mukherjee's interview yesterday? He did mention that some concrete measures are being taken by the government this time around. (fortunately). He also stated that the actions taken will be visible...

    I agree with you that nothing is going to come out of all the 'politician bashing' that is going on currently. The anger and rage simmering in the people needs to be exploited constructively...the people's movement needs to force the government to revamp the complete security structure...and somehow I believe that this time around it will happen.

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