With high-tech precision, eight explosions in rapid succession struck a busy commuter railway in the city of Mumbai on 11th July evening, killing 190 people, injuring many more, and turning the rush hour into a grisly tableau of carnage. This is the seventh major instance of a terrorist attack in the city of Mumbai during the last 13 years. Adding to the misery, thousands of commuters found themselves stranded, unable to find a way home or even to call their families to say they were all right, because phone lines were jammed or run down.
Our helplessly hopeless Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has won for himself an immortal place in world history by describing the public response in Mumbai and elsewhere as 'the people's resilience and resolve to triumph over the evil designs of the merchants of death and destruction'. By coming out with such pious nonsense, he and the UPA Government have lost the battle against Islamic terrorism even in the first round.
The Daily Pioneer in a historic Editorial has rightly commented: 'Does the UPA regime have the courage to confront them? Only an effete and irresolute Government will simply suggest that the people must fight and win the battle against Islamist terrorism while those in power wring their hands in abject despair or, worse, refuse to act in any manner that may be seen as not being in consonance with an astounding policy of appeasement whose scary contour has now come to include pandering to radical Islamism'.
I was listening to Dr. Manmohan Singh over the Television talking to the nation after the truly secular, non-communal, non-saffronized Mumbai bomb blasts. Within two minutes I switched off the television. Our Prime Minister can put an army of one million to sleep in a matter of seconds. In this context, I recalled what stirring message the US President George Bush gave to his nation over the television on the evening of September 11, 2001 in a measured and forthright manner: 'We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.' In India, terrorists who commit these acts enjoy minority rights and those Muslims who harbor the terrorists have the Government incentive of Haj subsidies. Whereas, Bush was not worried about losing his Muslim votes in America in the next elections while making his heroic declaration.
The UPA Government decided to put on a mock show of official sympathy when they made a royal visit to Mumbai yesterday. I cannot resist quoting the brilliant words of Saisuresh Sivaswamy in this context: 'On the streets of Mahim, close to where we work, the MAJESTY OF THE INDIAN STATE was on full display as Congress president Sonia Gandhi accompanied by Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Railway Minister Lalu Yadav drove past, en route to the blast site. My colleague counted 38+ cars in the motorcade that swept past, as other traffic on the road was kept frozen in place by the security phalanx. It was truly an impressive sight - only, I couldn't help thinking, it was put on for someone who doesn't hold an office of authority. While the man who does, simply reviewed the security situation in the face of the Srinagar and Mumbai blasts, and directed that New Delhi's security be beefed up. This was the majesty of the Indian State on display yesterday. I could have wept.'
Bal Thackeray, the Shiv Sena supremo, has rightly stated that the pusillanimous policy of the Congress-led Central Government towards Pakistan is solely responsible for these bomb blasts against the innocent people of India. He has added: 'The Centre is busy operating bus services to Pakistan and Islamabad, on its part, is busy pushing terrorists into India. I have been calling for a tough policy towards Pakistan, but I was ridiculed'. In his context he also said 'Now another dimension (of terrorism) has been opened in the form of illegal immigration from Bangladesh'.
There is reliable documentary evidence to show that the criticism of Bal Thackeray is well-founded. Recently, Amir Mir, a former editor of the Weekly Independent and now bureau chief of Gulf News in Lahore has written: 'Pakistan's relationship with radical Islamic terrorism remains dangerously ambiguous. Historically, military leaders, including General Musharraf (have) openly used the Taliban and terrorist groups in Kashmir to advance Pakistan's strategic objectives'. This dangerous trend has to be carefully monitored and dealt with an iron hand.
What the media needs to be reminded of is the statement made by Mohammad Amir Shakeel Ahmed as long ago as 1999 at a conference of Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) that his nation is not India, but Islam.
The logic of effective governance lies in this: When an enemy directs terror at any nation-State, it is expected to hit back with maximum force and carry the fight into the enemy camp. Just to be in possession of overweening power by itself is not enough. But it has to be deployed strategically against all the enemies known and unknown. All our nuclear weapons, our missiles, our tanks, come to naught when we don't have the steel in our soul to defend ourselves and our subjects at any cost, in spite of all terror and however long and hard the road may be.
Has the Indian State ever shown this type of political courage and will after independence? The answer is a categorical 'NO'.
The Nation-soul destroying UPA Government in authority today is all the time engaged in a peace process with the very neighbor who is out to dismember India through any and every means available to it. It is not therefore surprising that terrorists continue to attack India with impunity? I would appeal to the UPA Government to take the following steps immediately on a war footing to defend the people of India against the forces of Pak-sponsored terrorism.
To immediately recall the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan as a mark of protest against the continued help and patronage being extended by President Musharaff to all the Islamic terrorists in India;
To summon the American Ambassador in New Delhi and to make it clear to him that India is not North Korea or Iraq to be toyed with immunity by the United States;
To take immediate action to reintroduce the POTA as demanded by L.K. Advani, Leader of the Opposition;
To take immediate action for declaring India as 'Hindustan'. Hindustan will be as legitimate as Pakistan. If Pakistan is not legitimate, then Gandhi and Nehru should not have agreed to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.
I fully endorse the views of Dr. Babu Suseelan that 'Jihad terrorism is not over the policies of US, Israel, and India, or due to globalization, social change, poverty, economic deprivation or lack of self-esteem, but rather the ideology, the cognitive-behavior processes of Jihad Muslims. Terrorism, bombing, beheading and suicide murder are symptoms of a deep-rooted pathology stemming from their 'addictive thinking' on Islam. The Islamic 'addictive thinking' convinces jihad terrorists that attack on infidel would restore Islamic pride and prove to the infidel world that Jihad warriors are full of confidence and Islamic pride. The root cause of jihad terrorism is to be found in the defective, dangerous dogma that binds Jihad Muslims around the world together. The Jihad Muslim's thinking process and behaviors are sanctioned in Islam. What is less understandable is how and why mindless liberals fall prey to so much distorted thought.'
Terrorism can be tackled only by a resolute retaliation, a retaliation so decisive and swift that a powerful message which can be understood can be transmitted everywhere. The key component in the war against terrorism lies in the response of counter-violence. For, violence or force is the only language terror perpetrators and terror cuddlers understand. To dither in impotence and inaction will be folly, historic blunder if the recurrence of such events has to be prevented. A Government is not legitimate merely because it exists. We must try to find ways to starve the terrorists of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend. If a government is not capable of protecting the lives of innocent citizens, it has no right to govern.