Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Clever Congress

“I am afraid now the war is raging inside my house and not on the country’s borders. My PM is telling me not to be afraid and to keep calm and maintain peace and harmony. He is not angry and his body language conveyed that everything is under control. But my PM has Z Plus security which is perhaps why he is not agitated. I am an ordinary citizen. How can I remain calm when my own house is on fire?” – An anguished Indian, Naresh Kumar Jain’s letter to the PM published in “The Hindu”

As Mumbai slowly limps back to normal after its worst tryst with Islamic terror which almost held the entire city to ransom, it is high time we ask the right questions, and seek the right answers. But that does not seem to be happening, instead the stale ‘secular’ shibboleths is what rents the air – ‘Terror has no religion’, ‘opposition (BJP) is deriving political mileage’, ‘Shivraj Patil was incompetent’, ‘Pakistan is the mastermind and must be taught a lesson’, ‘POTA is no solution’, ‘we are a soft state’, ‘all governments/politicians are the same’, ‘intelligence needs to be beefed up’, etc. There is some truth in all these allegations, observations and speculations, but frankly repeating inane innuendoes reflect the precise lack of critical thinking faculties of its proponents. For was not this inhuman act of mayhem mediated by the militant ideology of Islam, and directed exactly against the heart of Hindu India especially in the manner in which the terrorists segregated their victims on religious lines? Was not Shivraj Patil after being shown the door by the electorate in the 2004 LS elections, personally handpicked by Sonia Gandhi as home minister because of his exceptional sycophancy to the Nehru-Gandhi family? Despite repeated terror strikes, did not Patil concede that he enjoys his office out of Madame’s generosity, perfectly nonchalant to the absence of the people’s faith in his abilities? Did he not toe the specious UPA line that terror was lesser under UPA regime, just days before the attack?2 All terror roads might lead to Pakistan, but did not Manmohan Singh himself declare ever since the Delhi blasts of 2005 that he will not allow the Indo-Pak peace process to be derailed, even when the perfidious dictator in General Pervez Musharraf was in charge?

Did not Manmohan Singh take the unprecedented step of declaring South Asia including Pakistan to be a common victim of terror3, conveniently ignoring that Pakistan was grappling with the fidayeen Frankenstein it had created, which was no longer in its control? It is far fetched to assume that Zardari, a rare democratically elected PM would have actually masterminded the act with his own house in turmoil? Yet, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee’s undiplomatic, unprofessional and vituperative posturing proved more than counterproductive as Pakistan after its initial acceptance now refuses to co-operate in the probe.

This colossal and systemic intelligence failure is suspected by several senior journalists including Swapan Dasgupta to be because 90% of the ATS’s energies were being exhausted in the Malegaon case4 probably under political pressure by the Congress to nail Hindu suspects as soon as possible while attracting maximum TV coverage5 to appease the seething Muslim sentiments after the Batla House encounter. 6

Who will answer, why the police and media were suspecting gang-fights, more than 2 hours after the terrorists had struck South Mumbai? Why was a widespread general terror alert not sounded immediately subsequent to the first round of gunfire, which could have potentially saved hundreds of lives? Was there any political pressure to initially downplay the event, which conversely caused the ATS to underestimate the terror threat in the first place? Or else, what explains the loss of three brave ATS officers without being able to even exchange a single round of fire against the two jihadis. An interview with the only surviving constable, Jadhav suggests that the ATS team was not expecting an encounter as they were against protocol all seated in the same vehicle, while Salaskar, the brilliant counter specialist with a bull’s eye precision was at the wheel while the driver was in the backseat! 7

Unfortunately, the Maharashtrian Congress politicians even in this hour of national agony were busy dividing the martyrs to score political punches against the opposition. So the names of unscrupulous politicians were found sharing space with the martyred ATS team who were probing the Malegaon encounter, but NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, NSG Hawalder Chander, and the 11 other members of Mumbai police were excluded – they were conspicuous by their absence!8 NDTV, the virulent Modi baiter charged him of offering compensation to Hemant Karkare’s family which was explicitly denied by his family.9 The channel, in line with its rabid anti-Gujarat view, conveniently chose to ignore the fact that this was a gesture that Modi has consistently shown to all the bravehearts of the nation. Moreover, the NDA had never made any personal attack against any ATS particular official, though they had criticized the ATS’s alleged politically motivated functioning which was in concordance with the opinion of other professional anti-terror experts.10

The crass insensitivity of the Maharashtra government found ample reflection in the deputy CM R R Patil’s remarks that such small incidents are expected in big metros, and the original terror plan to kill 5000 had been curtailed to 200, almost as if hum saste mey chut gaye. He also cooked up a conspiracy to blow up the Taj,11 which has debunked the very next day by the NSG team which denied that the terrorists harboured any such plans.12 If that was not all, the CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, along with his film-star son Ritesh and director Ram Gopal Verma went for a morning expedition to the Taj so that the latter could make another of his feature films with perhaps the former starring as the slain NSG commando!

Manmohan Singh’s robotic address to the nation was lackluster and bereft of assurance and inspiration. His call for a Unified federal agency which was actually first mooted by L K Advani in 2002 was just an eyewash, for devoid of a stringent anti-terror law like POTA, the former would be reduced to a paper tiger. This was acknowledged by none other than the former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.13

Another minority appeasement gimmick of the local government was the exclusive emphasis on the probable foreign origin of the Jihadis so that resident Muslims and Jihadi sympathizers who secured 7 credit cards for the terrorists, college I-cards, information on police nakabandis and provided them food and shelter were not unnecessarily troubled.14 In the ghettoes of Muslim dominated by-lanes of Okhla, the same old conspiracy theories of Hindutva and the Israeli Mosad behind the attack were in circulation.15 Even as the nation mourned its heroes with jubilant chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”, a particular community closed its ears to what to them probably sounded like irreligious ruckus.16

Such vicious agenda was also fueled by the ‘secularists’ like Amresh Mishra who had the temerity to write on a Jihadi website; “Our worst fears have come true. It is clear that Mossad is involved in the whole affair. An entire city has been attacked by Mossad and probably units of mercenaries. The RSS-BJP-VHP-Bajrang Dal should be banned. Advani and others ought to be arrested. Today is a day of shame for all Indians and all Hindus. Muslims and secular Hindus have been proven right. RSS type forces and Israel are all involved in not only destabilizing but finishing India."17 Bizarrely, the vice president of India Hamid Ansari had released this asinine jihadi sympathiser’s book only months ago, and Rupa and Harper Collins continue to publish him readily!18

The Media’s role was equally suspect. Mumbai spirit was being invoked as the acme of the aam admi’s resilience even as terrified citizens ran helter skelter. Maria Misra of the Times patronizingly demanded Indian security forces not to harass innocent Muslims, while all the time Britain becomes a fertile breeding ground for Islamic terrorists19 BJP was inexplicably blamed for playing politics and asked to unite with the guardian angels of SIMI in the Mulayams who doled Rs. 10 lakh to the Delhi blast accused20 who killed inspector M C Sharma in cold blood apart from the Laloos who bat for uplifting the ban on SIMI!

The Congress believes, yes it really does, that its leaders alone have the right to ‘politicise’ national security while others should treat it as a ‘national issue’ above partisan politics. The Congress with its ‘secularist media’ allies which has single handedly failed to fulfill its primary raja dharma in protecting the subjects are ludicrously loud in berating the BJP for suggesting that the pusillanimous UPA Government is to blame for the repeated terrorist strikes and the attendant death, destruction and devastation across the country.21 But is not the Congress, which excuses Islamic terror under political compulsions whether it is in Assam22 or in Delhi, being sanctimonious in expecting the BJP to climb down from its tough anti-terror stance, just to save the Congress’s ass.


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