Daily Pioneer Editorial: Black Saturdayhttp://www.dailypioneer.com
Saturday's terrible terrorist strike in the nation's Capital has come as a rude reminder that killers who slaughter innocent people for their dubious cause still retain the ability to spread mayhem whenever and wherever they choose to. This may gladden the hearts of those who view terrorists and their criminal misdeeds with a certain indulgence - this would include influential individuals in the UPA Government - but it not only erodes faith in the ability of the state to protect the nation and its citizens but also comes as a severe indictment of the national security apparatus, especially intelligence agencies.
Saturday being a holiday and the eve of Dhan Teras, entire families were out shopping for Diwali, crowding Delhi's even otherwise crowded markets and providing an ideal setting for terror strikes. The police should have known better and been more pro-active; the intelligence agencies should have had their ears to the ground and provided the police with real time information; and, the Union Home Ministry, which is responsible for law and order in Delhi, should have been doing a far better job than it has shown itself capable of till now.
The Home Minister's shockingly callous response - "this seems to be a terrorist attack, we will look into it" - betrays the fatal weakness that plagues the UPA Government: It is unable to comprehend the true dimensions of terrorism. Worse, it has willed itself into believing that Pakistan is no longer the staging ground and patron of terrorists. The lachrymose statements that followed Saturday's attack on Delhi are nothing more than crocodile tears shed by those who are primarily responsible for conveying, through their inaction, to terrorist groups that India is today a far softer target than ever before.It is a shame that even as the UPA Government publicises its decision to open up the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir, Indians are killed with impunity from Rajouri to Delhi.
The Prime Minister owes the nation an explanation for the obvious lapses of his Government but for which many a family would not be grieving this Diwali. Mere words of sympathy cannot be a substitute for accepting responsibility and owning up to utter failure. By calling for 'restraint' and asking people not to 'get carried away', the Prime Minister and his men mock at the memory of those who perished on Saturday or have been maimed for the rest of their lives. The scale of the devastation and the precisely timed sequenced bombings make it abundantly clear that the terrorists planned their attack in great detail over a period of time. That the plot was not exposed is a telling comment on the functioning of the Intelligence Bureau which is directly controlled by the Prime Minister's National Security Adviser from the PMO.
With the Intelligence Bureau increasingly subverted for political purposes and its resources diverted to achieve goals that have nothing to do with national security, it does not come as a surprise that Delhi should have been attacked in so merciless a manner and with such great ease. Meanwhile, the people should stand up and be counted. Allowing the terror strike to dampen the Diwali spirit would mean signalling victory for those who have nothing but contempt for human lives and yet claim to be 'holy warriors'. This battle against terror must be won, we cannot afford to lose it. That would mean goading the state into action; the time for that has arrived.
¶ 10/30/2005 11:20:00 PM