The anger of Indians after the Mumbai massacre is fully justified as they have seen the face of terror. So far if there were bomb blasts killing similar number of people the impact on the minds was similar to the death of people in a natural disaster. They saw the pains but did not see the enemy in action. But this time it was different. This explains the height of anger which is also rooted on higher sense of helplessness. If a handful of rowdies who were brainwashed and paid for family to be taken care can hold a country of billion to ransom while the whole world is watching-what other sense will behold except helplessness.
While the response of political leaders have been as usual-looking for scapegoats, blaming lapses and empty promises the public emotion is much more emphatic. The leaders are hoping that as usual this will die down as Indians forget bad events faster than good. But this time they are underestimating the sentiments. War mongering, revenge etc are bad words for sure in a country that won Independence through Non-violence. But the attack has left a positive impact-regionalism, sceptism of being a great country have given off to patriotism. Everyone feels the need to unity-not partisan feelings but as a civilization how we have been always great. This is reinforced by the millions of NRI's who have responded with much more louder voices and countries like France have organized public rallies to empathize with Indians.
Some of my friends who know very little of the Indo-Pak conflict ask me if India gives up Kashmir will terrorism stop. The answer is NO. It is clear elements who want to foment trouble want some other parts of India too-like Hyderabad. So it is not about giving up some territory or claims. It is about creating trouble for a secular country dividing it on religious lines. This is of course reinforced by politicians who seek vote on religious lines. China claims that they have effective control over terrorism and most obvious reason is there is no religion in China. However India derives a lot of its character and respect from its spiritual roots and its culture is appreciated for this. There is no question that this will be given up on threat of these barbarians.
So what is the answer to this? Speak the language barbarians understand. But also make it politically correct. Maturity will define how we act but for sure we should act beyond words. If we can orbit the moon we can surely encircle the terrorist camps with accuracy. Super powers do this with ease-China occupied Tibet, US went into Afganisthan/Iraq, Russia does a side step to its neighbours on and off-so is it bad for an almost superpower to do this. Yes-some will say as it reduces focus on Talibans. So what? There will always be critics to anything a country does...but if it is convinced this is in its long term interest of safety there is nothing which should stop action. Next 60 days will show if India has the courage to do this limited attacks. But the choice and time is limited for the politicians.
- ► 2009 (34)