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Need of an open frame of mind

New Delhi, Mon, 01 Dec 2008 Vikash Ranjan

The incident is different. The reaction of people is different. And to some extent government too seems serious this time. Terror strike is not unfamiliar to India, but the attack on Mumbai was completely different from the past — more shocking, more exasperating and more poignant.

Unlike other terror incidents incurring numerous death toll so far, a handful of commando-trained terrorists fully armed with deadly weapons— AK 47, AK 57, and even grenades—not only played the horrendous act continuously for three days killing about 183 innocent people but also brought India’s financial capital and the country to a standstill.

In contrast to the earlier attacks done so far by the land route, for the first time terrorists opted for the sea route. The open and vast coastal region of India has offered terrorists a new route, and perhaps the safest one, if constant and tight vigil on the entire sea route to India is not kept.

The assailants showed this time the deadly face of terror. Though this was the first of this kind of unprecedented monstrous terror attack, but was a signal that more devastating could be a near probability, unless or until government relinquish its lacklustre handling of terrorism.

This time, however, government seems a bit serious which is quite evident from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s pressing remark in a form of warning to Pakistan, in which he said: “there would be consequence if they did not take steps to stop terror attacks launched from their territory.”

And after that, there was stepping down of indolent Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on the ground of moral responsibility followed by chair-loving another irresponsible politician, Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister and state home minister R R Patil, who uttered a filthy statement, certainly wasn’t merely a slip of tongue, by dubbing Mumbai terror incident as “small incidents”. This was in no way warranted from the responsible home minister.

As if this was not enough, another reckless public show came from the state Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh himself when he took with his protocol team the actor son Ritesh Deshmukh and the Bollywood director Ram Gopal Verma while visiting the devastated Taj Hotel, as they had gone to a picnic spot.

Fed up of these selfish politicians, people this time are in no mood to forgive them and forget the incident so easily. There is anger and resentment boiling over among people against those political classes and ready to burst anytime, which went off Sunday when the slain NSG commando Major Sandeep UnniKrishnan’s father literally shooed away Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan. None of the Kerala ministers even talked the slain commando’s family for three days and when the CM facing criticism for delay in offering condolences to the bereaved family, tried to make up by calling on the Unnnikrishanan’s family, had to face the rage.

This was the first instance; multitude of such acts could be the near possibility if the politicians do not come over the self-centred agendas and issues.

Although the resignation of these politicians and also those directly or indirectly accountable for the incident was essential, it is not a reasonable solution of this problem. Not only the government but the whole political spectrum should come up with an open frame of mind, ready to unite in war against terrorism and to unanimously agree on a slew of measures, comprising setting up of a Federal Investigating Agency, tough National Security Act, and to strengthen and streamlining anti-terrorist forces. And all the leaders indulge in finding their political benefits should take an oath not to play ‘petty and mean’ politics on any issue of national security.

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