Mumbai Terror Attack.Why blame the Politicians?


So much have been shown on the TV and written in newspapers and blogs about the cowardly attack by Jihadi terrorists on major landmarks of Mumbai in the last week of November 2008.

The major corporate ‘free’ TV channels and bloggers [mainly from urban India] has proclaimed loud the name of the major culprit of this terror attack, The ‘POLITICIAN’.
I am confused. Let me try myself to get out of this confusion by asking myself some simple questions and trying to answer it.

1.Who actually carried out the Mumbai terror attack?

A. About 10 men most probably coming from Karachi via sea armed with modern weapons and ammunition and a will to kill innocents with impunity.

2. Which organisation is behind this attack?

A. Most probably a Jehadi terror organisation rooted in Pakistan.Whether it is LeT or someone else is irrelevant to this discussion.

3.Why this organisation [or other such terror groups] is carrying out such cowardly acts?

A. The primary proclaimed aim of terror organisations like Lashkar-e Taiba is to integrate ‘Muslim’ Kashmir with Pakistan. It also aims to introduce fundamental Islamic rule in whole of South Asia. It considers the Indian State, Israel and other Western countries to be enemies of Islam.By attacking high profile targets where Westerners are around[5 star Hotels] and targets where they can get maximum innocent victims like Railway Station and Shopping Malls they believe that they will

a) Get maximum publicity for their cause

b) be able to increase the Hindu Muslim divide in India,there by destabilising it

c)induce a Hindu backlash in India which will help them to get more supporters in Kashmir and in Pakistan[where they don’t have much public support,but only the support of ISI]

d) induce a military response from India against Pakistan which will help in uniting whole of Pakistan and most Muslim countries against India

e) get further funding from those who are happy seeing attacks against Israel,US and India

4. From where do such Terror outfits get money,logistic and moral support for its Terror activities?

A.USA first funded such Terror outfits during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan to fight along with Taliban against Russians.US funding was through Pakistan Army’s Intelligence wing the ISI.But Pakistan’s ISI made it sure that these organisation fight for the ‘Kashmir liberation’ also.Thus the logistic support was given both overtly and covertly by Pakistan Army.

The moral and monetary support for terror come from Muslims all over the world.They spread the real and unreal stories of atrocities against Muslims in Kashmir and other parts of India to get donations.Donations are also obtained under the cover of charity from unsuspecting Muslims. They brain wash their recruits to make them willing for fidayeen attacks by showing them real and/or fake evidence of State and Saffron attacks against Indian Muslims. Lately organisations like LeT is also turning in to a pan-Islamic Jihadi group, supporting the so called ‘suppressed Muslims all over the World.

5.What is the level of support such terror groups have among ordinary Muslims?

A. Most Muslims do not support such terror groups working in the name of Islam.This is true in almost all parts of the World.

6. Could we have prevented Mumbai Attack?

A. It is said that there were some information with Indian and American intelligence agencies about an impending attack.But such claims always surface after a big terror strike as in case of 9/11 and need not be taken too seriously. Most Intelligence agencies get tons of information of which more than 90 percent will be false. Anyway they conveyed the same to security agencies about a possible attack on 5 star Hotels.The ATS it seems conveyed the message to Hotel authorities to beef up their security as admitted by Ratan Tata. But the overall response by Police and Hotel authorities proved to be grossly inadequate.

7. What can we do to prevent further Terror attacks?

A.Terrorism have to be fought both ideologically and Physically.

Physical fight against terrorism includes

a)modernising and revamping our Security forces and Intelligence agencies,

b) Tight security at our borders against attack from Air, Land and Sea.

c) Diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to make ISI stop funding and training the terrorists.

d) Diplomatic pressure on US and friendly Islamic countries to make Pakistan clamp down on the terror outfits working there.

e) Being tough on all home grown jihadi elements so that they wont raise their heads.
f) Clamp down on all types of communal propaganda by both Sangh Parivar and Muslim fundamentalists
g) Speedy and just handling of all cases of atrocities against minorities
h) Utmost care to see no innocent Muslim is victimised in our War against terror.
i) Making sure that there wont be any Saffron or State sponsored terrorism against minorities

Ideological fight against Terrorism include

a) Active fight against all kinds of discrimination against Muslims in our mind,our Public space,Work space,homes etc etc.
b)Active discouragement of religion and Caste bank politics.People first should resolve not to vote on the basis of religion or caste.
c) Making stricter laws so that religious symbols or places are not used for political purposes.
d)Active encouragement of non-separatist political leaders of Kashmir.Government and the people should try to win the heart and mind of Kashmiris by good will measures and not by heavy security presence.
e)Promote rapid development in Kashmir so that employment opportunities increase considerably
f)Promote subsidised school education to all People so that illiteracy is wiped out in India
g) Ensuring that no sections of population or regions are left out in the economic growth of India.

These are some measures which may help.The chance of another such attack will recede if we could implement all these proposals.
It is not easy but if there is a collective will we may be able to achieve some of these.
Still there is no 100 percent guarantee that there wont be any terror attack.So be prepared.
8.Why Politicians are blamed for Mumbai Attacks?
A.Going through the blogs and citizens and reporters comments in the English TV Channels the focus of blame is on Pakistan and Indian Politicians.Pakistan we can understand,but why Indian politician?
Politicians are blamed because they failed to assure security to ordinary citizens of India.
Let me examine this issue in detail.
There has been a number of terrorist attacks in our Country. Two of our Prime ministers were assassinated by terrorist strikes,one by Sikh terrorists and other by LTTE.The seat of Political Power of India,the abode of Politicians,our Parliament were also attacked. This shows that many a time Indian State were not able to provide security even to its political leaders or its Parliament.This also shows that mere physical measures are not enough to prevent terrorism.
Yes I agree that our security forces have to be modernised and revamped.Many such measures have been taken over last 2 decades, but they are clearly not enough.

It is not only our security that is lacking in our country.We lack in good Roads,affordable good quality education and health care,affordable housing, safe drinking water etc etc. More children are killed everyday from preventable diseases in our villages than those killed by terrorists in all the terror attacks put together.
9/11 attack on World Trade Centre in US was a bigger and more terrible attack than Mumbai Attacks.It revealed a bigger lapse in security than our 26/11. Still I don’t remember US politicians being attacked like this. Now I will come to my last question.
9.9/11 was never repeated in USA.But we are having repeated terror attacks. Why?

A. Simple answer will be USA is not India. We are a thickly populated poor,mulit lingual,multi religious country bordered by hostile neighbours.We also have Sangh Parivar, an aggressive communal movement of majority community with a long history of atrocities against minorities. We also now have a home grown Islamic Jihadi movement getting active support from outside.Considering all this our track record against terrorism is not bad.

In conclusion let me say that I am fairly satisfied with the way our Political leaders, both in the ruling Party and the Opposition handled this unprecedented situation after the Mumbai attack. As the new Home minister pointed out there has been lapses in security.The lapses according to him will be rectified soon.Let us believe him.Our role as a citizen in the ideological battle against terrorism is most important.Let us fulfill our role so that our children may be able to live in a terror free India.

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20 thoughts on “Mumbai Terror Attack.Why blame the Politicians?

  1. Interesting Take, but why shouldn’t an ordinary citizen blame the politicians? It is not a personal blame on any one particular politician per se or the breed of politicians. I think for a common person every politician represents the Government he/she had trusted, had faith in and voted them to power. Just like when a person calls the customer service of a bank and the person who answers the phone represents the bank to the person. Secondly being at a responsible level they get first hand classified information that ordinary citizens don’t get. It is their callousness that ends up in such attacks and their corrupt attitude that leads to our state forces still carrying a 303 rifle and no safety gear to combat with automatic weapons. It is the call of the day. It is the politicians ulterior motives that lead to religion divide. Your points on physical fight makes sense but is it achievable at a commoner’s level?. No. we need the government to take action because they collectively represent all of us. Ideological fight yes, we all can contribute to it in our own little way. I agree to what you say that security lapses resulted in the assasination of two leaders but do compare the casualties. How many people die each year due to terror attacks and how many politicians were there. Bigger security lapse on 9/11 and US government was not blamed cos’ their opposition and ruling parties did not end up in a blame game and instead joined hands to fight the grave situation. We did not see that happening in India.. In the end there has to be someone to take responsibility and it has to definitely those who run the state machinery. So why shouldn’t we blame them? You cannot expect our politicians to be covered under a golden parachute clause.On the other hand why there is so much pressure now, I guess this time they hit the wrong target.. India’s “richer” and urban class.. Hate to say this but a poor man’s or an ordinary middle class person’s life has no value there

  2. Whatay post!So structured… :)But I will unashamedly copy paste another blogger’s words here. I pay my taxes without fail, every month, every year. Who do I pay these taxes to? And so who should I expect to take care of me?I have also been hearing about comparisons with our response to children dying out of hunger and preventable diseases. And that we don’t fight against it.At the cost of sounding arrogant and brutally selfish I’ll ask something. How does a common man get affected by preventable diseases or hunger? If someone feels he’ll never have to face a situation where he might die of hunger, why would he bother about it? But isn’t the common man affected by terrorism? Now you might ask what sort of a selfish attitude is that. But the truth is people care about themselves and only themselves. I might not be scared of hunger by death cos my circumstances are not that bad. But the average Mumbaikar cannot claim that he will return safely to his home now. Why… my father missed the Mumbai train blasts by a narrow ten minutes.Isn’t the common man justified in his angst against the terrorist attacks? Doesn’t he have a right to blame the politician considering how long he has taken these atrocities in the name of resilience? Is the out pour of anger surprising, considering how long the ‘aam aadmi’ has been paying taxes without getting anything in return?I’m not saying all this absolves the common man of his duty to the less privileged. But certainly crying for justice needn’t make him guilty by throwing comparisons with his attitude towards the less fortunate. I don’t think it is a mortal sin he is committing.PS: despite my counter reply I really loved your post.

  3. Thank you for the comments, Seema and Layman. The attack on Politicians were as if as a class they did something gravely wrong in allowing the terrorists entry to Mumbai and thereby causing so many casualties. Keeping the security of the country is the job of the GOVERNMENT and its security forces,not of its politicians.We don’t pay taxes to our politicians but to our Government.So you can say the Government is to be blamed.The role of Politicians in Government is to make policy decisions as advised by the experts in security forces regarding training,equipping and creating logistic for the security apparatus. Nobody have thought about this audacious attack from the Sea.So we were ill equipped for this.That our Police were carrying 303 rifle is well known for each one of us and we felt secure about that till now.Now we know it is inadequate.Read today’s ‘The Hindu’Sunday supplement [which everyone should read for all its articles on Mumbai attack]and you will learn that the former London Police chief have confessed that if this happened in London the Police would be caught napping too.It is always easy to be wise after the event. Both of your comments make me feel that by increasing security to the maximum you believe we can be free of terror attacks. Unfortunately it is not the case. Even daily curfews or martial laws [which we will not tolerate for long]will not make us really safe.India’s geography,its multi religious multi lingual culture,its powerful Hindu communalists,the emerging home grown jihadis,its neighbours.its poverty,its illiteracy and unemployment,the large divide between rich and poor all will make it vulnerable to terror attacks.Both the Home Ministers and the CM have resigned.The new Home Minister have admitted to the lapses and soon our security situation may be better.But still the hysteria against politicians continue in our major metros.I will try to think about the reasons for this hysteria in my next post.

  4. Sir, I’m not saying the blame game should continue. In fact I have much hope in our new home minister. I was only trying to say that the angst is justified. You say we should blame the government, not politicians. But isn’t it these politicians who make up the government?Government is a collective entity but someone will have to take responsibility righ, no?For the common man, it is the politicians who are in power. “Nobody have thought about this audacious attack from the Sea.So we were ill equipped for this.That our Police were carrying 303 rifle is well known for each one of us and we felt secure about that till now.Exactly. This attack, due to its audacity and exhaustive coverage by media for a full 60 hours, has given a rude wake up call to the citizens from their apathetic sleep. Hence this sudden outcry. Another reason could be the response from the government immediately after the siege was over. Sacking of ministers seems to have been done to appease the sudden uproar. Why would the govt. take so many days to finalize its next CM candidate (Maharashtra)?And regarding “Both of your comments make me feel that by increasing security to the maximum you believe we can be free of terror attacks.” I don’t think that it would rid India of terrorism (we still have so many other forms of terrorism to be fought). But I will at least be happy to know that my govt. is doing everything for me. Delay of NSG by 10 hours, policemen with lathis against heavily armed terrorists, porous security (just two days after the blast someone walked into CST with a gun).. it is all these things which puts me off. Aren’t my demands basic?But I agree with you. Blame games can go on and on. I’m willing to hope and put my trust in the current government. After all what else can a layman do?

  5. Comparing to US, I would like to add couple of more thing.- citizens get paranoid over anything and everything..Indians have a higher threshold-US is not geographically vulnerable as India-US is not multicultral and multireligious as India.All these factors make a difference so there is a higher demand of security here.I don’t agree when people say i pay my taxes i have the right to be protected. i would say i have the right to know where my tax money is being spent and how it is being spent, whether it is on infrastructure or education or security and any other thing.Here is another example of security still not up to the mark: a friend of mine works in one of tallest and landmark building in New Delhi and she says that all the security does is to check I-cards.. Please let me know if Fake I cards are difficult to make in this day and age.Beefing up security still gives a mental satisfaction to people that we are being looked after by the government we chose and trusted.

  6. I am not saying there should not be stock taking and those guilty of serious lapses made to pay for it. In case of this terror attack the most guilty section will the Intelligence ppl, the National Security adviser[if he had been informed of the intelligence we supposed to have had of impending attack],Top officers of the Mumbai Police and the ATS,the Hotel management including Ratan Tata and of course both Home Ministers.Only by a detailed analysis we will know who are guilty of lapses.Hysterical reactions will only play in to the hands of the terrorists. 4 days to select a CM….? If he can carry all MLAs along and do some good governance we can forgive the Congress Party for that 4 days. Delay in NSG Operations…It is said that Maharashtra Home Minister asked for it by 11pm on 26th[cant believe that early]and Shivraj Patil gave the order instantaneously. But they were not ready and the Plane to take them where not ready. Blame should be shared I think.Seema, now we will feel secure if there is extra security.After few days or months we will feel irritated by it if we are asked to come to Airport 4 hrs before or not to do that or this etc etc.

  7. For me one of the fundamental duties of a state is providing security for its people. Considering the 1993 blasts, there should have been a system in place that should have prevented a repeat. I think it was CNN-IBN who has been showing whatever measure was taken was grossly inadequate. This is where I feel the state let us down and in turn the politicians let us down. This may also be the reason why ppl blame politicians. There weren’t any blame game by the ppl after other terror attacks. Secondly, the politicians failed to conduct themselves in a proper manner after the attack.In the end, I don’t blame the politicians either. Because it is we who elected them.

  8. 1993 blasts were the Blasts in various buildings of Mumbai.Now this attack is entirely different from most of the other previous attacks.Most experts on terrorism agrees that it was audacious and unprecedented.Yes the Govt security apparatus including the Home Ministers[due to their position in the Govt,not because of being politicians] have to share the blame. Security is the function of Armed forces and the Police. If somebody tries to harm me I approach the Police not politicians.Politicians as a whole have a limited role in keeping the country secure physically.They have a major role in ideological war against terror and if they are being attacked for that may be I can understand.Most of insensitive comments obtained by the media was by provoking and taunting Politicians.It was a deliberate ploy and some of them fell for it.Reactions from all the National leaders were mature enough.

  9. I was referring to the fact explosives came to India in 1993 via the sea and the terrorists came via sea in 2008. Coast Guard is there but was shown to be operationally non-existent when IBN did a recce two years back. The Coast Guard should have been in place to prevent a repeat of 93 and it is the responsibility of the government and in extension politicians to make sure they are there.

  10. Arby, my point is you can accuse the Coast Guard,Government which includes the concerned Ministries and the Navy, but not ALL Politicians as a CLASS as most of the bloggers and ‘National’ Visual media is doing.Such politician bashing is hysterical and not good for the Country.

  11. YOU hit the nail on the head when you wrote POINT NO. 4. Can you make it bold and the font size bigger.when tracing the roots of terror – people forget to mention about it and MEDIA simply AVOIDS it.this all started with US being scared of RUSSIA and plotting confusion in the country through afghanistan.way to go charakan! and if you know any book which traces this history please let me know.

  12. a well organised post.but regarding ur query- why bmae politicians? the answer is is your post itself. all the remedial measures u have suggested can happen only if there is political will.that’s missing. after 9/11, the people did not blame politicians ‘cos it was perhaps the second jehadi attack in the US.we’ve had too many.

  13. @ Charakan : Agreed. Still concerned abt the votebank politics they follow. It may not be intentional, but the regional divide will wedge deeper if no one checks it.

  14. There has been a number of terrorist attacks in our Country. Two of our Prime ministers were assassinated by terrorist strikes,one by Sikh terrorists and other by [Hindu] LTTE.\\\\\\\Hindu LTTE? V. Prabhakaran is a christian and so are many in his close circle. Check out who actively supports their struggle across Europe and you will see what I mean…..

  15. Anonymous, Thank you for the comment.Yes that I put [Hindu] in front of LTTE was a factual error.I apologise for it and will edit it out.Most of the cadres of LTTE are either Hindus,Christians or Atheists.As far as I can infer LTTE is not based on any religious ideology.The supporters of LTTE from Europe may be Christians but still it wont, I feel make it a Christian terrorist organisation.

  16. Absolutely delightful post! I have to agree with you completely! I also read your new post on your analysis as to why TV channels are holding hands.Very good analysis. And you are right, The Hindu has been one paper which has shown some restraint and balance in their reporting of the Mumbai Attacks. But, am not completely sure, if terrorism is only an idealogical fight. Maybe its idealogy which is the icing on the cake, but I am confused on this one, when I read that the terrorist whom we managed to catch, was a petty thief who was recruited and trained to be a terrorist. Of course, they must have shown pictures of atrocities from out of context to make his contribution to be more noble than it actually is. I think, terrorism is also about the social disparity seen around this world, and there are people exploiting this economic imbalance. I dont know, I am just confused. I cant imagine, that it was only ideology that turned Kasab into a terrorist.

  17. Thank you Bombay Dosti.As I said when we fight terrorism we have to ensure that no community or region feels left out.Ensuring education and jobs to poorer sections of society is important.Also we should ensure justice to all. Islamist terror organisations exploit the poverty in Pakistan and make their recruits believe that they are poor or they are oppressed because they are Muslims.They make those disgruntled young men believe that Muslims all over the World are oppressed by USA and it allies including India.The recruits are brain washed to be martyrs for Islam.They are made to feel that all the killings are for God.Reduction of poverty and justice for all will reduce the number of new recruits

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