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The Invisible Enemy

Caution: Controversial & Opinionated

The Mumbai blasts did not surprise anyone in India – one of the reasons why life continues unabated in Mumbai is that the disruption caused has become a course of life for people. India has probably faced the menace of terrorism longest in the world. Since the occupation of PoK in 1948 till date, 60 years have passed and violence has been regular – not to forget the Naxalite and Bodo movements of the north east which re-emerge every now and then along with the constant pain from the western borders.

Below are a few stats on the bombings (For More Details click Here):

  1. Timings of different explosions:
    1. Khar 1824 hours
    2. Bandra 1824 hours
    3. Jogeshwari 1825 hours
    4. Mahim 1826 hours
    5. Mira Road 1829 hours
    6. Matunga 1830 hours
    7. Borivali 1835 hour

    This is the fourth instance of coordinated serial blasts. The first was in June 1985, when some Sikh terrorists placed transistor radio sets filled with small quantities of explosives in different parts of New Delhi. When passersby picked up the radio sets and switched them on, the explosions took place. The casualties were small. The second was the Mumbai blasts of March 12, 1993, and the third the 12 bomb blasts in Coimbatore on February 14, 1998, which killed 33 and injured 153.

  2. This is the third instance of mass casualty terrorism in India. The first was the blowing up of an Air-India aircraft (the Kanishka) on June 23, 1985 by the Babbar Khalsa killing 325. The second was the Mumbai blasts of March 12, 1993 killing 250 in 13 well-coordinated explosions.

  3. This is the second instance of multiple explosions on trains. The first was carried out by the SIMI, on December 6, 1993.

What is worst is that we are today not even sure who our enemy is? Is it ISI? Or is it Al Qaeda/ Taliban? Or is it Lashkar-e-Tayiba / Harkat-ul-Mujahideen or the Pakistani Military? One would be tempted to argue that they are all one and the same – but I disagree – they might be linked but they are definitely not the same. All of them have different motivations for attacking India – the means might be similar. One group wants liberation of Kashmir, another wants to revenge the ’71 war, another wants to revenge Babri Masjid and post-Godhra, yet another dislikes our closeness to the US. Are these enemies or a bunch of grocers selling different grouse’s to disgruntled youth?

They say it’s the Indian Muslims instigated by these elements who ultimately carry out these acts. Why does this not happen in these volumes in the US, or the UK – or Nepal? Why in India? And then – who is our enemy anyway? Are they the outside elements – or our own brethren?

The answer according to me is – NONE! The culprit is a lax government, non-equitable development and flawed policy (or rather no policy) towards terrorism.

Development that makes a few prosperous, while the others are left without opportunity to even earn a decent living. Development that does not create infrastructure and basic amenities for the deprived. Development that provides enough motive for the unemployed youth to develop a perpetual hatred towards his own country. It is this development which sows the seeds of such incidents.

Next comes red-tapism, the babus and their sahibs – and most importantly the neta-sahib. These people who never believe in learning from mistakes – who would refuse to pass tenders unless their pockets are warmed. It is because of these that CCTVs were not deployed in Mumbai locals (a plan existed since more than an year) which would not only have served as a deterrent but would also have aided in finding the culprits. It is these who kept delaying the Mumbai Metro rail project which would have eased the pressure on the current local trains and probably have left people with more time to focus on the passenger who left his bag while getting down from the train.

Finally, the policy! A strike against the US ensured that the whole of Afghanistan reeled under fire for more than a month. Palestine is learning its lessons for kidnapping an Israeli soldier. But you hijack a whole Indian aeroplane and you get Masood Azhar’s release in return. Fear of punitive action keeps all enemies away – which is what is missing in India’s policy against terrorism. We are more interested in plying buses than ensuring the safety our citizen. We are more concerned about some elitist organization’s opinion about our laws (POTA and TADA) than ensuring their implementation. Even mice wont feel afraid to attack a destination as vulnerable as India.

India is like all other countries of the world which face terrorism. In fact, we are one of the mightier, stronger and economically powerful countries who face terrorism. Yet what makes it vulnerable is the inability of the government to learn from its mistakes....

Update July 14th, 2006: CCTV camera being installed at Dadar railway station


  1. Baba,
    even though we may put in some of the tech gagets around ... things wont change to better for the simple reason - our attitude towards self discipline... you might have these CCTVs installed... but you need someone to monitor... big Qs... WHO... and WHAT will he monitor... the kind of traffic mumbai faces (for instance Dadar)... it's virtually impossible to scan and trace... (i am talking about passing of more than 50 ppl per second at a point)

    you are right abt our babuism... this thing has actually lead to destruction or our own resources and ofcourse increase in internal terrorism... and you'll agree that most often these guys (corrupt officials) don't even know what they are doing ... (like using too many netwrok points to lose track of the origin)...

    "The culprit is a lax government, non-equitable development and flawed policy (or rather no policy) towards terrorism."

    we have some policies... it's not policies we require... it's the legistature execution which is required... till there are ppl who are motivated to get into policy making to tune the policies to their favor... execution over all is a failure... (there are too many policies around - but none are effectively executed)...

    lastly... today's govt is not here to make India strong... they are here to make themselves strong ... and they are learning from mistakes... every goofup... they get a new loophole around to tackle newer issues...

  2. Nail on the head! These impotent and corrupt rulers are the reason behind these repeated attacks!


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