18 killed and 141 injured in terror attacks in Mumbai. How many times have you heard about the terror attacks in Mumbai? It happened in 1993, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008 and now July 13, 2011. Over 600 innocent people have been killed so far. Mumbai now has the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only the city in the democratic world which has faced bomb attacks more than 6 times since the 1990’s. South Mumbai jewellery market Zaveri Bazar became a terror strike target for the third time.
Almost every 2 years there has been a terror strike in India’s financial capital Mumbai and after every attack we see politicians praising the spirit of Mumbai and terming the attacks as cowardly. That the underbelly of a nation which produces 1.53 trillion USD as its output, could be stuck so easily by random terrorists and is so exposed, makes it a laughing stock around the world. The security administration of the country has failed to prevent these attacks which kill innocent people in the financial heart of the country.
The fear of these attacks always engulfs the city residents but this has fallen on deaf ears of the State and Union ministers, who seem to give a damn to the security environment and have focussed on wealth creation for themselves and their family members. What is shameful is that we have terrorists lodged inside our jails waiting to be hanged and even though there were clear indications that terrorists could attack the city again, the administration is unable to stop them.
Now ponder over what the top leadership of the country was doing a week before the terror attacks. So obsessed were the leaders with the infighting and grabbing ministerial positions and looting the nations coffers that it hardly left them any time to focus on security of the common man on the road. Driving in chauffer driven cars, getting free utilities and with scores of personnel guarding them, they would hardly care about the pains of the common man and their only ambition is to fill their coffers while the sun shines and retain the ministries at any cost.
Constitutionally, in every democracy, the prime minister chooses his ministers, but for the current Prime Minister, the political reality stares himself in his face. Barring a very small set of individuals, Manmohan Singh has never been permitted to choose his own Cabinet. So a lot of time is spent in getting the list authorised by the real power centre in India, Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Amidst the galore and din of an imminent cabinet reshuffle, the embattled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to meet Sonia Gandhi for the third time in a single week. Added to this, handling the pressure from his allies would have left the government no time to focus on nation’s security. Come to think of it, even Laloo Prasad Yadav was scouting for a cabinet berth.
The Finance Minister was sent to Chennai to offer cabinet positions to sulking DMK chief Karunanidhi, who since the last 5 years has been sending his relatives to Delhi as ministers to loot the coffers of Government of India and has caused a loss of 40 billion dollars to the national coffers. Never mind that this guy has married 3 times and lives openly with them and not even a single soul in India has been able to raise a finger at him and ask to how he could legally marry 3 wives and that under the constitution of India this is not allowed. This is a former serving CM who is clearly violating the law. When the noose was tightening over his another protégé Dayanidhi Maran, Karunanidhi started to sulk in a big way. According to news reports, the PM was very scared of conveying the news to Dayanidhi Maran. He asked Pranab Mukherjee to do the dirty work, and he didn’t oblige this time. The PM then drafted Sharad Pawar in to persuade Maran to quit before last Thursday’s Cabinet reshuffle. Maran sought at least a month to decide, but Pawar cautioned him against the negative political impact on the UPA. A stickler for rules, the Maratha leader had spoken to Karunanidhi before phoning Maran and assured him Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would come down to Chennai to meet him and discuss his choice of ministries. Here is a PM who wanted decided to get rid of Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran, but couldn’t find the means to convey it to the minister and was deeply engrossed in managing the political fallout.
6 of the ministers dropped from the cabinet are sulking openly and one of the minister of State for Home, Gurudas Kamat resigned after he was moved to another ministry. Why did he resign from the Union Cabinet? Because he wanted to sit over a ministry which has a budget of over 13 billion USD and enjoy the benefits! He would have plunged the whole Home ministry into paralysis over the past few weeks and sat over important decisions and files. The possibility of an attack in Mumbai would have been the last thing on his mind and his senior minister.
After two major accidents over the weekend in which more than 40 people were killed and more than 100 injured in train accidents, the Railway Minister, so drunk with the trappings of power refused to even visit the accident site and openly defied the Prime Minister. Despite this, his party was rewarded and a member of TMC was elevated to a Cabinet rank as Minister for Railways.
Two Ministers from Mumbai were vocal in their demotion. One of the former Chief Ministers of Maharashtra said, the cabinet reshuffle was like a game of kho kho, a traditional Indian game in which you try to tag your opponents and one of the ministers Verrappa Moily said there were vested interests inside the cabinet which led to his ouster. Two ministers who were in the needle of suspicion in the Adarsh Society scam in which politicians grabbed flats meant for families of war victims, continue to be in the Cabinet.
In the midst of all this the Congress yuvraj Rahul Gandhi was trying to get back UP back for the Congress party and the whole central administration (read Home Ministry) was focussed on ensuring security for the yuvraj as he blazed through the mofussil towns of UP.
One of the senior leaders of the Congress party and a close confident of the Congress President, Digvijay Singh who addressed the world’s most dangerous terrorist Osama as Osamaji, was giving statements as to why Rahul Gandhi would be the best candidate for the Prime Ministership of India. He even gave good character certificates to Suresh Kalmadi and A Raja, both of whom have swindled billions of rupees illegally.
The Telecom and Education Minister, Kapil Sibal was defending allegations that he reduced the penalty on Reliance Communications from 15 million USD penalty on Reliance Communications to a mere 115,000 USD and took the media focus back to the government already battling multiple corruption allegations.
In the midst of this chaos, even if there would have been a credible intelligence about any attack, it would have simply been ignored in the din of thick skinned politicians fighting for their survival. Ordinary Indians are sick of intelligence failures. Politicians in India will only wake up if terror strikes them.