Current affairs

Silence of the Lambs


More than two years have passed since we witnessed the horrific carnage of innocents in one of the most elite areas of Mumbai. Recently we had another series of bomb blasts in the Diamond trading center of Mumbai. Just few days back, another killer explosion in New Delhi,  took many innocent lives. On each occasion, the media created much hype about our possible response to this premeditated act of few criminal minded zealots within the country and across our borders.  When it was conceived that the attackers were from across the borders, the (media) interviewed many people, asked them loaded questions and made things appear in such way that it looked as if an attack by our armed forces was almost imminent. When the needle of suspicion moved to home grown terrorists, police made number of statements and it was thought that some severe action would follow. However, nothing of the sort actually happened. Some diplomats made angry noises. Some ministers made fiery speeches. But that was all that happened. Things started getting back to normal and again, it appears that we have mostly forgotten the incidents.

I often wonder as to why our reactions to any such attack on our nation is so insipid and almost non-existent. Is it some kind of pregnant pause conceived to distract the enemy so that we can deliver a stunning blow to this evil empire? On the other hand, is it just the silence of the lambs waiting meekly for another attack by wolves? Why are we so dumb? Why don’t we react?

I often think of a similar hypothetical situation on a personal level. Suppose I have built a small house on an open plot of land and have put some barbed wire around the perimeter of my plot. After a few days I find that on two sides of my house, ‘Zopad-patti’ or hutments have come up with bad characters as inhabitants. Initially things are going on well. Soon, one of the gang leaders feels that part of my plot should really be his property and takes illegal possession. I call few friends and police and settle the matter. I put up a high barbed wire fence around my plot. Now the gang lord decides to create trouble for me and starts harassing my family members. What would I do in such a situation? Do I call police? There is a chance that they may not take any action. Or, do I fight with this criminal? This would perhaps mean a physical injury or even death for me. Alternatively, do I just sell off the house? And go somewhere else. That also may not be  possible. Only way then left for me is to just continue living under constant fear and hope for the best.

Perhaps our nation finds herself in a similar dilemma or predicament. I am afraid that our Government  may be really scared to take any worthwhile action. On previous occasions too, our response to similar situations has been particularly weak hearted. Our national airliner is hijacked. We succumb to the atrocious demands of hijackers and our defense minister accompanies the fugitives as they are delivered to hijackers. Our parliament is attacked. Many brave soldiers die. Even then, we are scared to hang the culprits as ordered by highest court, because some politicians somewhere make hue and cry. It seems that our government wants us to live in constant fear and hope for the best. Our fate appears to be those of lambs, waiting silently for the next attack by wolves.

When the threat is from across the border, many argue that any military action by our armed forces would quickly enlarge into an open war, which may not be the best idea at this point of time. I entirely agree to this point of view because this terrorist attack might have been carried out for just this reaction from us. In that case, what are our options? Provided, we have some. I am neither a student of politics nor military science. However, I can clearly see many possibilities, which can make our adversaries take note and take actions wanted by us. One possible area is about the river water treaties. We may declare our intention of reviewing these unilaterally if co-operation is not forththcoming. Other area where we can look into is to monitor sea channels around Indian ocean. We may do this under perfectly legitimate cause of eradication of sea piracy. If we start, searching ships at random and delaying them, a clear message would be received by our adversaries regarding our intentions in future. Creating obstacles at world bank or IMF would also aptly indicate our intentions.

Regarding domestically brewed terrorists, much action can be taken. First and foremost action that is required is to immediately carry out capital punishments in all cases where legal process has been completed. This would give clear signal to the terrorists that we mean business. The police in India have a very good network of police intelligence.  They should be allowed to carry out their work without least political interference. There are many such possibilities. Our nemesis has always been that  we lag is the will power. We always are more worried about reactions of other countries. We have great amount of inherent strengths. Our economy is strong. We have the necessary clout to back these actions. We have a strong military power to back up.

Therefore, it is really up to us. We must decide, if we want to live like a country of strong people or live meekly like a country of lambs waiting for their slaughter.

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About chandrashekhara

I am a retired electronics engineer. I am interested in writing, reading books. Other hobbies include Paper models, wooden fret work and social networking.

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