ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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After the Attack

Tragically, it does not seem that even a beginning will be made to get to the root of the problem of terror.

The kind of organised violence that Mumbai was subjected to over 59 hours from the night of 26 November needs to be banished from the face of this earth. The challenge is how to go about doing this. It is the diagnosis of a disease that determines how it is to be treated and cured. But, given existing class and power structures, in the main, it is ruling class-power elite understanding of the phenomena that will guide what kind of purposeful action is deemed necessary. And, given that class-power elite’s identification of “the terrorists” with the forces of darkness in Manichaean conflict with those of light (the self-appointed protectors of “democracy”, “freedom”, and “justice” on a global scale and all who are with them), the whole discourse invariably gets confined to ways of meeting the terrorist threat, which in practice boils down to “necessary” counter-terrorism.

The new Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, at his first press conference after assuming office painted a rather unoriginal picture of recent terrorist attacks, including the Mumbai one, posing “a threat to the very idea of India, a threat to the soul of India that we know, this is secular, plural, open and tolerant”. He went on to say that “we will respond with all the determination and r esolve to the grave threats posed to the Indian nation”. Are we then in for expanded central powers in the maintenance of i nternal security? From all the talk so far, there are proposals to station wings of the National Security Guard in major cities, set up a f ederal investigation agency on the lines of the US F ederal Bureau of Investigation (the latter is already involved in the investigation of the Mumbai attack), upgrade the Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau, and enhance coastal security.

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