Monday, December 15, 2008

A lesson to be learnt from the terror attack

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Its been more than two weeks since the Mumbai carnage shook not only India but the entire world. The aftermath of this incident saw anger and rage against the politicians, ire against the media for sensationalising the event and even call for waging a war
against Pakistan. But the truth is all of us have collectively led the country to this situation. This attack and the incidents that followed it should be a lesson for all of us cutting across political ideologies and professions.

Politicians: One trait which was seen common with our leaders was in making irresponsible statements be it by the secular party, the saffron brigade or the left. They have realised that fooling people works to a certain extent but not always. The rare Parliament session where there was consensus among all the members to fight terror was a testimony to level of public pressure hanging over their heads. Hopefully the leaders will realise that party ideologies and vote bank politics should not be put ahead of issues of national interest.

Media: Indian media has always set high standards for itself but the coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks raised a few questions. Was it necessary to reveal the operational details of our security forces in real time? Was it necessary to give details of where the hostages had taken refuge in the hotels? Screaming journalist trying to force an audio byte from an reluctant rescued hostage was a common sight. True the country needed to be told the story of what was happening in Mumbai. But could there have been a better approach to this entire tragedy.

Bureaucracy: For how long in this country will policies be made by people who are unaware of the ground realities? The ministers have been fired from their posts for inefficiency but what about our babus? Aren't they accountable for the lapse in intelligence gathering? What is the yardstick to judge their performance in the job. How can a person moving in a white car with a red beacon fix the pay of a soldier and understand the hardships of his jobs? These questions need to be answered.

Security Forces: Although they did a nerve reckoning job and even did not step back from sacrificing their lives but there were loopholes which could not prevent the terrorists from reaching Mumbai. The top brass in the security forces have to make sure that our policeman are an even match for the terrorists armed with sophisticated weapons. Various security agencies need to need to shed their ego and share intelligence. Security forces should also ensure that their personnels are physically fit for active service.

People: Last but not the least the most important of the lot the janata janardhan, the aam admi has to do a lot to ensure a better India. There are people who do not have voter ID cards because they cannot stand in a queue but its another story that the same people have all the time to stand outside a store when an iPhone is released. If we do not vote we have no right to blame the political set-up for the next five years. Thugs and goons can become leaders in this country due to our lack of interest in politics. The so called 'educated class' are not ready to take the tough call and lead the country. No wonder America is ahead of us as its Presidents have Harvards and Yales written in their Cvs where as a well educated person in this country feels its taboo to be a politician.

The attacks have taken a toll on us but on a optimistic note lets hope they teach us more and help us talking is country far ahead. We have to live with the politicians in a democracy so lets try to make the system better rather than just showing anger and rage against our leaders.


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