It is five days since the cowardly triple terrorist attacks that killed 19 and left about 140 injured, and the Indian security agencies are completely at sea with no inkling to the perpetrators of the ghastly crime. Yet our mind goes, “So what else is new?”
The reactions of our eminent political leaders has only been disastrous (to be polite), with the honourable Home Minister adamantly announcing that “there was no intelligence failure” and “intelligence is being collected every hour through the year”. Just as one tried in vain to put a finger to the intelligence that Mr Chidambaram was alluding to, the Youth & Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi threw out admirable statistics: “More than 99 per cent of terrorist attacks have been stopped before they occurred”.
There ought not be any hoopla when “less than one per cent of terrorist attacks” has seeped through some unseen chinks in our shining armour, and our government simply can’t understand this unnecessary reaction. There was a time not so far back when it was enough to suggest to the people–with intelligent wordplay–that over 297 terrorist attacks have been successfully foiled before they occurred. Clearly, it is the people that are to blame here: they are just not what they used to be.
Ask where that statistics (which has since put a lot of research agencies to new work) came from, and the self-appointed Congress Man Friday, Digvijay Singh will jump to claim that to question Rahul’s word is preposterous and this government has been the best there has ever been: raising the bar on everything, and anything seemingly wrong is only a plot by the opposition and the communal forces.
To those in our government it is increasingly evident that the people of the country have found a new national pastime – to blame the government for all debacles and fiascos that affect them. Some in the government may indeed be asking what Sharad Pawar (the Minister of Cricket & Propaganda) is doing. Isn’t there a cricket match involving Team India somewhere in the world this week?
Meanwhile, Mumbai got back on its feet the very next day, powered by the mysterious and all-powerful “Mumbai Resilience” – a phenomenon that excites our media more than any other. In the light of the hapless security agencies and the inept governance, one could arguably find another word to describe this resilience: helplessness, and a need to earn a living.
As the media goes gung ho about the Spirit of Mumbai, one tries to be content in their asking some right questions: what went wrong, and how can we do better. Meanwhile, we collectively hope that Mumbai does not have to bear the brunt of yet another attack. Not again.
(This appeared as a guest article in Yahoo! India – The Water Cooler on July18, 2011.)