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Of terror and Mumbai: commando returns

Desi dogs do it Indianstyle. Outrage is fat-free, gratifying, and comes cheap at wholesale rates. An all-new season of bash-a-Moslem begins and we expect high TRPs.

Another self righteous deshbhakt whines about the politic*nts while doing a jai mata di on the brave boys in uniform.

This is no worse than we deserve, putting our faith in age and caste loyalties. We prefer the criminally senile in our nation’s highest offices. It allows us to bitch indulgently at the regular little accidents involving colostomy bags. Local sentiments are easily represented by facial hair, and the state has a Chief Moustache and a Deputy Chief Moustache parading their cheap dye-jobs in front of the TV cameras. The crowd cheers.

The equipment and training of our cops (even the AntiTerrorismSquad) is no secret and has once again been tragically highlighted. Call the cops when you want bomb scenes trampled on, or random poor Muslims Confessioned and/or Encountered.

Over two decades of assorted terror attacks across the country, and there is still is no operationally capable central crisis management team or protocols in place. There are no established lines of communication between the police, army, paramilitary, intelligence and special forces (SF). Each is suspicious of and barely capable of operating with the other, leading to further tragic one-upmanship.

The first consequence of this reinforces the charming Indian trait of arriving hours after the party has started. The geriatric politic*nts and supply-stealing generals have to be woken up and informed through three layers of aides. The first few hours are usually spent on trying to figure when the Cabinet Committee for Security will meet and the diabetic snacks on offer. This time the SF were only 4 hours late.

Indian security analysts and journalists still get adolescent stiffys when they see black coveralls and bandanas, and are at the vanguard of the witless chest thumping about our boys in nomex. (example: the popular, unsubstantiated fact that the dropout rate from the Indian SF training is higher than that of the American Seals. A fact that is immaterial when equipment and tactics are threadbare. Courage comes at the cost of a few hundred rupees over a basic rifleman’s salary).

It has been decades now since we first witnessed the NSG and Marcos running through their hostage rescue drills. From Doordarshan days, on dusty firing ranges, abseiling down fastropes from choppers, retaking rickety buses and mock up airliners from lifesize paper cutouts of terrorists, with impressive success.

While the NSG does have the fairly shitty job of VVIP security, why has it left them so dheela?

And what about the “Marcos”? Are they waiting to hear someone shout “Polo”?

Firstly, these elite forces seem to have entered the three hostage situations without adequate assessment or strategy. From media reports, it seems there was a constant denial in accepting the numbers of hostages and the apparent tactics were reminiscent of a “take no prisoners” Tiger Hill style assault.

How could they go into the hotels without maps when such could have been easily gotten (for instance from the company contracted to maintain the AC system)?

How could they fail to secure access between wings in the case of both hotels?

How could they fail to establish perimeter security at Chabad/Nariman House.

How could they “not see when the terrorists put the lights out” when they are supposed to possess infra-red and thermal imaging equipment? Most likely the batteries were stolen by the Brigadier for his wife’s bedroom toys.

How could they so underestimate their foe and repeatedly claim over 48 hours that the situation will be under control “soon” and the terrorists only a “few”? Did they debrief any witnesses/ hostages who might have given them clues as to numbers and locations?

And what is it with the nomenclature? Operation Black Tornado and Operation Cyclone? Who the f*ck are we trying to fool with these phallic Acts of God?!? Operation Blackish Turd or Operation Nightly Discharge, at least a Nasbandi Operation, please?

This rant could carry on….one expects only no real change here, because perhaps none is required in the larger scheme of things. Despite the worldwide exposure of our incompetence, the overall PR brand India has received has many positives.

Infinitely more dangerous to the nation are the growing divides of community, region and economics.

The personal tragedies aside, these events aren’t really going make things markedly worse.

DickHeadlines Today just proclaimed “India has emerged victorious!” The hangers-on throng Karkare’s funeral, as his son performs the last rites simultaneously on 25 TV channels. CNN and the BBC demur.

Time moves surprisingly quickly when so many people have to get by.

One thought on “Of terror and Mumbai: commando returns

  1. Great article… I share your outrage. Even more frustrating – Only a week after the attacks and our news media have turned away from reporting this story! How can we forget so soon?

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