Terrorism has breached our defences again. Not through the mountains up north nor through the porous Bangladesh border, but through sea into a city whose waters are statedly closely guarded a city which prides itself on resilience which with time transforms to apathy. The question that needs to be asked are not the usual who and why, as Indians we know the answer to those, being parroted for numerous years. We should ask "Where do we go from here?".Will this time be different? Will we see the Indian version of the Patriot Act?
Previous instances of terrorism were usually bombings in trains and on streets. This time was different. The audacious storming of the hotels and streets by well trained men shows that the face of terror has changed. It targets the country's symbols and effects a direct toll on confidence in the country's institutions. It seeks to diminish international confidence in the country which has lasting consequences on the economy of a country like India.
If Pakistan's involvement is proved beyond any doubt, does it justify India going to war? Or should we concentrate on improving our security mechanisms so that such acts do not happen again? Nothing should ever justify going to war. As for security, only god knows how many times have we mourned the apparent apathy of our politicos, hoping that they spend as much time on security as they do on closing down dance bars. How far do we curb the freedoms that we enjoy in our country in the name of national security? Should we invade our citizen's privacy like in the US or should we remain the moderate nation we claim to be? The government stance after all this is over will show the world and the public of India how we see ourselves, a strong nation or one plagued with indecisive political leadership. Let us pray that the only outcome is not the BJP coming to power in the next election but some concrete steps, a foghorn into the mist signalling that we shall not take this lying down, that "we shall go on to the end...until, in god's good time" we have extricated this scourge from the face of the earth.
Mallu, we shall never forget.