This is the question I will like to ask Mr. Balbir Punj â€“ BJP MP and journalist. As all of you, I too have been deeply shocked by the simple manner in which our most beloved city, our favourite icon and a lot of common men have become the victim of terror. Almost every country has faced terror at one time or another. But none can match the regularity and scale of attacks in India. Having said that these attacks on Mumbai have been different, because terrorists didnâ€™t strike and left but they stayed there and killed people for three continuous days.
Much of the blame of what is happening in this country goes to the politicians because they are our leaders. Even in corporate sector when the company makes some mistake, the CEO takes the blame and most often goes. Unfortunately our politics is one big scoop of power without any responsibility. Today as I was seeing people encouraging others in Delhi to go and vote, I wondered if I was in Delhi who would have I voted for?
The problem is that our multi-party system fed by caste and regional concerns is too fragmented to ever produce an inspiring leadership. I respect former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and have even greater respect for the current PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, who by his economic reforms made India the power that it is today. But both of them failed to protect India. Vajpayee meekly surrendered to the IC 814 hijacking and released prisoners who attacked Indian parliament and killed American journalist Daniel Pearl among their other achievements. Dr. Singh on the other hand has goofed up by having a man like Shivraj Patil (who had enough time to keep changing his dress while terrorists were blasting up Delhi) and making empty promises.
In his speech after the Mumbai attack, Dr. Singh talked about â€œinnocent peopleâ€, â€œexternal elementsâ€, â€œtough actionsâ€, â€œno compromiseâ€, â€œtoughen lawsâ€, â€œset up federal investigative agencyâ€…….. when the hell will you do it? On the last day of your tenure. If the PM of the country canâ€™t implement his words on a matter as important as terrorism, we are doomed. I imagine terrorists laughing at us seeing our PM make such empty claims. You have let us all down Dr. Singh.
And then there is the BJP. The right-wing party supposedly tough on terror. Shame on hypocrites like them. Do I need to present a spreadsheet to show that they were equally worse (or even more for releasing terrorists)? Though they showed uncharacteristic restraint by not attacking the government straight away, but I read the first of it yesterday afternoon in Deccan Chronicle by BJP MP and journalist Balbir K. Punj. I believe that the way some people try to isolate the complete Muslim community as responsible for these attacks start a circle which creates suspicion among other Hindus, separates Muslims, very few of whom go on and support the terror activities and the cycle goes on.
So I took on him (he had given his e-mail id) and wrote him this mail. I hope that you read this and tell me if I am wrong at some point. If I am correct, then support me and send your own mail to Balbir Punj at (email@example.com). I am not able to find his article on the web at the point, but will upload it as soon as I am able to get it.
Subject: Do you have the guts to answer this?
I just read your column â€œIslamic terror is not newâ€ in â€˜Deccan Chronicleâ€™ (November 28, 2008). I and you share one common idea â€“ we both donâ€™t what a repetition of what happened in Mumbai. But, unfortunately I think your words are utterly divisive and are responsible for these acts at a level.
â€¢ You say that USA crushed terrorism without caring for human rights and suggest India to do the same. I donâ€™t think that what actually worked in USA â€“ increased security, centralised body (Department of Homeland Security), more extensive ID checks and taking the attack to the opposition in USA involve breaching human rights. On the other hand, among the first steps of President-elect Obama will be to shut down Guantanamo Bay â€“ the theatre of human rights violation.
â€¢ You use the word â€œsecularistsâ€ in quotes and have portrayed them as minority-appeasing, anti-majority and unmindful of national interests. I want to remind you that its only your community â€“ politicians â€“ who need to appease others. Rest of us are true secularists who love their own religion but equally respect the otherâ€™s right to respect his.
â€¢ You claim that the â€œsecularistsâ€ media always tries to justify these acts. No media- print, electronic or web has mentioned the phrases â€“ â€œBabri Masjidâ€, â€œpersecution of Muslimsâ€. In the last 48 hours. Your column is the first place where I am reading this.
â€¢ Media portrays security forces as villains!! Which media do you subscribe to?? We including our media love our forces. People of your gentry have some special imaginary media delivered to your homes.
â€¢ You highlight the release of â€œAbdul Naseer Madniâ€ â€“ the alleged plotter of the plan to assassinate Mr. Advani. This action is completely deplorable and should be revoked immediately if it is motivated by political concerns. I wonder why you/your party challenged it in law courts??
â€¢ According to you, POTA is the solution to every terrorist issue in this country. The NDA regime had applied it, didnâ€™t it? Please enlighten us that how POTA itself was able to prevent terrorist actions? Instead of shirking responsibility by overusing this word, why donâ€™t all of you sit and discuss its provisions detailing how all of them will help. This is a real problem Sir. Not one of your ally jumping the boat that you will fight it with words. Show us what are the actual plans you have.
â€¢ Sir where you in a state of hibernation before 2005? You claim that terrorist attacks since 2005, always. Vajpayee ji was a noble statesman. But, irrespective of my respect towards him, I will have to say that the most severe terrorist activities â€“ IC 814 hijacking and the attack on Parliament happened during NDA tenure. The last government also didnâ€™t take any concrete steps to boost up intelligence or make superior anti-terror forces.
â€¢ Why do you raise so much hue and cry about Hindu terror? If it exists, it can become a serious issue. Why donâ€™t you people let the ATS do its job? Why have you people created such a situation where even anti-terrorism operations have a political colour. Instead of praising the bravery of officers like Hemant Karkare â€“ who died for the country, you are only reminded of their role in the Malegaon case. Arenâ€™t you ashamed of yourself? Even your party-men have praised their bravery. What is that you have done for this country that enables you to talk about such martyrs in this manner?
â€¢ And yet again Sir, why are you so shallow so as to raise an event of 8th century in a time like this. If all of us start keeping grudges for 13 centuries, then this human race will not see tomorrowâ€™s daylight. The India that matters is the one of today. We have to think about how to strengthen it, develop it, and make people feel blessed to be Indians, not fragment India with statements like that of yours. I find your words to be very close to those used by British during their â€œDivide-and-Ruleâ€ policy to govern India.
I will also be extremely glad and proud if we had intelligence agencies and anti-terror forces of the standard that the West has. But by continuously trying to isolate the whole Muslim community as partners in terror, you create an environment of distrust due to which some of them start collaborating with external terrorists. Blaming the whole Muslim community for terrorism is akin to blaming the entire Hindu community for the Gujarat riots.
I really wish that you take the time to share your views with me. If I am wrong, please correct me. But, if I am correct, please reform yourself. Donâ€™t believe in your views so much that you cease to have the ability to have a fresh view.