After the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, it has become fashionable to suggest that we should banish -- or, at least, rise above -- politics and seek ways of preventing terrorist attacks, and of minimizing the damage and loss of life if a terrorist attack does get underway.
But it seems to me that any suggestion about what needs to be done is inherently political. Consider the following suggestions/demands/ideas:
the ritual resignation of some minister or the other.
different kinds of internal security measures -- POTA, for example -- which imply different levels of loss of personal freedom
going to war with a nuclear armed neighbour -- "There is only one way to deal with [international terrorism] - the Dubya way!"
getting Ratan Tata to be our Prime Minister with NSG commandos running the state's affairs.
Which of these ideas is not political? Even if one couches them in non-partisan rhetoric -- "I don't care who's in power, NDA or UPA.I want action!" -- each of the ideas depends on a certain view of the state, who should run it, what it should do, and at what cost. When each of them comes into conflict with others -- your POTA is my draconian law, after all -- what you have is politics. Gnani puts it even more strongly:
... [T]errorism is not above politics. It is politics by other means.
To come to grips with it and to eventually eliminate it, the practice of politics by proper means needs constant fine tuning and improvement. Decrying all politics and politicians, only helps terrorists and dictators who are the two sides of the same coin. [...]
Let me leave you with some links. And, yes, they are all intensely political:
Biju Mathew asks us to be skeptical about what the media tells us about the attacks. A lot of their stories are based on selective leaks from the police, intelligence agencies and the armed forces; when the leaks are selective, they are likely to be self-serving and/or ass-covering. [See this, this and this]
Why did we end up losing top police officials and NSG commandos? Mad Momma wants to know, because "because tomorrow my son might want to join these forces."
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Let me end this post on a not-so-political note with the following links:
A daughter recounts the hours and days when her father -- a police official -- was inside one of the hotels fighting the terrorists.