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Thursday, December 5, 2019
 
 

Contrast, not comparison

 

RANJIT BHUSHAN | New Delhi, April 20, 2013 11:33
Tags : Bosto Marathon blasts | 9/11 |
 

There can be no comparison, only a contrast. The Boston terror attacks are a study in how to handle situations like these, which may have occurred for the second time in the United States since 9/11, but which is a common occurrence in India.
 
Four terror deaths in Boston have shaken the US; candle light vigil and tears have gone hand in hand with a deadly, highly technical all out assault against two alleged perpetrators of the terror attack, two Chechnyan brothers.
 
In India, terror attacks have become so commonplace that it is unlikely that four deaths would get more than a few lines mention – if they do.
 
The US response has been calm, aware of the dangerous times we live in, and measured. In contrast to the shrill Indian response where TV anchors and their panels go overboard in raising a lot of bright questions but providing no answers, experts with proven value on ground have taken calibrated positions, aware of the sensitivities involved in such a situation, their replies based on real knowledge on ground.
 
Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani hit the nail on the head when he said that this was not the time for recriminations; it was a time to stay together to tackle a threat which everyone is exposed to. More importantly, he underlined that domestic policy differences should not come in the way of getting to the root of the problem – or at least trying to get to the bottom of the subject. The controversy over Gun Control for instance, Giuliani said, should not be brought in when larger external issues like combating terror and national outrage were concerned.
 
What would be response in India? Predictable set of politicians are brought out, who use this occasion to cultivate vote banks, half-baked experts who have no idea of the situation on ground raise questions but in the absence of any real time information and access, are like little querulous pitches, which mean nothing at the end of the day. And it does not take too long to point fingers at alleged perpetuators, much before an official investigation pronounces its judgement - if possible within minutes of the attack.
 
Of course you cannot compare the two situations.US is the richest country in the world with the best resources to fall back upon that the world has ever seen; India is a poor democratic nation, albeit with high aspirations, trying to fend for itself in a region where military regimes hold sway and from where, some of the world’s best known terror spots,are kissing distance away. The situation, by the looks of it, is unlikely to get any easier in the immediate foreseeable future.

But the central point is this: what will be the morale of India’s law enforcement agencies and the men and women assigned to prevent and fight terror, when they see the political response to be so casual and centred on futile debates and name calling, not addressing the main issues but instead, pandering to vote banks? It is not difficult to imagine, and given the country’s immediate past history,should be considered a sign of utmost concern.

 
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog are that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Sunday Indian)
 
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017