India is vulnerable to terrorism, from within and outside. We have been living in fear of terror attacks for the past few decades. Yet, our intelligence agencies and police have not been able to prevent them — not even in important places. Investigators, in fact, appeared surprised that so many bombs could be planted in the Bodh Gaya complex, even high on the Buddha statue. It seems all are wise except those who ought to be.
After an attack, we are shown CCTV images to prove that we are technologically advanced. Why do we become alert only after a terrorist strikes? At least in heritage sites, important tourist destinations and pilgrim centres, we should have surveillance wings that work 24x7. Spot people with suspicious behaviour while they are making an attempt, rather than looking for them after they strike.
The one serious problem prevailing in our administration is negligence — whether in Uttarakhand or Bodh Gaya. Warnings were not heeded in both cases and the result is for all to see.
It has been reported that the Bodh Gaya blasts occurred despite warnings of a possible terror attack by Indian Mujahideen operatives. The Karnataka government was also blamed in a similar manner when the Malleswaram blasts occurred. Governments are perhaps reluctant to take any pre-emptive action fearing criticism by rights groups.
The blame game has started with one political party blaming the other for the lapse of security in Bodh Gaya. The BJP was the first to protest and call for a Bihar bandh. There is no ‘foolproof’ method by which a terror attack can be prevented. While security at all major tourist centres and places of worship needs to be strengthened, it is the vigilant common man who should help in providing vital clues to foil a terrorist attack. All political parties should be united in the fight against terror to send out a strong signal that the nation is united.
Our political parties do not seem interested in the abatement of unfortunate happenings. On the contrary, they seem to welcome them as they provide enough fodder for their blame game.