Is the Indian government serious about preventing terror attacks?
Prima facie, there isn’t anything particularly offensive about Rahul Gandhi’s recent comments that the government cannot stop every terror attack. India is a vast and diverse land where basic policing remains severely deficient. Comparisons with US are also largely meaningless. India doesn’t have the financial resources or the institutional capability to mount a a similar anti-terror campaign as the United States. And beyond the usual hand-wringing after every terror attack, India’s citizenry is simply not invested to a similar degree in preventing attacks on the Indian soil.
What gives pause, however, are questions over government’s willingness to fight terror with the fullest resources it commands. When the government run by Mr. Gandhi’s party continues with Mr. sartorial elegance despite multiple terror attacks—replacing him only after the massive Mumbai attack—it raises serious questions about the seriousness with which it approaches terror. And when Mr. Gandhi’s closest adviser openly stokes minority communalism, questions every police encounter, and attempts to run down Mr. Chidambaram—a man who has finally vested the home ministry with some authority—it reinforces the belief that beyond the usual platitudes, the government is not serious about terror.
And if all that wasn’t enough, when the government of Dr. Singh virtually dismisses the Mumbai attack as “ancient animosities” in its groveling attempts to “normalize” relationships with Pakistan, it is left with little credibility.
So yes, the government cannot possibly prevent all terror attacks but is it trying hard enough?