The Home Minister has resigned. One Chief Minister has resigned. But is this enough? What about the bureaucrats and officials – from National Security Adviser downwards – whose actual job it was to act and prevent this tragedy. Its more important that they are made accountable if this system needs to be truly overhauled. The public mood today remains restless.
It is now more than one week since the ghastly attacks hit Mumbai in such a ruthless manner. As reports, new sources of information and new analysis by experts and media investigations show this was an attack that almost hit its targets and served its purpose.
Now, there are reports that fresh attacks might take place. The country is on alert.
The citizens are very concerned. Citizens alertness and citizens’ sensitivity seems to be the only hope. Where is the government? What the government is doing? No one seems to have any idea. This is the country’s real tragedy.
The government seems to be not up to our expectations. There doesn’t seem to be real men in government. Just boys who talk and move around ,sit in TV talk shows and well-dressed and well-settled in Delhi.
Sorry for such observations and then this is the view from afar. What it nearer the levers of power?
Only close observers must tell. Delhi-based journalists, including one or two senior journalist says what the Prime Minister said in the wake of the attacks and thereafter is incoherent and even inaudible!
We need better articulation. We demand action. We demand more accountability. Some more heads must roll, roll at once and people must come out of the shock and trauma. The nation needs some emotional bonding. There is clearly now a disconnect.
By all accounts, it now seems the attacks were all well-planned and well-executed. Almost, if we can say so, with hundred per cent “success”. All the targets were hit, the ATS police chiefs were all killed and the famous landmarks bore the brunt of the attacks.
The Jewish rabbi and his wife were killed. So whoever might have planned this attack, they deserve some sort of recognition and resolute action. But now the mood in the country is not yet ready to condone the government.
The government’s response from the moment the attacks took place to this very moment, if we can take some liberty with our freedoms of expression and right to have our own opinions, the government hasn’t shown any high degree of sensitivity we associate with a democratic government like ours.
We have the great legacy of Gandhi and Nehru. We are known for our humane culture. We are a successful democracy. We have lots of freedoms and also lots of leverages like our very many failures and yet we tolerate a government for its many weaknesses.
It is time to take some stock of our failures.
The Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh, by all accounts, expressed or suppressed, has failed us miserably.That is the thought that comes and comes again and again whenever we sit back and recollect the past week’s events.The Cabinet didn’t meet immediately after the attacks. Neither our National Security Guards moved out in a responsible manner. The delays were almost like horror stories.
It took nine long hours before the NSG landed in Mumbai. No fire tenders at the site as quickly as one imagined.It took almost 14 long ,long hours before the Cabinet met.
There are now more disturbing reports the government was fed by intelligence beforehand in Oct on the 18th,in Nov on the 19th and three times the RAW intercepted the message to the effect some sea-based attacks are likely.Now, the Navy chief says no such intelligence was passed on to it.
Now much more disturbing loopholes come out. The government protocol is the intelligence wings, RAW, IB and NAS report directly to the Prime Minister almost on a day to day basis.
Dr.Manmohan Singh, the ever academic he is, changed this protocol, he made the ageing M.K.Narayan who is not only a security adviser to the Prime Minister, perhaps their age makes them very cosy colleagues, was also made the National Security Adviser in the place of the late Dixit and the intelligence agencies only report to the NSA and not the Prime Minister.
Now with this almost near-like war against the country where the enemy left us devastated and a demoralised nation, we have a Prime Minister who is going about his business as if the terrorist attacks don’t matter much. Or, one more attack in the series he had asked us to live with in the past few years!And how long it took to send out the hapless Home Minister Shivraj Patil?
Mrs.Sonia Gandhi can’t sit back either as if the troubles of the country don’t come under her purview.
She is also accountable by holding back her favourite Home Minister Mr.Patil all these days and months.Now what are we likely to expect from this government?Any accountability? Who would be running the intelligence outfits? The very same bunglers? Or, will there be any changes. Given the mindset and the way he is going about the Prime Minister looks like a reluctant PM. Is this perception right? We like to seek the views of our readers and the general public.
If the Prime Minister is not inclined to invite criticism from the concerned citizens, if he doesn’t show any further resolute action, then, it is time for the country to think of an alternative Prime Minister even in the next few months before the next elections. What the next elections would mean to people, if the government doesn’t act now? On the aftermath of the tragedy?
The news report gives a rather dismal picture. Even the latest Cabinet meet didn’t discuss the terror attack. So says Kapil Sibal.
It is very distressing.
Also the media, in particular the TV news channels received lots of criticism. Burkha Dutt, Group Editor, NDTV.com has come under critical comments. She was obviously over-doing her brief in an attempt to one-upmanship game. Rightly, Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor in chief of CNN-IBN put it rightly that the tabloids in television had done this mistake. Like Barkha’s interviewing the husband of the slain journalist in the midst of so much agony she was seen asking the man unnecessary questions. Barkha needs cite N.R.Narayana Murthy to her support!
Even the Navy chief criticised the way the TV journalists played their roles. There is much to mourn about. There is much to think about at this moment. At least a citizens committee with eminent men and women, from corporate world, from the arts and culture and NGOs must take independent action and come out with a report on what happened that day and nights and how the governments, both in Mumbai and Delhi failed us.