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Another day, another blast – “Kuch nayee baat batao yaar”

26 August 2007 120 views 11 Comments

Please excuse the unstructured format of this post. My anger still has not subsided enough to write coherently.

Yesterday evening in Hyderabad, a cowardly act of terror claimed almost 50 lives, injuring as many (possibly more).

These were the reactions from our eminent leaders:

***

Rajasekhar Reddy appealed to the people to maintain calm and not spread rumours.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed deep concern over the blasts.

Sherlock Holmes aka Shri Jaiswal (Union Minister of State for Home) said, “One terrorist group or the other is certainly involved in the blasts in Hyderabad”.

***

TOI began its report by saying:  “The killing just doesn’t stop“. Right, let us get the obits out in advance for the next round then.

An outside “hand” is suspected:

“Central security agencies said that the banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami militant outfit of Bangladesh was possibly behind the twin blasts in Hyderabad on Saturday in which 30 people were killed.

But we continue to maintain cordial relations with all our neighbours* (See here).

During the recent meeting India wanted the military-backed interim government to dismantle the Islamic religious schools near the common border, inside Bangladesh because these were allegedly providing training facilities to anti-Indian insurgents. Bangladesh once again denied the presence of such facilities..

Oh, OK – maybe our intelligence agencies were hallucinating.

But wait; Finger of suspicion points to Pak, B’desh!

And yet not one of our leaders will come out and say, “They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate”.

President Pratibha Patil said “the attacks were aimed at disturbing harmony in the city which has a mixed Muslim and Hindu population”.

The people that were killed were merely collateral damage…stop moaning. (my words)

It appears that the Bomb was timed with the national anthem.

“The bomb in Lumbini Park was timed to go off while the national anthem played at the end of the laser show. And as the audience stood to render the anthem a powerful blast rent the night.” (From Deccan Chronicle)

Another reason to hide under your seat rather than stand up during the national anthem.

I just hope and pray that today goes off without any incident:

“More than 30,000 marriages are taking place on Sunday on an auspicious muhurat coinciding with the birth star of Lord Venkateswara. Police has tightened security in view of Saturday’s bomb blasts, and has asked people to report suspicious objects. The day’s highlight would be the marriage of Nara Lokesh, son of Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu, with Brahmani, daughter of film actor Nandamuri Balakrishna.� (Deccan Chronicle)

***

Here is a chronology of major terrorist attacks in India since 2001. Hyderabad now shares the honour with Mumbai and Delhi as the city to have been hit by two terrorist attacks in the last 6 years. I wonder who next?

Yet, few people remember the forgotten terror victim (and here)

***

Ok, enough said. “Kuch nayee baat batao yaar…”

Bedtime reading:

Bangladesh: Next terror frontier? and “Hyderabad Blasts an Unprovoked Act of War

Related Posts:

“Blasts? What Blasts? Yeh to hota hi rahta hai

Bangladesh and the criminal-jihadi nexus and

ULFA, ISI and Terrorism

As an aside (and something to ponder), someone called Kati posted this on Bharat Rakshak. While I cannot verify it, I have no reason to doubt the information:

Post on Aug 26; 338am:

“Once in a while I get in touch with a B’deshi guy who has contacts in their DGFI’s lower level. About a year and half ago he warned me about the vulnerability of shopping malls and academic centers like IITs. (Well pretty much all places in Bharat are vulnerable.) Within two weeks, the attack at IISc took place. Probably his mentioning of “IIT” meant all high value academic institutions. Two years ago this fella mentioned about possibility of hijacking in eastern part of the country prior to 15th Aug. Nothing happened though (fortunately).

He thinks that there are enough sleeper cells already in India to cause havoc. And most favourite target remains crowded trains, especially the ones used by upper middle class.

The point is – local police is so corrupt that it is very easy to bribe them and get all fake documents under their nose.

If you think Kati was exaggerating, read this: Rs 7500 is all it tales to get a genuine passport and Indian Citizenship for Sale (and for cheap)

Aside – II:

On the Indian Muslims website, Sahil Khan has made a great suggestion:

“Dear Muslim Brethren,

Lets come out in full voice and condemn this act.

If this act is committed by a muslim then he is not fit to be called a muslim hence forth.he should be hanged.let us voice this before anyone says that muslims are always quiet when such episodes happen.

Sahil
***

Bravo Sahil.

11 Comments »

  • 1. xyz said:

    *** COMMENT deleted by MODERATOR ***

    xyz: Your comment crossed the line I maintain on this blog.

    Feel free to comment but stick to the point.

    Trolls are not welcome here.

    xyz: Final Warning: Stick to the point – otherwise I will be forced to delete your comments without any further notification.

  • 2. Dr. Ambekar said:

    Friends.
    Believe it or not “As long as there is Congress Government in Power by hook or crook, Terrorists activities will be encouraged ( There is lip sympathy for Hindus). Repeal of POTA was the first step towards freedom for Terrorism. Left Joins with Congress and never takes notice of such incidences.
    IB, CBI, RAW andy other Security Departments including Civil Servants are loyal to Dynastic Rule and not to their own conscience for their own Motherland. I am not talking of other faiths you must realise it. The loyalties of other faiths are with their places of origins of their faith.
    Brothers I call it to every one if you think you owe some thing to your motherland please act and stop not until you achieve your goal.

    However the Principles of you faith may be of high moral value and humane, if there is no political power behind it no one will follow and preach those principles.

    Dr. Ambekar.

  • 3. Manoj said:

    Shanatnu,

    pretty familiar reaction from the govt, politicians,etc..stay calm, acts of cowardice, external hands (not so much lately bcos of improving relations?), etc…wonder why do they even bother saying anything..

    there doesnt seem to a political will to do anything against such crimes and therefore they have become a every day occurance…soemthing which used to happen in J&K now seems to have spread throughout India….and yet no govt has done anything about it..wonder what will it take for some actual action against such terrorists/acts of terrorism

    …and the sad bit is your title is a reality and cant see it changing soon

  • 4. Sanjeev Sabhlok said:

    Dear Shantanu

    I share your grief and anger at these cowardly attacks. Unfortunately, the ‘solution’ to this mayhem is not likely to be a short-term one. Yes, in the immediate term, the police will need to be significantly strengthened. But further empowering the police without reforming governance that reduces the extremely high level of corruption in the police forces may not yield the desired results.

    And so, it would be good if India works towards implementing significant improvements in its governance even as it goes all out for these terrorists. Good governance that promotes freedom and education will ultimately help to ease the ignorance and hatred that lies below these attacks.

    What do I mean by good governance? I’ve described it at some length in my book (available for download) at
    http://www.sanjeev.sabhlokcity.com/breakingfree.html

    I hope this suggestion is not seen as glossing over the immediate events, but holding out a plan of action for those who want to see a much better India where events such as this one will ultimately taper off.

    And yes, I agree that we should expect all Indians (in fact all humans) to condemn such attacks.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

  • 5. kash said:

    Day 1
    *** Flash News ***
    As usual One more blast
    Politicians: We condemn this strongly
    Police: It is a terrorist attack
    Media: 100 Dead, 500 Injured
    Sickularists: It is shock to Nation
    People: Damn the terrorism

    Day 2
    News Update
    Polit: 5 Lakh to dead person’s & 1 lakh to each injured family
    Polic: 50 suspects caught
    Media: 30 got convicted
    Siclr: Human Rights violation, leave them
    Ppl: Thank god, We were not in that place. My family is safe.

    Day 3
    Polit: We wont tolerate terrorism anymore
    Court: Hang 5 culprits
    Media: Poll – SMS ur opinion. Culprit must be hanged? [Y/N]
    Sickular: Lets goto president for clemency
    Ppl: Lets get back to our work

    Day 4:
    Polit: Which blast?
    Media: India won the Cricket match
    Sickular: All are equal
    Terrorists: We are Safe

    2020
    *** Flash News ***
    No blasts from 1 week in India.

    Who is the culprit?
    Is it not we, the “People of India” who forgets so easily?

    _______________

    i got above message in e-amail from a friend

  • 6. pramod said:

    Dear Shantanu,
    Weak have no right to complain, if we can not attck we have to be prepared get hammiring.
    “DUNIYA JHUKTI HAI JHU KANE WALA CHAHIYE”
    People all governed by third class people through second class people as first class are burried under the debris of earlier two.

  • 7. B Shantanu said:

    All: Thanks for your comments.

    ***

    @ Dr Ambekar: With due respect, Shri Vajpayee was in power in Dec 2001 at the time of attack on Parliament and in spite of some strong words (“Aaar ya paar”) not much was done.

    In my humble opinion, even the BJP is partly guilty of failing to tackle this issue.

    ***

    @ Sanjeev: I will have a look at the link. I agree that there are no short-cut solutions here.

    Dealing with terrorism requires strategy and clarity of purpose.

    Sadly, our leaders appear to lack both.

  • 8. Prakash said:

    Don’t know if you have read this article. We have the most casualties among the nations affected by terrorism (under the UPA “rule”. By the way, I despise the word “rule”. It appears to be used only with the Indian governments although it does show the power that the govt and its bodies still wield)

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indias_terror_death_toll_second_to_Iraq/articleshow/2312796.cms

    I do not understand why we still refuse to take stern action against terrorists. The polity is just a reflection of the mentality of the people. I wonder when the Hindu mind will realize the magnitude of the problem.

  • 9. Ashutosh Sheshabalaya said:

    The Hyderabad bombing (like the serial catalogue of outrages before it ) has two messages one for the Western world and another for India itself.

    For the West, these attacks show (once again !) that there is no our terrorism and theirs. It suggests that the only real solution to this scourge is to see it as a universal affront against civilization, and join forces firstly (and above all) in mindset, and then in action – to fight and destroy it.

    I do not use the word civilized societies, because that is divisive and unhelpful. Terrorists do not belong to society, any society. It is that simple.
    [I always remember a famous statement by Lyndon Johnson - you either are inside the fence pissing out - or outside, pissing in].

    But there is still some way to go before such a joining of forces in mindset and worldview (at least about Johnsons fence).
    When US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice arrived in Europe in December 2005 to explain the whats and whys of the then-white hot controversy about rendition (cross-border transfer of terrorists), she said:

    Terrorists have planned the killings of thousands of innocentsin New York City or Nairobi, in Bali or London, in Madrid or Beslan, in Casablanca or Istanbul. Marked by their absence from her list were Indian cities like Srinagar or Jammu, New Delhi or Varanasi – all of which had seen similar outrages within the previous 12 months, but whose victims were Indians, not Westerners.

    Neither did Secretary Rice make any reference to Ramankutty Maniyappanthe Indian technician found butchered in Afghanistan barely two weeks before her comments. Maniyappan was, after all, a key player in another facet of the Wests War Against Terrorone arguably as important as rendition – which everybody in liberal Europe appears to have forgotten about (while their counterparts in India never heard of).

    And Afghanistan, one needs to be reminded, was exactly where India was forced to release Sheikh Ahmad Omar Saeed (a Pakistani terrorist captured in Kashmir by Indian forces) in exchange for the passengers of a hijacked Indian jet at the turn of the year 2000. The same Sheikh Ahmad then went on to slaughter Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl a good illustration of the interface between our terrorism and theirs.

    Meanwhile, few really appreciate that India has been a longer victim of international terror, far worse affected, but still much less prone to use the coercive and controlling apparatus of the State than the West.

    An Indian Army Major General once asked me: Why do the Indian armed forces – with one of the worlds largest helicopter fleets – never deploy them for counter-insurgency roles in Kashmir (incidentally, unlike what Indias helicopters have achieved in Sierra Leone, and have recently done in the Congo) ?

    This is because such a visibly hard response would be suicide for the Indian political establishment, its own peculiar self-image as a soft State, and the determination of numerous well-meaning but nave (mainly Indian) NGOs and liberal journalists – both Western and Indian – to freeze it that way. How long, for instance, did our cutesy Indian media continue calling terrorists in Kashmir militants ?
    Post 9-11, many liberal west European States did not hesitate a second before dramatically tightening their anti-terror laws, and turning a blind eye – or in several cases – even actively participating in the American rendition drama (as we know from the Marty report).

    In contrast, India, responding to its NGOs and liberal media, went on in the wake of 9-11 to repeal its Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

    In Holland, we have to remember the casus belli was the death of just one film maker.

    The Hyderabad outrage should be set in such a context, as should the Wests active support (beyond the usual sounds of condolence) for the only realistic Indian response.

    This would be to bring back POTA.

    India also needs to toughen up its act in Kashmir. It should permanently call off talks with Kashmiri and other separatists (and their sponsors in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan) until there is an end to terror and an acceptance of the secular nature of the Indian State as the only framework for a solution. Here too, there are several imaginative possibilities for Western support both in mindset and action.

    But for the West to play us and them, and the entire Indian establishment to pussyfoot around the core issue is – to paraphrase Lyndon Johnson – to piss on our own faces.

    Shantanu, above everything, as your citations illustrate – what is needed now in India is a new media (and I do not mean the Internet), more in tune with the times, and dare I say, worldly wise.

  • 10. Solomon said:

    Does anyone remember during the 1999 Kargil war when the cricket world cup was going on and the war got hardly any notice (by media and by the common man)? Until of course the world cup was over, when suddenly everyone woke up to the fact that a bloody war is being fought by our brave soldiers in the harshest of environments for the past 2 months…

  • 11. B Shantanu said:

    @ Prakash: Thanks for the link. I am going to put some data from it on the blog in a day or two.

    ***
    @ Ashutosh: Thats a great comment and a very insightful analysis – I will respond to it in more detail over the weekend – but yes, it is becoming increasingly obvious to me as well that we need a “new media” – a media that writes about things the way they are rather than as they appear to be.

    ***
    @ Solomon: Good point – but of course public memory is notoriously short – and this too will be forgotten – or overshadowed by the next “big exclusive”.

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