The speculation over whether the horrific Assam blasts in which scores were killed and hundreds injured is the handiwork of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) taking advantage of the usual intelligence failure has already begun. They could well be the Ulfa’s attempts to signal its power after a period in which it has been lying relatively low. It could also be that it has got a shot in the arm with support from the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) with which it supposedly has links. But the more worrying part is that this will deepen the fear psychosis that has gripped people following the frequency of terror attacks across the country.
In the past few years, we have seen Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur devastated by attacks of growing intensity. It would seem that no sooner are the fires put out at one terror attack site that the next one is upon us. Irrespective of who is behind these outrages that have taken the lives of so many innocent people and maimed so many others, the chilling fact is that they are increasingly polarising society. Communities have become suspicious of each other, ethnic groups are pitted against each other and political parties are at each other’s throats.
The so-called resilience with which people would pick themselves up and get on with business as usual is being stretched to breaking point. It is one thing to blame the security agencies and point fingers to sinister external organisations that could be orchestrating these ugly events. But there is no excuse for our political leadership to exploit each tragedy as
an opportunity for one-upmanship. Those perpetrating these terror attacks seem to understand how divided our polity is on this issue and are taking advantage of this.
At a time when the very social fabric of the nation is under threat, political parties have to put aside differences and send out a signal that those who have taken innocent lives will be hunted down and brought to book. So far we have seen nothing of the kind. This can only deepen the faultlines that are increasing with every terrorist attack.