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Terrorism: Indian government caught napping
The Indian government's approach to combat terrorism has been lackadaisical. The recent attack in Jaipur proves that. In fact, the blame game has begun and the parties are holding each other responsible for not taking any initiative.
IN A tragic yet surprising development, serial bomb blasts occurred at half-a-dozen places in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The serial blasts were well planned by the terrorists. They are not interested in Tier-I cities of India, instead they are targeting Tier-II and Tier-III cities across the country. Jaipur is one of the foremost symbol of India’s cultural heritage. Lakhs of tourists come to the Pink City every year and Rajasthan is the face of Indian tourism worldwide.

So yet another terror attack in India and the same old story is being repeated. Neither the government, nor the opposition has responded much regarding the recent attack, but the blame game has started in the political arena. The government is blaming the Intelligence, while Intelligence agencies are blaming the police for not paying heed to their warnings. Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is blaming United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for its soft approach towards combating terrorism. The press release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said - “Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh was shocked to hear of the serial blasts in Jaipur. The Prime Minister condemned this dastardly attack, the main intent of which was to cause the loss of innocent people’s lives and create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. He requested the brave citizens of Jaipur to be calm at this difficult moment. The government of India will provide all possible assistance to the state government to restore normalcy and would go to the root of this attack.”

It is heartening to see that the PM is indeed ’shocked’. What the PM has mentioned till now is summarised below:

The terrorist bombings are condemned as usual in what have become standard responses. It is being stressed that India would not buckle under terrorism. The spirit of citizens is being praised for their fortitude and their resilience to resume normal life. People were advised to maintain communal harmony.

Then, a few days would pass and the same story will be repeated at some other location and we would hear the same responses.

Now lets see the other side of the coin.

There is no such thing like ’spirit’ of the citizens. We should ask the ones who have lost their near and dear ones whether they are living in high spirit? The victims were certainly not planning to disrupt communal harmony, so why should we advise them to maintain it? It must be directed towards the politicians, who must be trying to take mileage out of this. India will certainly not buckle down under terrorism. We just live with that! The tragedy of terrorism in India is not the fact that innocent lives are lost, but the fact that the government, in the garb of ’terror cannot affect our way of being’ notion, adopts a ‘back to normal’ approach within 24 hours. Since 2004, India has lost more than 3,725 lives due to terror attacks. This, a recent study pointed out, was more than the number of terrorist casualties in North America, South America, Central America, Europe and Eurasia put together.

The Indian government has always been seen wanting after such attacks. It does lack some conviction to fight terror. I may be wrong but it presents such face to the world. They have not talked about the re-emergence of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and strengthening of the Bangladesh based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) in the last few years. In the last few days, we have seen very timid response from the government on issue of cross-border terrorism. The terror incidents in Kashmir have decreased, but the government is unable to clip the wings of terror in other parts. The porous borders of India in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, North East states and Line of Control (LOC) have never been discussed or dealt with seriousness, as it should have been. Indian political leaders project themselves as incapable of giving strong responses and no proper strategy of attacking the root of terrorism, at least within the country, has been formulated. There is no denying that that it is very difficult to eliminate terror strikes, but at least we should make efforts to stop it and not encourage or boost the morale of terrorists by such timid responses. It is time for the government to wake up from the deep slumber.

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manmohan singh
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