July 15, 2011

Mumbai terror attack: what’s your take?

India is seen as an easy target as its government cannot act as strongly as the US government can. The weaknesses come from: India not being powerful, Pakistan’s ISI, poor centre-state coordination, weak political leadership, competitive politics, no strong action against suspects due to fear of angering religious communities, and corrupt, inefficient, poorly trained and poorly staffed police force and intelligence networks… 

Worse, nobody in the higher political and bureaucratic hierarchy feels accountable. They sing paens in praise of resilience of Mumbaikars, visit the injured and take vow to tackle terrorism only to divert attention. Some politicians sitting in Delhi might even be thanking their luck that the terror event would take the focus away from Anna hazare’s anti-corruption campaign.

What is your take? [Some options given below.]

"There was no intelligence input - either with the Centre or the state agencies - about this blast. Despite the vast intelligence machinery that is available, there was no intelligence...this one slipped through… Having no intelligence in this case, however, does not mean that there was a failure on part of the intelligence agencies." Chidambaram 

"It is very difficult to stop every single terrorist attack. The idea is that we have to fight terrorism at the local level. We have improved leaps and bounds. But terrorism is something that is impossible to stop all the time… We will stop 99% terror attacks but one per cent of attacks might get through. We must try to stop 100% attacks. Terrorism is something we will fight and defeat." Rahul Gandhi

"It is a policy failure not intelligence failure. There have been repeated attacks on Mumbai, this is a failure of policy… Indian government must shed its ambivalence towards terrorism. It should declare that its policy against terrorism will be of zero tolerance." Advani

"Even US had to go through 9/11 attacks. In a country of 1.2 billion, we have made progress. We have improved our intelligence network. But nobody can say that there won't be any attacks. We are comparatively better than Pakistan, where attacks happen every day, every week… It has been much better than NDA can claim. There have been less number of attacks in the last five years." Digvijaya Singh

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