Sunday, July 16, 2006

What YOU can do to prevent terror attacks II

Day before yesterday, I wrote this post on what YOU can do to prevent terror attacks. In that post, I had claimed that India suffers repeated terror attacks because Indians forget the previous attacks, Indian politicians TV and newspapers quickly claim "life is back to normal", the injured victims and the families of the dead are quickly promised compensation by the government (which they never receive in most cases), people assume all is good and taken care of, and move on. Since the Government knows that people will quickly forget and move on, they never take any serious action against the terrorists. They just round up a few hundred poor slum-dwellers, and let them go the next day. The news-hungry newspapers and TV channels play up this farce as if some major investigative work was being done.

I suggested a different way to respond to the Mumbai basts this time, and promised that this different way of handling terror attacks would lead to fewer attacks against us, and more action against the terrorists.

Since then, I have received a number of emails and comments asking for further clarification of my original post. In this article I will attempt to provide some further details of what my suggested course of action is, and why I believe it will work to our benefit as citzens of India.

Before continuing to read this article, please make sure that you have fresh in your mind what I had written in my post from yesterday on what YOU can do to prevent terror attacks. Remember what I had said yesterday ? Okay, let's continue then.

Do you remember when was the last terror attack against India just before these latest horrific Mumbai blasts ?

Many of you are probably thinking of the Varanasi blasts. Maybe some have forgotten that and are thinking of the Delhi blasts on Diwali last year. All these guesses are wrong. The most recent blasts before the 11 July 2006 Mumbai blasts occurred in May 2006 in Jammu.

Here below, I have listed some of the major terrorist attacks in the last few years. Please look at the list carefully, and try to remember how many of these you can recall. I am sure most had faded away from your memory. Am I right ?

July 11 2006. Mumbai. Serial blasts in suburban trains.‏ More than 200 dead, more than 700 injured.
‏July 11 2006. Srinagar. Five hand grenade attacks.‏ More than eight people including tourists ‏killed.‏‏

May 21 2006. Srinagar. Seven people including two guerrillas killed as militants attack a Congress party rally, three days ahead of the Prime Minister's visit for the second Kashmir roundtable.

March 7 2006. Varanasi. Triple bombings kill 23 people and injure 68 others at an ancient Hindu temple, one of the holiest of Hindu shrines, and the crowded railway station in Varanasi, the holiest Hindu city.
Decemeber 28 2005. Bangalore. One retired professor was ‏ ‏killed in an attack on the Indian Institute of Science. ‏

October 29 2005. New Delhi. Three blasts in a crowded market-place in Delhi ahead of the Hindu festival Diwali kills 65 people and injures 210 more.

August 15 2004. Assam. Three bomb explosions across ‏‏the state, killing 16 people, mostly school children.

August 25 2003. Mumbai. Serial blasts kill about 60.

May 14 2003. Jammu. Gunmen attack an army camp near Jammu, killing more ‏than 30, including women and children.

September 24 2002. Gandhinagar. Two terrorists attack ‏the Akhsardham Hindu temple, killing 39 Hindu devotees.

December 13 2001. New Delhi. Terrorists attack Indian Parliament ‏killing 12 people including six policemen. All five terrorists were also killed.‏ ‏‏

October 1 2001. Srinagar. Militants attack Jammu-Kashmir assembly complex ‏killing about 35.

The earliest terror attack on my list occurred on October 1, 2001. It must seem like a long time ago, right ? So, you probably feel justified in having removed it from your everyday thoughts, and having relegated it to the backwaters of your mind ?

Can you tell me which of these two attacks happened further back in time: The October 1 2001 attack in Srinagar (which we Indians have forgotten almost altogether), or the 9/11 attack on USA ?

The 9/11 attack seems like more recent memory, doesn't it ? It is always in the news, people are always talking about it, it is always fresh in mind. So it must have happened more recently than the long-forgotten October 1 2001 attack on our Srinagar Assembly, no ?


The 9/11 attacks occurred on September 11 2001, one month before the October 1 2001 attacks on the Srinagar Asembly.

The Americans don't forget attacks on them so quickly.

Indians have a shorter memory.

The media is telling you ever day that the "situation in Mumbai is back to normal".

It is true that some manner of normalcy is important for life to go on.

However, we Indians get back to too much normalcy too quickly.

Even a good thing, in too much quantity, is a bad thing. Drinking water is good. Drink water continuously all day and all night, and your kidneys will fail. Eating food is good. Eat all day and all night, and you'll get super-obese and eventually die of heart failure.

Similarly, normalcy is a good thing; but get back to too much normalcy too quickly, forgetting the terrorist attack altogether, and your "leaders" will see no benefit in pursuing action against terrorists who committed long-forgotten attacks.

They will not even see much benefit in actively working to prevent future attacks, because they know that their failure to prevent any such attacks will not have any lasting political impact on their electoral prospects; people will forget these failures long before the next election.

Just compare the situation with America post-9/11. President Bush knew that Americans had not forgotten what happened on 9/11, and he and his government kept it their number 1 priority to prevent any future attacks. They knew that if more attacks occurred, the American people would not sit quietly; they would very likely impeach him, removing him from Presidency, and giving power to someone else who they thought would work harder to prevent more attacks.

Because of this knowledge, President Bush and his government has been able to prevent any further attacks on USA in the last 5 years.

America is a much larger country than India is in size. It is roughly three times larger than India in terms of area. It has long borders with Mexico that are easy to cross; much longer than India's borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh. And anybody can enter Mexico by sea, because Mexico is a poor country unable to protect its boundaries. So, Islamic terrorists can easily enter USA by slipping into Mexico and then crossing over into USA.

Thus it is no harder for Islamic terrorists to enter USA than it is for them to enter India.

And yet, they have not been able to carry out further attacks on USA. But they have been able to carry out attacks on India many times a year, and sometimes, as on July 11 2006, many times a day in various parts (simultaneous attacks in Mumbai and Srinagar).

Thus, I claim that in order to be in the position of USA, that is, being able to prevent terror attacks, we have to first act like them.

USA is building a monument to commemorate each and every victim of the attacks on 9/11. Three movies have already been made on the people who lost their lives on that day. The names of all the terror attack victims are engraved in stone at the 9/11 World Trade Center attack site, where the memorial monument will be built (plans are already made, architects have been working, and construction will start soon).

The "9/11 widows" (women who lost their husbands on 9/11 in terror attacks) appear regularly on TV, and hold press conferences speaking on how they are helping USA prevent further attacks.

In contrast, Indians don't even know the names of even one person who died in any of the terror attacks that occurred in the last 58 years.

They are nameless people. Their widowed wives and orphaned children have never even been seen on one TV spot, or appeared in even one press conference. Nobody is interested in knowing whether they are doing okay, what hardships they are facing, whether they ever got the compensation money they had been promised by the government, etc.

Because we have been so callous in forgetting them, forgetting the attacks, getting back to "too much normalcy" too quickly, we have created no incentive for our political "leaders" to make any efforts to catch the attackers, or to prevent future attacks.

So, here is the action plan I suggest to start with. We first have to seek out at least one family that was affected by terror attacks that the Indian government failed to prevent, and tell the people of India how this family is doing. We will expose the story of widowed wives forced to work as maidservants or construction-workers or prostitutes, orphaned children forced to give up studies and start a career in begging, or petty crime, the story of officials in charge of giving out compensation asking for bribes and harassing victims' families every step of the way, and all the other dirtiness that we know exists in our corrupt government and callous society.

Such families are all around us. They are silently vanishing into slums, committing mass suicides, starting new careers as beggars, around us every day. We have to open our eyes and see them. And tell all the others we know about them.

Only when we make ourselves aware of this enormous crime that has been committed against our society for the last 58 years, killing more than 140,000 people and injuring orders of magnitude more (and that too, according to unreliable Government statistics), will we be able to unite ourselves, forget our petty differences like Caste and Language and Religion, and pursue an united course of action as a Nation that will put the Fear of God into our enemies and make them stop plotting and executing terrorist acts against our people.

At that point, we will be so united as a Nation that it will be impossible for our Enemies Within, like Casteist Divide and Rule Minister Arjun Singh, to raise issues like Caste to try to divide us. They will be afraid to invite the wrath of the united People of India in their petty Casteist and Religious Vote Bank Politics.

The mainstream media is not interested in stories of what happened to victims of terrorism. If they were, they would have covered these a long time ago.

We, the common people, must do this ourselves.

You, my dear Reader, are a most valuable part of this process we are about to embark upon.

This is a difficult job we want to do. It will take time and effort, and many dedicated people who believe in what I have written above.

This is something we could not have done 10 years ago. Because we were not connected together by the internet then.

Technology has enabled us to work together. Let us make use of it.

Let us build a new India, by converting people to this group, to our way of thinking, one person at a time.

When we become big enough, which I assure you we eventually will, sooner rather than later, the money-hungry unprincipled media and the old doddering stupid political "leaders" who have committed grave misrule over us for 58 years will be forced to listen to our voice, the voice of the people of this new, awakening, rising India.

My dear Reader, I invite you to be a part of this Rising India.

If you believe in what I have said above, help wake up your friends and family by telling them what I just told you.

"Uttisthitah, jagratah, prapya barani nibodhatah"

["Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached !"]
-- Swami Vivekananda


At 10:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is already such a list at

Here is a flash image with blasts for the list

At 1:03 am, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you very much for your response, and for the two links you posted.


At 1:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, you seem to have forgotten the 'original' mumbai blasts in 1993. wasn't that the first in the series of terror attacks/blasts in mumbai?

At 3:38 pm, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks a lot for your comment.

I had not forgotten the 1993 blasts. In my list I only wanted to show how many attacks had happened in the last 5 years, AFTER 9/11, that most Indians don't remember everyday.

However, not a day passes in USA when 9/11 is not remembered. It is on everybody's mind all the time.

Similarly, 7/7 is on everybody's mind all the time in UK.

3/11 for Spain.

That is why their governments are working so hard to prevent more attacks.

In India, attacks are occurring almost every month, sometimes twice or thrice a day, and getting forgotten in weeks.

I agree with you that 1993 was when the first terror attacks occurred on Mumbai.

Thanks again for your comment.


At 2:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your idea and approach is excellent, Harsh. The people in the train on that ill-fated day could well have been you or me. I like your suggestion very much.

But I don't know ANYONE who was affected in the blasts or in any terror. I don't know how I'm going to get to know these people and learn about them because. those people are likely not to have ANY internet access whatsoever. We will have to learn about them personally and create a database. Can you tell me how I can go about this?
Vivek Thyagarajan

At 2:44 am, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

Thank you for your response Vivek. I have an idea of how this may be done. I will present it in a new post "what YOU can do to prevent terrorist attacks III" in the next few days.

Reading your comment gave me the idea. I think it may work. Just give me a few days to properly present it.

Jai Hind,

At 11:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Harsh, I have the official Mumbai Police list of the dead and injured people. This is the link.

I think you might have already seen it. Their addresses are all there in the database. Their telephone nos of course are not given. We have to speak to these people, console them and show, convince and impress on them that WE CARE about them. They are our beloved fellow citizens. Everyone should do this to all terror victims and build a sense of oneness and love.

So, we CAN bring their stories out into the public domain and show how badly terror HAS affected lives. These people need our support. And anyway, unless we give them support, we won't get it if something similar happens again.

So let's have a HEART. When can we expect the third post in your series..I'm waiting for you to present it.


At 6:55 pm, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

Thank you very much Vivek. I had not seen that link.

I have almost finished writing the post and will put it up on the blog tomorrow (Friday morning it will be there). Thank you very much for your patience.

I greatly appreciate your help and support.

Jai Hind,


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