It’s reality that’s BOMBED

Young men are picked up and kept as undertrials without evidence. There is nothing to prove that many of the ‘breakthroughs' that the police claims are genuine. A few more bombs would just tear the frayed fabric of this country

Sanjay Kapoor, Hardnews, Delhi

The grainy images from CCTV cameras eerily show the moment when bombs transform the tranquil and ordinariness of the place whether it be a market or a hotel. In Delhi's Greater Kailash I market, it is possible to see people going about their business unmindful of what lies in the trash bin. And suddenly, there is a loud explosion followed by smoke and dust. As the haze clears it is possible to see broken glasses, blood, gore and body parts separated from the body. There is also maddening frenzy with people with torn clothes running to safety.

Bombs not only change the place where they detonate, their impact goes far beyond. They reorder reality. In some ways this corroborates a scientifically unsubstantiated submission of a British physicist Peter Higgs that the background mass provides mass to a lifeless particle when the Big Bang takes place. Similarly, the impact of the bomb is contingent on the social and political environment where the blasts take place. The inorganic bomb acquires a life of its own. It is an anthropomorphic transition where the bombs display human trickery that accentuates hate and coalesces new relationships. Bombs merely bring out in the open the muck, chaos, anger, atavism that is residing in societies. 

From this standpoint, terror strikes that were witnessed in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bangalore and more recently in Delhi are not just ordinary pieces of explosives blowing up in remote areas. These bombs have been used by their clever masterminds to challenge the secular character of a troubled and restless nation that is in a tearing hurry to be recognised as a superpower. It also is a test of the resolve of a country to countenance these serial blasts in a manner that does not divide society or provide the fertile ground for the kind of politics that was responsible for violence and Partition.

The bombers realise the tenuous relationship between Hindus and Muslims. How hate based organisations have been consistently working on partitioning minds for electoral and political reasons. They understand the growing suspicion and mistrust building up among Hindus and Muslims over economic, cultural and demographic issues.

What is compounding this problem are global factors and the aggressive global war on terror unleashed by the US, whose foreign policies and so- called attempts to sanitise Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan of Islamic militants is feeding communal stereotypes in a multi-religious country like India.

The impact of global and national politics has been visible in the business of governance. Police investigations are no longer objective - they are driven by politics of the day. Policing has been under considerable strain, obsessed as it is with providing security to VIPs. An ordinary policeman spends just one day in a year in investigations ensuring that the innocent never get justice.

Clearly, cruel, unjust, communal and unprofessional response to crimes contributes a grievance that feeds terror. Poor policing shows up more when they go about investigating terror attacks. The sensitivity and the need to keep the big picture of saving the secular soul of India are lost on many policemen who go in search of terrorists and their sympathisers. Young men are ruthlessly picked and kept as undertrials even when no evidence is found against them.

Growing demands to control terror is preventing many politicians to restrain the hands of the police. Truth is becoming a casualty to desperation on the part of the police to show results. There is nothing to prove that many of the "breakthroughs" that the police claims are really genuine. Shadowy terror organisations get morphed in police records. There are obvious hints at foreign hands to shirk responsibility. There is no attempt to replicate models adopted by the French, for instance, to fight terror.

The French, realise that terrorist networks are multi-layered and they routinely infiltrate them to ensure that they are a step ahead of those who want to subvert democratic institutions. It is ironical when the top sleuth of this country who has been at its helm for more than 15 years claims "gaps" in intelligence. One wonders why this worthy did not plug these gaps all these years.

Incompetence and refusal to get down to the task of building a law based nation-state has brought the nation to the edge of a dangerous abyss. If radical reforms do not take place in politics, economic policy and the criminal justice system then it might just become difficult to save this nation. A few more bombs would just tear the frayed fabric of this country engulfing it into communal riots and unending violence. Once that happens - the bomber would have achieved his objective. Enter the soul of India.