India bled on 26/11. A audacious attack by a handful of terrorists put the country on a standstill. The resultant media hype, government promised to change the country as we then knew it. Today, around 13 months after the event, the question lingers…were the promises delivered? To any well read Indian the obvious answer would be NO. The main protagonist, Ajmal Kasab was arrested shortly after he conducted an symphony of gunshots and blood spits. He remains under arrest of the Indian Police. Recently came to light another name, David Headley, who was supposedly responsible for the strategic planning pre 26/11.And this was after the efforts by the FBI. India’s intelligence agencies remains incarcerated.
Before we delve into what actually has changed and what has not, it may be useful to know some facts about the Indian judicial system. It has a whopping backlog of 30 million cases. Around 500 thousand murder cases form part of the 19.4 million criminal cases pending in various courts. This is the judicial system upon which we have entrusted upon the task of trying an terrorist who has been accused in over 80 counts including POTA. Although the evidence against the accused is the size of Mt. Everest (Well, Almost!!!), India has a way of complicating the most simple things and brushing aside serious issues as frivolous.
When the crown and the ring of Mumbai (Read:--The Taj Hotel & Leopold Café) were attacked amongst other chinks exposed in the armour, were disorganized military and RAF, presence of ancient arms and ammunitions in the holsters of Indian police, Absence/lack of communication between various departments of the country responsible for its safety, the porous sea and link boundaries of the nation. After the attacks the government invested around 12.5 Crs in procurement of modern weapons, suits and other fancy state-of-the-art ammunitions to help the CRPF, RAF defend the country better. How this money was invested and what training was imparted to the soldiers to use these weapons remains a moving target for the civilian, whose life continues to be at stake every time he purchases a ticket to board a train, watch a movie or simply take a evening stroll in the park, to comprehend. In stark contrast, the cost of keeping Mr. Kasab alive has been around 31 Crs. UPTILL NOW. He is given more protection and comfort than a Jawan who continues to fight for his motherland, prepared to die in the ranges of siachen. The leverage given to the terrorist is such that he now expresses desire to have biryani one day and perfumes the other. He demands for a Pakistani lawyer. When the court expresses it’s inability to fetch him one, he shoos it away to try one more time. Meanwhile the jawan at LOC waits for the bullet with his name on it in a over-crowded, dirty barrack somewhere. Kasab waits for the biryani which another jawan has gone to fetch!!!
The promises and actual Establishment of newer agencies like 'The Force One', NSG Hubs, Scheme for setting up twenty temporary Counter-Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism Schools etc remain a eyewash. Reports paints a different potrait. Only 42 of the 204 patrol boats promised to state marine police forces have been delivered till now. It will take at least two more years for the coastal radar surveillance network, with 46 radars in the first phase, the comprehensive chain of AIS (automatic identification system) stations and the specialized naval force `Sagar Prahari Bal', with 1,000 personnel and 80 fast interception craft (FACs), to become fully-operational.
The news channels for around a month then and now, recently on the first death anniversary of 26/11 ran images of bloodshed, gore and violated democracy. Clippings in black and white were run & re-run to remind us what transpired at the corridors of Taj and at the lounges of Leopold. Reporters wore a grim look and questioned the governments on how much they had done since then. A few “Experts” gave solutions of dissolving the entire political setup of the country. The images of a man lying in his own pool of blood, sweat and puke were telecasted with a very good sound engineer completing the gothic image by introducing shouts and cries as the background score. But I would like to question how much follow up was actually done by them(media) in the first place AFTER the news ran it’s course? In the interim more important news like Rakhi Sawant’s latest reality show and Salman khan’s latest brawl were given precedence over following up 26/11. We, the citizens of the country, gathered in crowds and lit candles for the deceased at all important places in the country. Once the media fanfare dies down and cameras stops clattering we went on to live our mundane, routine lives. As the graves of the martyrs look from the skies they have a tear to cry and a thought to spare. India continues to have suffer from memory loss. We can’t forgive but sure as hell can forget!!!
All that has been done by the country shall serve no cause to protect the country against foreign forces. Infighting, poverty and corruption continue to eat away the flesh of the nation. We demand for a separate state at the fall of a pin. But Justice? For us it can wait. India is rotting somewhere and the disease continues to be cancer. The same old disease which has been breeding itself like a parasite within the biology of the body or the boundaries of the country, depending on the way you see it. Long ago it was said “Be the change you want to see”. We continue to use this maxim. But not in our lives. In billboards which vouch for contribution by the youth towards a “Bigger Cause”.
It would be however improper to dismiss all efforts made as insignificant. The hue and cry, then and now, has made it clear that India will not take everything lying down. Even though we try to negotiate with Pakistan we are not breaking down or giving up. India has not waged a war initiated by it for the past 10,000 years. But it is least interested in keeping that record moving. The point is being put across by India’s “negotiators” at Lahore and at New Delhi. But still a lot needs to be done by the government and the citizens akin to make sure 26/11 does not happen again.
When U.S was attacked it waged a war, fought, won and put the brain behind the plot onto a noose and down. But we continue to serve kebab and perfume to wrongdoers. Don’t you think the nation deserves a firmer, surer stand? I DO.