Wednesday, November 26, 2008

War in Mumbai

Three top police officers killed; burning of an iconic Taj hotel; indiscriminate firing in a busy railway stations; foreign nationals taken hostage and continued firing with police forces and commandoes. There is no other way than to describe it as a mini war in Mumbai.

For a while India has been engaged in this ‘war on terrorism’; but today is a rude shock. It is a direct assault on the Indian State challenging its basic ability to organize and protect core asset like Mumbai. As another strategic expert mentioned, B. Raman; it brings in question the ability of Indian state to protect nukes and WMD.

It is one big mess and stunning failure of Indian State.

Will Indians wake up by this disaster? Or will it be one of the numerous warning signs Indian state ignores on a way to disintegration and attaining eternal instability in South Asia?

Petty and silly politics of Congress Party failed it from executing ‘right lessons’ from the death of Rajiv Gandhi. It is much smaller and weaker force like Sri Lankan State which has courageously fought and tamed Tamil Tigers with a realistic possibility of wiping them out completely.

Congress Party has always confused between peaceful Islamic Vote Bank and fringe Islamic extremists who take Congress Party on ride. With Mulayam in bed with Congress Party; already weak ability of Congress Party to take on extremism and terrorism is further weakened.

There is another danger Congress Party is essentially responsible for. With it’s weak handling of terrorism and Islamic extremism (and actually equally weak handling of Hindu extremists too); it politically nourishes aggressive nationalism of Hindu variety. Tomorrow’s problem is how to curtail forceful reaction of Hindu masses when it starts to manifest indiscriminately, whip lashing minorities in Indian society.

Politically it is hard to imagine how this incidence can spare Congress Party from its electoral debacle. But the question is not electoral chances of Congress Party. That Sonia Gandhi will take care off. But will BJP and its allies with their brand of aggressive nationalism spare India from tomorrow’s Mumbai terror attacks? It is not for sure.

The whole police and intelligence machinery needs to change along with the political will to take on challenges thrown by terrorism. With endemic corruption and political culture of every party stepped in such corruption for ages; it seems hard.

Some day, some political forces in India need to find that taking on terrorism without succumbing to perennial corruption is a winning political strategy. Until then Indian democracy is not addressing the challenges of terrorism for Indian people.

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