India's Soft Responses
Mumbai, once again became the target of terrorist bombings resulting in the loss of 200 innocent lives and more than700 wounded on July 11, 2006. Like the Madrid bombings and the London tube bombings, the Mumbai bombings also concentrated their horrific carnage on Mumbai's Western Railway line during the evening office hours peak time when thousands of people were returning home. In all seven bombing blasts took place within minutes of each other at different points along the railway line.
Mumbai has been the target of terrorist bombings ever since 1993. In fact, Mumbai has been subjected to six major bombing incidents since 1993 resulting in the loss of hundreds of innocent lives.
The present bombings in Mumbai, once again bore the unmistakable signature and stamp of Pakistan-based Islamic Jehadi terrorist organizations, and in particular the Lashkar-e-Toiba. Additionally, the involvement of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has also been reported.
The websites in India have been full of strident and anguished criticism of India's political leadership and the Indian Government for what is widely perceived as lack of strong responses to tackle the menace of Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attacks against India. This time even a fair section of the Indian media too has come out with similar responses mirroring the widespread anger of the Indian public on Indian Government's feeble responses.
The anger was far more, as on the same day in Kashmir's capital city of Srinagar, there were an equal number of grenade attacks on vehicles carrying domestic tourists from West Bengal resulting in the loss of about a dozen lives. So on one day alone on July 11, 2006, India was subjected to widespread terrorist attacks ranging from Kashmir in the North and all the way down South to Mumbai. And what were the responses of the Indian nation state to these brazen attacks on India's sovereignty?
The responses of India's Prime Minister, Congress Party President, the Home Minister, the Home Secretary and other allies of the governing coalition can be summarized as under:
The terrorist bombings were condemned as usual in what have become standard responses.
It was stressed that India would not buckle under terrorism .
The spirit of Mumbai's citizens was praised for their fortitude and their resilience to resume normal lives.
People were advised to maintain communal harmony.
It was stressed that terrorist incidents would not be allowed to de-rail the .
peace process with Pakistan
Singularly missing from these Government responses was:
Pakistan was not criticized for not living up to the pledges it had given through General Musharraf' that Pakistan would not allow its territory or territory under its control for launching of terrorist attacks against India.
Pakistan was not warned to cease its support for Islamic Jehadi terrorist organizations controlled and patronized by the Pakistan Army.
No warning was given to those who harbor Pakistani terrorists, their agents and the modules that today abound in the hinterland of Mumbai.
Pakistan was not warned that for the peace dialogue to continue, Pakistan is to deliver on its pledges.
Jingoism is not being recommended, but the citizens of India have the right to expect from their Government their constitutional right to their safety and security. Further, that the Indian Government is expected to strike at the roots of terrorist organizations which not only strike India's sovereignty but also kill and maim hundred of Indian lives.
Finally, what makes India an attractive target for Islamic Jehadi attacks (and here there can be no quibbling India media style that it is not so; it is so because the terrorists are being motivated by their mentors in the name of religion) is that successive Indian Governments responses to terrorism have been feeble; Indian political leaders are perceived as incapable of strong responses; India's scrapping of stringent laws to curb terrorism by the present Government, aided by the Leftists and the buy a dime self- proclaimed secularists of the Hindi heartland.
One 9/11 was enough for the terrorists which sought to bring the United States on its knees. The United States struck at their roots, bringing about the regime change of Pakistan-prot'g' Taliban in Afghanistan, dismantling Pakistan's terrorist factories in that country and twisting General Musharraf to agree in a minute to side with the United States against the terrorism products of the Pakistan Army he headed.
India has similar capabilities but its political leadership lacks the conviction for strong responses; it is soft and far too soft. It is this which encourages incidents like the Mumbai blasts deep inside India.