Sunday, December 07, 2008


1. Anjali Deshpande and S.K. Pande: Three days of Mumbai terror reporting:

We support the call for restraint reporting, for terrorism has international and national linkages and is often used to destabilise countries. The initial role of some of the media was to grab the eyeballs rather than ask questions and reflect all facets of life as they unfold without adding to the tension strife and trauma in such situations. In some cases the ethics evolved over the years was thrown into the dustbin. Add to it all the fact, that when some restraint began more than a touch of jingoism took over.

If there is one thing the electronic media helped in particular to do in the last three days was to bolster the confidence of terrorists and to give them a sense of achievement far greater than their action may have provided them.

2. While we're on the disgraceful coverage of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (particularly by our TV news channels), I should link to the critiques from Sevanti Ninan (in The Hindu) and Harini Calamur (who has a lot more on this issue on her blog).

3. Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar: Dangers of Bushspeak:

Many Indians, while sympathising with the US after 9/11, pointed out that 6,000 feared dead in the World Trade Centre wasn't a big number compared with 50,000 killed over a decade in Kashmir. The US was getting a small dose of the Islamic terrorism that had long devastated Kashmir, and was over-reacting. The US never equated Kashmiri terrorism with war, and always told India to be calm and not bomb terrorist training camps in Pakistan. But when the US itself got a taste of this at home, it went ballistic, declared it was at war with terrorism, and vowed to bomb and kill all those bad guys.

Cooler heads pointed out that "war on terror" was a meaningless phrase. Terror is simply a tactic used by certain groups, and you cannot wage war against a tactic. You can declare war on an enemy country, but not on an NGO (terrorists are exactly that - non-government organizations). When terrorism arises from an ideology or set of grievances, imaginary or otherwise, killing one bunch of ideologues may simply deepen the grievances and create thousands of fresh terrorists.

4. Shashi Tharoor: Time to improve relations between police & minorities:

We in India also need to recognize that if we want under-represented Muslims to compete effectively for police jobs, they need to feel the police is part of them, rather than an external entity. It's clear we need to: actively solicit applications from minorities for the police at all levels (including the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the Central Reserve Police); offer special catch-up courses open only to members of the minority communities that will prepare them for the entrance examinations; at the moment few feel qualified to take the exams, and fewer still pass; and require police officers to work with community organizations, mosques and madrasas to encourage minorities to apply.

In other words, instead of more "reservations", with the resentment that breeds, let us make it easier for minorities to join the police. But let's not stop with recruitment: we also need to focus on the retention and progression of minority officers. ...

5. The tension between India and Pakistan is so intense that the latter gets spooked by a hoax call:

Pakistani officials said Saturday that a bellicose phone call to President Asif Ali Zardari from India, purportedly placed by the Indian foreign minister, prompted Islamabad to put its air force on high alert before concluding the call was a hoax. [...]


  1. Anonymous said...

    Perhaps I am too naive to even discuss this. But then, here is what I see -

    a) Indian leadership, after blasts, always calls for restraint and talks about resilience of the city etc. The PM, whoever he may be at the time of blasts (Vajpayee or Manmohan) always condemn the attack and promise attackers will be punished. There are calls for not alienating certain communities. Soon enough, the country tolerates what happened and people get on with their work. till another blast occurs... and another ... and another ... ad infinitum. Indians die. And "show restraint" call is invoked. And Indians die yet again.

    b) WTC occurs. A war on terror is declared. The Prez says that the terrorists will be "smoked out". An offensive is mounted. Over next 7 years, there is no such further attack within the country.

    Take your pick. Which country has been more effective with their approach in saving lives of their own citizens? The hothead who declared war on terror has at least kept his citizens safe in their own country. But what have the cool headed intellectuals who nitpick on terminology - there cant be war on terror since it is a tactic and not a group types - done to ensure safety of their fellow citizens?

    My conclusion: Nothing ever can be attained by bleating for peace. The perverted men who are ready to kill innocents in name of god(whichever religion it may be) will only smirk at such calls for restraint and peace - since it suits them. It ensures that chances of their being brought to justice is reduced.

    Tough action from terrorists requires tough reaction. If these men were to be won over with love then India would have been a peaceful place long ago. It is not. Gandhian principles and satyagraha are great ideals. In an Utopian condition they rule supreme. We though, are anywhere other than in an Utopian state.

    BTW: here is a link that I believe people ought to look at, to understand the priorities of the Indian government agencies.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Here is my version of Bush-speak related to Mumbai terror attacks:

    "trident" hotel terrorist attack-search for british/american citizens -"trident" is nuclear missile in british arsenal jointly maintained & developed with america- "trident" process was one of Bhabha's research area/calculations - And you know which city trident/Bhabha is related to
    Good question for slumdog millionaire kind of shows :)