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Bomb Blasts in Mumbai: Is the Real Culprit Terrorism or Inefficieny?

Bomb Blasts in Mumbai: Is the Real Culprit Terrorism or Inefficieny?

Two years and one conviction later, Mumbai was once again rocked by three serial bomb blasts last month (apparently to mark the 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab’s birthday). Though smaller in comparison to the 26/11 terrorists attacks that killed some 166 people during a three day virtual siege on the city, the blasts on 13 July have until now claimed 26 lives and injured more than 100. So far, investigative agencies have been unable to single out any particular organization responsible, and theories ranging from Islamic fundamentalists to Hindu fundamentalists to Mumbai underworld are being espoused.
More shocking than the blasts was the news that many of the security upgrades and counter-terrorism plans proposed after 26/11 have been stuck in bureaucratic red-tape and political apathy. Simple updates such as installation of CC TV cameras in sensitive areas have not been done; in fact, the cameras have yet to be bought. A governmental team will now visit London to study how that is done and then implement it in Mumbai!

A genuine long- suffering victim of terrorism, India has never been shy of highlighting its victimhood. However, that has not translated into strong constructive actions to prevent terrorist attacks in the highly sensitive areas such as Mumbai, Delhi, and even Jammu & Kashmir. Terrorists continue to strike at regular intervals, and all we hear is political promises that lead nowhere.

While it is indisputable that Pakistan is the root-cause of the problem afflicting India, that does not absolve the Indian administration from being pro-active in protecting the lives of its people. There is no reason to believe that India lacks the brains to make plans and take steps. What is lacks is the political will. It is unfortunate that petty partisan politics and corruption have started sabotaging the security of Indian citizens. For a global player aspiring to be the next big thing in Asia and world politics, this is highly damaging. Indian politicians really need to take a hard look at themselves! The rapid economic growth can distract a people for only so long. Once that distraction becomes routine these life-threatening shortcomings and neglect will cease to be tolerated. Uncomfortable questions will be asked and action would have to be taken. It is probably only a couple of more blasts before Indian politicians run out of time. They would be wise to not wait for the final bang.



Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni

Manasi Kakatkar-Kulkarni graduated from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. She received her degree in International Security and Economic Policy and interned with the Arms Control Association, Washington, D.C. She is particularly interested in matters of international arms control, nuclear non-proliferation and India’s relations with its neighbors across Asia. She currently works with the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC).