Monday, December 01, 2008

Mumbai Part IV (Monday Dec. 1, 2008)

Exactly seven years ago, India witnessed an even more audacious and 'daredevilish' attack on herself when Pakistan backed terrorists entered the Parliament House with the intention to eliminate most of the elected representatives from different parts of the Country, when the Lok Sabha was in session. They partly succeeded, in that they broke into the security cordon of what could arguably be defined as the most 'secure' establishment of the Country, took everyone by complete surprise and proceeded to create enough mayhem that ended in bloodshed and loss of many innocent lives including those of security personnel who made the supreme sacrifice in an attempt to foil the evil designs of the perpetrators.
Did the terrorists succeed in their objective? No and yes. No, because they were all shot dead before they could actually harm the VIP parliamentarians attending the Lok Sabha session. And yes, they did succeed because they displayed to India their grit and suicidal determination, and also proved to the Country how vulnerable it was.

The outcome? Some protests here and there, an immediate troops build up along the borders by both Pakistan and India. It was a matter of time before the tension along the borders was diffused, and in a little more time the entire incident was forgotten.

Amazing does it seem now that an incident having more far reaching implications and sending a far more serious message across the length and breadth of India as well as the Globe, compared to the recent attacks on the two 5 star Hotels in Mumbai (with the definite exception that many more innocent lives were lost in the latter case), did not invite the kind of protests and wrath of the common man, as happened recently.

Why didn't we? Perhaps because that incident was Delhi - a supposedly less sensitive and human city compared to Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata? Or because to those living in the Western and Southern parts of India, the Lok Sabha and the Central Government is something very alien?
Or, the realization that it was the lives of hundreds of 'Netas' in grave danger and not that of the common citizen. 

Whatever the case may be, it seems strange that the attack on the Parliament - probably a very challenging target to a terrorist outfit, did not shake us

Whatever the reason, had the same kind of response  been displayed then by the common man in India, it is possible that the Country could have gone in for some course correction at that stage and today, could have been better organized and equipped to prevent or handle a crisis of the kind witnessed recently.

The fact remains - we Indians chose to  ignore history were condemned to repeat it.


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