Some more heads must roll!
What L.K.Advani did in not attending the all party meeting is unbecoming of an Opposition Prime Ministerial candidate!
In the post attack period, we have seen the first-ever deep-felt anger over the government’s poor governance, poor preparedness in spite of the warnings before hand.
Also, we see the same-old mindset at work.
The Congress cant sit tight with its own narrow-focused favourtism in retaining old-faithfuls, both at the Congress party inner circles as well as the PMO’s old faithfuls.
Some officials, key men at the intelligence organisations also must be replaced, replaced rather swiftly. That only can partly assuage feelings of hurt and letdown.
The latest terrorist attack has left the country and the Indian people thoroughly shocked and it would take a very long time for the country to come back to normaly. Perhaps, India would no more the same country after all this has happened.
India is a democracy, an open society, a country friendly with almost all countries in the world. India is a predominantly a very large country with a very large Muslim population. India is a friend of the Muslim countries of the world; we are friends of the Middle Eastern nations. We have been following a fairly independent line when it comes to steering clear of the many controversial positions taken by the USA with whom we are maintaining a friendly and at the same time a sort of equi-distant stand when it comes to Arab nations and Iran and other countries with many controversial issues and stands.
As Pranab Mukerjee had brief the members of the Congress Working Committee, it is not a simple method to deal with the latest terror attack and India has to tread carefully.
Yet, the Indian public is outraged and wont rest with the UPA government if it doesn’t take decisive action.
The terror outrage left the Indian mainstream opinion strongly divided.
The government, as we now learn from many pieces of information as to intelligence failures, there were three warnings at least. The government machinery failed to act.
Yes, there are great many lapses and so the great many losses to so many lives.
It is perhaps the greatest tragedy in modern India and certainly the great defining moment in our recent memory. Someone, suddenly an unforeseen enemy came along the Indian shores and suddenly declared war against the Indian people.
The terrorist attacks in so many goary detail defies our common sense and goes to prove that life from now onwards for the common man in the country wouldn’t be the same again.
Yes, we have to learn to live with terrorism as we have not so far learnt to live with. Yes, there have been regular terrorist attacks now in India, in Delhi and elsewhere, why even in Mumbai itself. But this is the most terrible and most in terms of human costs. The previous ones were no less tragic and the news media, both the print, Indian and foreign have detailed these causalities and therefore we needn’t go over again this part of the tragic tale.
But now in the wake of the Central government taking action, first the removal of Shivraj Patil, from the home ministry is the right signal to appease public anger and disenchantment with the rather regular expected routine of government response. Yes, this time too the same routine we saw and the people got disgusted with the slow pace of operation even after the attackers started firing the innocent guests at the Taj Hotel. Now, the questions are being asked and they should continue to be asked and the government must respond.
Why the delay in the response from the NSG, for over good nine hours? It is a serious failure and the government machinery must be revamped. The reports about the lack of a big enough plane etc are really unconvincing and hurting. The location of the NSG too in Delhi and Chandigarh, now we can see, doesnt make any strategic sense. Second, there is a clear intelligence failure. There is a report that there was a telephone intercept a week before and yet no one acted. Who are responsible for this failure? They must be brought to book. Let some more sackings take place. That would at least assuage the feelings of those who lost their dear ones. Why it should take 60 hours to flush out or wipe out the four attackers?
It is hard to come to terms with the explanations given. A layman won’t be so easily convinced.
The price to pay for this huge tragedy is too high and so it is not just again routine, back to business as we are accustomed to expect from the way government functions.
Yes, we have to reconcile to the harsh reality of political life in a democracy. We need a government and we are better with the form of democracy we have and we have to live with what set of people we get nominated, if not properly elected so that we expect to get some leaders who would be natural leaders who would speak their minds out.
At a time like this we have to talk some unpleasant truths and make some hard and harsh observations if at all to assuage the hurt feelings of the people.
Our hearts go to those all who lost their lives. Our heart goes to the brave policemen and others who lost their lives in doing their duty. Some of the tales are really heart-breaking.
In such a situation, we have to be a bit harsh without politicians.
Heads must roll in a democracy, not necessarily only in a dictatorships or autocratic Prime Ministers.
The IB, RAW and NSA must be revamped and new heads must be appointed.
That will be a true signal for new urgency to the issues raised by the post-Mumbai scenario.
At the political level, it is necessary the Prime Minister showed enough remorse and offered to resign. That was a good gesture. But that is not enough.
It is needed to note that the current incumbent is not a political person. He is a bureaucrat. To inject some political reassurance, we have to appoint a politically savvy person, designated as a Deputy Prime Minister. After all, this is a coalition and it is nearing its term and in the rest of the months and days, it is necessary that at least till that time, we should have a new face, as far as assuring the public a new political face.
Dr.Singh alone wont do. This is our opinion.
So a person like, say, Lalu Prasad Yadav can be designated as the Deputy Prime Minister and given charge of the reassurance as for the government’s resolution to pursue the anti-terror secularity apparatus in place.
The Deputy along with the PM must tour the country and create confidence in the minds of the people.
See, how irrelevant most of the regional leaders have become in the wake of this large scale terror. Where is Karunanidhi or Buddadeb Bhattacharjee or even Shivsena or other BJP regional leaders like Narendra Modi come in?
There are nowhere and they are no more relevant to the new situation like this one.
That has a message.
The current outrage brought in the more mainstream society into the public policy making view.
The corporate world is agitated; the rich and powerful, the elite and the intellectual community must be co-opted to create a new confidence and a new path ahead.
For this, we suggest a new and independent commission of enquiry, not a bureaucratic body or partymen identified in the public mind with Sonia Gandhi or others must be avoided.’
We need a citizen enquiry committee to study and find out as to where the system failed, why were the early warning were not followed up, who have to be fixed for this lapses?
Only credible names, say prominent citizens, say, Sobha De, Sobhana Azmi or prominent civil society activists, artists, intellectuals and others like some NGO leaders must be appointed and the citizen enquiry must make its preliminary results out, say, within a month.
This enquiry must show the urgency of the uncertainties of the citizens minds. It is not one more commission thriving on extensions and nothing else.
So, let us hope there is some real movement forward.
One word about the media’s role. The Print media was better than the TV channels. NDTV was found faltering. Only Bharka Dutta was found holding the operations. The best of the lot was undoubtedly CNN IBN. The ladies at the CNN did a very empathetic job. Next came Times now.
Even after the outrage and the wide coverage, when it came to covering the CWC meeting, it was amusing to see the TV channels focusing only on the PM and Sonia Gandhi and none else. This gave a wrong impression. Even the CWC meeting, why only PM and Sonia Gandhi only? Why focus and replay only Rahul Gandhi and Dr.Karan Singh, dummy only!
It is very unfair and not true fair press or fair coverage.
Anyway, as time passes the true dimensions of the reality of our life and times would dawn on the citizens, let us hope so.
Let the nation become more stronger and with more resolve to take the country forward towards greater heights of self-confidence and unity of purpose.
Not again business as usual, please!
Some more heads must roll!