Three people are killed in blasts in Boston. US President Barack Obama immediately gives a hard hitting speech and vows to catch the culprits immediately even though it seems a long shot.
Very soon Boston comes to a shutdown. Planes are not allowed to fly over. People are told to stay indoors and the police go on a massive manhunt. Is there a nuclear threat one wonders. But soon that skepticism turns to awe.
Within a matter of days, one of the suspects is killed while the other is captured alive. The blast takes place on Monday and the police have finished their job by the weekend. That’s why so few blasts happen in the USA despite it having a record number of enemies spread out all across the globe.
Will such a thing even remotely happen in India?
How many blasts have taken place in India where at least 3 people have been killed? Are they in the hundreds? Are they in the thousands? Do our political leaders come and give hard hitting speeches that inspire confidence in the common citizen? No. They’d rather hide in the comfort of their VVIP mansions.
And yes, some of them sometimes do make some statements. But the problem is that they sound so cliched and moronic that you feel like doing a royal facepalm every time you hear them.
The prime favourite is that terrorism will not be “tolerated”. It has been said a thousand times after the first time our creaking political system started tolerating such blasts with great regularity.
India’s Intelligence Bureau was set up in 1885. Some call it the oldest intelligence agency in the world. Right now it is in the process of being rubbished by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
Despite that reports have emerged it gave specific alerts to the Bihar government that terror attacks could take place at the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. Despite that the dastardly attacks took place any way.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar won’t be blasted that much in the media probably because he is now a “secular” leader.
In fact on Twitter already people are trying to connect Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Bihar speech to the attack without any shred of proof or connection whatsoever.
That’s why we never ever make any headway. All the attacks follow a similar pattern.
Alerts and warnings float. The blasts happen anyway. Even though the attacks clearly point to terror groups, people like Congressman Digvijay Singh insinuate groups like the RSS. The investigators are initially clueless and then make a breakthrough, but the case drags on for years, our justice system is such.
Meanwhile another attack comes and then another.
In 2008, the Indian government officially gave the death toll from insurgency that started in Kashmir in 1989 as a whopping 47,000. How many of them died in blasts like the recent one in Bihar?
The truth is that the rest of India had become so desensitized to the happenings in Kashmir that it was just a matter of time before they spilled over to the rest of India.
Mumbai has borne the brunt among metros and has seen 8 major attacks from 2002-11. Other cities like Delhi, Pune and Bangalore have been targeted too.
The truth is that our governments never had any concrete policies for Naxalism, Maoism or insurgency in Kashmir and the Northeast. It’s just “send in the army and hope for the best”. They don’t have any concrete strategy for checking terrorism in the rest of India too.
Our system is creaking. Our laws are creaking. We need a major overhaul of the Constitution. We need a host of reform bills.
But sadly all such bills are languishing. The Lokpal Bill. The Judicial Reform Bill. The Electoral Reform Bill. We probably need a comprehensive Security Bill too. But then it would probably get stuck for decades in which time terrorists and terrorism would have undergone a sea change.
We will never get anywhere unless we hold out politicians accountable for Parliament.
In 1991-92, the PV Narasimha Rao government transformed the nation through Liberalization. That’s what the Parliament can do if it wants to: Transform the judicial system, the electoral system, the security system and any other system that it wants to, if it really wants to.
Everything will go on like this till we keep voting on silly things like sympathy and anti-incumbency waves or the communalism versus secularism debate and meaningless caste equations.
It is the job of our politicians to make, reform and amend our laws and systems. But they seem to be doing everything but just that.