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Stale politics over bomb blasts

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In a day full of political posturing, sensible statements came from Julio Ribeiro, erstwhile police commissioner of the city, and the man credited with breaking Sikh terrorism, on the 9 PM show on CNN-IBN on 14 July, 2011. He speaks about 15 minutes after the beginning. An added bonus in this video is a calculated rant by Shobhaa De.

After every terrorist attack the BJP rolls out the same arguments and the same communally loaded code words. The day after the Mumbai blasts IE reported:

Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Thursday said the repeated attacks on Mumbai should be viewed as a “policy failure” and not as an intelligence failure, and demanded that the UPA government adopt a policy of “zero tolerance” towards terrorism.

He demanded that the Centre move to have the ISI declared as a terrorist organisation even if it was part of the Pakistani establishment.

Elsewhere, IE reported:

Senior leader Arun Jaitley said the Centre’s non-serious approach could be gauged from the fact that while it was all set to enact a law on communal violence it was not ready to bring in a tough anti-terror law.

Jaitley accused the government of pursuing vote bank politics that weakens the fight against terror and asked all parties and civil society to speak in one voice and adopt a common approach to fight terror.

The response to these statements should have been measured and mature: hardly the occasion for a greenhorn like Rahul Gandhi to pat the government on the back. In yet another report, IE wrote:

“We will stop 99 per cent of the terror attacks but 1 per cent of attacks might get through,” [Rahul Gandhi] told reporters at Bhubaneswar this morning, talking about yesterday’s serial blasts in Mumbai.

“It is very difficult to stop every single terrorist attack. The idea is that we have to fight terrorism at the local level. There has been improvement in our intelligence. The way we think about fighting terrorism has improved by leaps and bounds. But terrorism is something that is impossible to stop all the time. There is now an attack on Mumbai. But you would not have heard all the attacks that were stopped.”

However, Rahul added, “We must try to stop 100 per cent of the attacks. It is something we will fight and defeat.”

Not only is it insensitive to talk about success the day after serial blasts, it is also wrong to neglect the disquieting problem of complete lack of intelligence on this attack.

A window into what survivors and families are going through is provided by this documentary aired at 9 PM on NDTV on 14 July, 2011. I found this to be one of the most sensitive documentaries aired by a media not often noted noted for sensitivity.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 15, 2011 at 3:47 am

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