Terror in Mumbai – a reflection

This Thanksgiving weekend seemed astonishingly long with the TV screens continuously flashing the images from the 60 hours of terror in Mumbai starting from 11/26 10:30 pm IST. What started as cops thinking as gang-war shootings turned into a full fledged terrorist attack that captured world-wide media attention because it targeted the 2 of the prestigious Mumbai hotels (Taj, Oberoi) and another home for the Jews (Nariman House). At the end of the 60 hour horror, it was the courage and attacking skills of the army and NSG commandoes who helped to kill 9 of the 10 terrorists but not before at least 175 people had been killed and more than 250 injured.

Now that Mumbai is getting back on its feet, its time to understand what was the root cause of this issue and whether we could have prevented this attack at all. Some heads have already started to roll – Shivaraj Patil, the (ex) Home Minister and RR Patil, Maharashtra Deputy CM. But is that enough?

Early investigations with the only captured terrorist indicate LeT involvement. The terrorists seem to have been trained in PoK and Rawalpindi before starting off on their journey from Karachi. Which begs the question? – since India is surrounded by water on 3 sides, why aren’t security measures for the seas as strict as those for air-travel? – I think this is probably one of the areas where India needs to spend time, money and resources.

Also, there have been rumors that the NSG commandoes took over 10 hours to arrive after being given the SoS from Mumbai. That, in a combat situation, is a cardinal sin. Agreed – there could have been logistical delays in getting from Delhi to Mumbai – but then why are the NSG commandoes only posted in Delhi? – the solution for that is to have a strong NSG Commando center in every strategic city in India e.g. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune etc.

Security is the basic right of the citizens of a country – the Govt. needs to assure its people that stricter security measures are in place and terror strikes of such magnitude cannot happen. If that means allocating more to the defence budget, so be it. The new Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, having spent most of his career, in presenting budgets for the common man, faces his toughest challenge yet – make the common man secure in India.

In the end, I salute the Mumbai cops, the Army men, the NSG commandoes and above all, the martyrs – I hope the Indian Govt. recognizes their contributions and takes care of their families forever. That, according to me, is the least that the Govt. can do.

As for Mumbai, it is known to be a resilient city – I am sure it will bounce back and move ahead but the scars will remain … maybe forever.

Jai Hind … Jai Hind ki Sena.


One Response

  1. […] one of his most significant innings – especially since this series was played in the shadows of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Sachin, being a Mumbaikar, was pretty clear that this victory will never be able to wipe out […]

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