26/11: Has terror attacks on India become an annual event?

By: Anita Nair
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In yet another reminder of the shoddy security situation in the country, India commemorates the third anniversary of the deadly Mumbai terror attacks. With the financial capital of India having to face the brunt of many terror attacks in the past, this one hit the very core of India. With the city of Mumbai repeatedly battered as per the whims and fancies of various terror groups who want to wreak havoc in the country, the authorities remain to be blissfully negligent on what needs to be done to avoid attacks of such nature from repeating.

Mumbai Attack

With the spirit of Mumbai hailed and their resilience tested every year, the fact remains that the incident threw open the gaping flaws in our security structure and our shameful intelligence failure. The role of politicians who have accepted that India is and will remain a soft target for extremists, especially those ones based out of our not-so-friendly neighbour Pakistan is another disturbing fact.

The terror attack on the financial hub Mumbai is definitely worth a case study. In the aftermath of the attack, while the Mumbai police slammed agencies terming it an intelligence failure, others within the system blamed the convoluted information sharing between different agencies which the terrorists took obvious advantage of.

With India accepting the various terror attacks as a way of life, it is only a matter of time when the next terror strike hits us and that too hard on the face. When the year's usual terror attack strikes us next time around, we will rewind all the fiery rhetoric through media channels and public platforms and after a while slip in our daily lives conveniently forgetting that we are vulnerable to the next assault.

The Mumbai terror attacks also revealed our almost non-existent coastal security system taking into account the fact that the terrorists entered the country from the coast. The security personnel were also ill-prepared to tackle an attack of such nature with the ammunition and bullet-proof vests all of inferior quality. With the commandos, busy protecting the lives of politicians and bureaucrats, it took close to eight hours before NSG commandos could be flown in to Mumbai to take charge of the situation.

With grand plans made on paper, politicians and other decision makers are still grappling on ways to avoid such terror attacks. The non-functional crisis management in the country is also a cause for considerable worry.

With patience wearing out for the aam aadmi who has to suffer the brunt of such terror attacks time and time again, law makers have not been able to do anything to resolve the issue. Mumbai was a victim to another terror attack on July 13, 2011 in the highly populated Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar that led to the loss of 26 lives and injuring close to 130 people.

With India a sitting duck for terror attacks, when will the citizens of the country be able to roam free in the country without the lingering fear of another terror attack. With the recent slapping episode on a powerful politician a mere indication of the frustrated janta, we are eagerly awaiting a proactive approach by our politicians to do a similar gesture to all those extremist elements who consider India a soft target.

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