They don’t need to be answered immediately.
This blogger doesn’t have the answers to these questions about the latest Mumbai blasts but nor does anyone else, irrespective of whatever designation they may hold in the government or in the news organisations. But once the immediate relief and recovery operations are over, and investigations and post-mortems of the events take place, here are the questions this blogger would want to be answered honestly in the weeks to come.
- Who was behind these blasts?
- Could these blasts have been prevented? Was there an intelligence failure?
- Was the first response of police, fire brigade, hospitals, and other emergency response teams satisfactory? Have some lessons been learnt from Mumbai terror strikes of November 2008?
- How are we going to prevent such strikes in the future? Any specific lessons that have been drawn from these incidents for the future?
- What is the strategy to bring the perpetrators of these blasts to quick justice?
- How effective was the media management, particularly coverage by TV news channels? Was reliable information from authentic sources quickly available to the common public?
Two points as an aside. Firstly, the controversy over Ajmal Kasab’s date of birth is a red herring, which is irrelevant to the serious questions raised by the blasts. Secondly, it is high time Indian Ministry of Home Affairs embraced the social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. It would be a great asset especially in times like these. One hopes that is one lesson the MHA learns at the earliest.
Please remember these are the questions that must be answered, but not here and now.