Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Pre-emption needed, not despair

From The Statesman

A nation that has been gradually and steadily building up its economic and technological strength to raise a billion people to a decent standard of living and seek a rightful place in the global community cannot allow itself to be drowned in pessimism.
The quick return to normalcy of work and life in Mumbai, one of the greatest cities in the world, and a city whose creative dynamism sums up the best of India, has been so assuring that there’s a certain gut feeling ~ that India shall overcome. However, it hurts badly ~ irrespective of whether one lives in India or abroad ~ because we have become so much emotionally bonded and identified with what is India and what India ought to be. Yet, there is so little room for despair that we end up consoling ourselves with India’s resilient spirit every time there is a fresh attack. Resilience is not a substitute for action.
Terrorism is a local and global phenomenon and it must be fought at every level with imagination, intelligence and persistence, with all the available resources, as the USA has been fighting. Americans have come to believe that terrorism is preventable and must be prevented whatever the cost.
The 11 September attacks have been a kind of sourcebook for the US Homeland Security and whenever any attack occurs anywhere in the world, London, Madrid or Mumbai, the authorities redouble their vigilance, and freshen up their plans to meet any contingency. It could happen here, they acknowledge, but it must not, and that’s the steely determination writ large on their faces.
As soon as the images of wrecked trains and mutilated bodies appeared on American television screens, Homeland Security authorities shook themselves up once again and reassured the people that the New York commuter train system ~ that carries 4.5 million Americans to and from work every day ~ is well-protected and under constant watch, though there is no place for complacency. More patrolling, more bag searches, more surveillance, more inconvenience, more protests, but no letting up. Altogether 32 million Americans use trains everyday for work and leisure and protecting the vast network of transportation system is not an easy task.
Only a few days before the Mumbai train attacks, US authorities had uncovered a plot to blow up the underground tunnel system that connects New Jersey with New York City.
The discovery of the plot was not accidental or a serendipitous occurrence. The Homeland Security since the 11 September episode has been on the lookout for terrorists in order to pre-empt any kind of attack. They would not allow a failure of imagination and anticipation for America to be taken by surprise again. Apart from the Federal government, every state has a list of potential terrorist targets for which there are contingency plans.
The most common response to terrorism is to wait for the attack to occur and then swing into action; or issue a bravado statement like the one that came from the Indian Cabinet after the Mumbai attacks: “Nothing will deter us from our firm policy to fight this menace till it is wiped out. We are determined to apprehend and bring to justice all those responsible for the evil acts in Mumbai.” As if in response to this jejune statement, a BBC correspondent observed, albeit cynically, that during the last decade so many attacks have taken place in India that no one has been apprehended, no serious action has been taken and eventually nobody cares.
For a moment I thought the BBC correspondent had summed up a history of India in one sentence. Throughout the ages, India has been attacked, and attacked, and attacked… but without any response.
Islamic terrorists in India whether they belong to Students Islamic Movement of India, Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba or some other outfit know that nothing serious would happen to them even if they were apprehended. Politically and financially, they are well provided for; otherwise they would not have been in business so long. Who is protecting them in India?
In the USA and increasingly in Europe, especially after the London and Madrid bombings, there has been a paradigm shift. The policy has been not only to nip the evil in the bud but also to eliminate the evil at the conceptual stage.
The plot to blow up New Jersey-New York rail tunnel, for example, was at the most preliminary conceptual stage, when its thinking head and organiser, an Al-Qaida associate Assem Hammoud, at Lebanese International University, where he taught economics, was arrested along with other suspects in cooperation with investigators in foreign countries. “The primary emphasis has to be,” said NBC’s counter-terrorism analyst Michael Sheehan, “on the investigation and to find and detect any cell that may be plotting against the system.”
In India such plotting cells would not be found in the slums of Mumbai but in places where people think and tinker and assemble. It should not very difficult to find them. Unless India adopts and ruthlessly executes a policy of zero tolerance toward Islamic terrorists, which means using all the available means to hunt them under the law, we would be wondering ~ What after Mumbai: Kolkata, Bangalore or some place where India’s brain, wealth and creativity thrive? India needs to re-balance its priorities, freedom and domestic security.
Despair is not an option for India. Pre-emption is the key to eliminate terrorism.


  1. Muslim terrorists attach on US due to the failure of US foreign policies.

    Muslim terrorists attach on India due to the failure of Indian's internal policies.

    You can call them terrorists in India, but they are also the rebellions. Other than Muslim rebellions, there are others rebellions such as Maoists, Naxalites.

    One real terrorist group in India is RSS.

    Gnerally, there are toooooo many internal conflicts in India due to the failure of India gov. People there are attacking each other over there for religious, economical, political or caste reasons.


  2. Suspected communist rebels killed in India

    By OMER FAROOQ Associated Press Writer
    © 2006 The Associated Press

    HYDERABAD, India — Police raided a forest hideout for communist rebels in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh state Sunday, killing a guerrilla chief and at least seven other people, the state's police chief said.

    The rebels, who claim to be inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than two decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor. More than 6,500 people have been killed.

    Top rebel leader Burra Chinnaiah, the state chief of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist group, was among those killed Sunday, said Director-General of Police Swaranjit Sen, who described the operation as a major blow to the rebels.

    Sen said police recovered seven guns, including an AK-47 rifle in the clashes in Daraboilupenta forest, about 220 miles south of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

    "The only way out for the Maoists is to surrender their weapons. They will be well off joining the political mainstream," Sen said.

    State Home Minister K. Jana Reddy applauded the police raids and said there was no unnecessary carnage. Five women were among the dead.

    "The government is fulfilling its responsibility of maintaining law and order. The police kills the extremists only in self defense and not deliberately," Reddy said.

    Eighty suspected rebels have been killed so far this year in Andhra Pradesh, police say. Twenty civilians and policemen have been killed by the militants.

    This is how rebellion come out in India