Looking back in sorrow

The inaction following the Mumbai attacks has prolonged the agony of the bereaved.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2010 21:12 IST
Hindustan Times

It is perhaps a father's way of bringing some closure to an event that will remain a horrific blood-soaked image for many of us two years after it took place. He has cycled across the country and will stay at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel today where his valiant son Sandeep Unnikrishnan lost his life to the bullets of terrorists. For the many who lost family members and friends that fateful day, it is as if time has stood still. Of course, today, there will be candlelight vigils, memorial meetings, perhaps even thunderous political pronouncements, but the bereaved have to go on living in the knowledge that after two years, there has been very little justice for those who defended the security of the country and those who happened to be innocent bystanders.

We still do not know who was responsible for the substandard bulletproof vests that could have protected the courageous police officers who took on the heavily armed terrorists. We do not know why the communication signals got mixed up leading the officers to their death. We do not know how the assassins were able to slip past coastal security and reach high-profile targets to wreak such horror. It is no secret that the origins of this devastating attack were in Pakistan. Yet, two years on, Pakistan has been playing a gross double game, unwilling to accept its role or give India the proof it needs to bring the guilty to justice. The sole surviving killer has since his incarceration been making a mockery of the justice system with his antics. From saying that he came to India to act in Bollywood movies to issuing Biblical pronouncements on reaping what he had sown, his in-your-face presence is a knife in the unhealed wounds of the bereaved and testimony to how slowly and ineffectually the system moves even in the face of an incident of this magnitude.

It has now taken a lawsuit filed by two American victims to get a US court to issue summons to senior Inter-services Intelligence officers and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba masterminds who have been swaning around ever since 26/11 took place, wearing the fact that they could wreak such havoc as a badge of honour. The fugitive David Coleman Headley has spilled most of the beans on the role of Pakistani officials in the carnage, yet we have progressed little for it. Whatever happened to all the talk about never forgetting, about never allowing this to happen again? It is no one's contention that draconian or intrusive measures be employed to ensure security. But surely, this spectacular inaction will not only prolong the agony, but send out the signal that India is fair game to its adversaries.

First Published: Nov 25, 2010 21:09 IST