Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hyderabad Bomb Blasts

A couple of you have written to me showing your concern for my safety in Hyderabad. But just as news broke about the bomb blasts, I was leaving the city on a two day trip to the interiors of Andhra Pradesh on a personal trip. I am pretty much safe and fine. But all through my trip, my thoughts rarely strayed away from the people who lost their lives. Many of us may be found wanting in expressing our regrets and grief. But not so experienced journos and other senior editorial personnel at the ET. Take a look at this excellent comment:

    • Indian politics today, is either about harassing Muslims for the sake of Hindutva, or pandering to retrograde impulses in the name of secularism. The abysmal record of our intelligence and investigation agencies, both in terms of preventing deadly terror strikes and correctly figuring out who the real culprits behind successful soft-target attacks are, is partly a function of such moribund politics.
      • If you were asked “Indian politics is the culprit behind the frequent terror strikes happening in India. Comment. (100 words)” You can’t have a better answer than the one above.

Similarly, if you were asked to suggest suitable remedial measures for tackling terrorism, I would rate the following paragraph as the best answer.

    • Community policing, which would ensure accurate intelligence gathering and water-tight and credible investigation, must immediately be institutionalised. But that would really work only when such dangerously sterile politics is replaced with a new politics that engages and transforms the Muslims into a modern social group, even as it cleanses the mainstream of all majoritarian and communal biases. Tough anti-terror laws are no substitute for effective and better-coordinated policing, which includes state and central authorities working together and sharing intelligence.

PS: I am sorry friends, if I am looking too businesslike in our approach to preparation. My heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost their near and dear in this mad act in Hyderabad.