26/11: Aware, Educate and tokenism not needed for safe India

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It's human nature to pay lip service and sing the praises of our 'unsung heroes' during hard time or for that matter when terror strikes. Such mere tokenism is uncalled for. It suits the political establishment, no matter who holds the highest office. It's been 8 years since 26/11 happened in Mumbai, the worst terror attack that wouldn't make the city same again.

There are words such as the resilience of Mumbai or the Spirit of Mumbai used limitlessly as if it's some catchy slogan or to make rhetoric the biggest literary awards for politicians. Like someone once said, Mumbai or any other place is resilient because of the simple fact that people need to get off in the morning to face the day. Do we have an alternate choice?

Nothing can bring back the lives of our martyr, be it the army men, NSG, constable or commoners who lost their lives when the city was hijacked by the face of terror. Unsung heroes are not just the army but common men and women who face life every single day. Sometimes forgetting the fear that they will not back home safely. It's the resilience in Mumbai or any other city. Sometimes back, a young school girl played a prank by pretending to see armed terrorists which sent the city and the forces in a tizzy. It didn't happen for the first time where resources were put to task. It happened after the train blast when teenagers played such pranks that almost evacuated Bandra station. It can be a dangerous game played in the name of thrill and youngsters should be educated on the need to be responsible citizens. Perhaps. they are not educated enough on the definition of a terrorist and its modus operandi. 

It starts in schools, at home and the workplace where all stakeholders, Government, workforce, NGOs and ordinary citizens should pool their efforts together. We need to educate people how to respond and be alert be it an unattended bag in the train, railway station or public places. The people are the best judge and agents in the fight against terror. Let's stop alienating minorities or people who stay in areas prone to attacks where the 'informers' rather than going astray can work with the police in return for an income beyond tax or public glare. Creative competition or drawings must be popularized in schools to come with the best posters on how to be alert as citizens or that prank come at a huge cost. 

It's high time the Government honor our armed, police forces and NSG commandos. Every life lost be it in the course of duty is a human tragedy that afflicts a family and an entire nation. No Sir, rhetoric is not needed. Mock breach is regularly conducted along the coastlines in the same fashion the likes of Kasab entered Mumbai and severe loopholes were found. It's a case for worry. There is a need for police patrolling and better coordination through laser illuminators, smart fencing system, weapon sights and containerized weapon systems. Are we ready to contain threat? It's the moot question!

The Mumbai Police still lack coastal police stations, sophisticated weapons and bullet proof jackets. Administrative apathy is holding the force back and there is a huge need to beef up security through better infrastructure and coordination between forces to thwart terror attempts.

It was a dark day in a city deemed and rightly so, to be liberal and always on its toes that was brought to a standstill. There was intelligence failure on all counts and absence of resources to capture communications spearheaded by LET in connivance with ISI. Like they say, justice delayed is justice denied. Eight years later, justice and compensation are eluding the victims running around in the quest for closure.

Educate, be aware as responsible citizens and beef up security to ensure that India and its people are protected from heinous terror attacks. We need to send a loud and clear signal. Our people are the biggest assets and they can be agents to strengthen law and order. We are hitting an empty wall and despite evidence given to Pakistani authorities, it doesn't suit them to prosecute Lakhvi, Hafeez Saeed and their ilk involved in terror attacks. High time for India to move international powers to bring Pakistan to task and be declared a terrorist state.


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