Government and Negligence: Are they Synonyms?


On May 25 an explosion was reported outside the Delhi High Court in the scorching heat of the afternoon. It led to terror and fear amongst the people and without delay authorities set off high alert in the capital and tighten the security at public places. This has been the scene after every blast. Fortunately, no one was injured. May 25 blast was the second in the preceding eight months that happened on September 19, 2010. Many security measures were taken and made sure that further no such explosions would take place. People, luggage, automobiles etc were thoroughly checked so as to avoid such situations. But the antics of the UPA led government did not last long enough to avoid another blast. Again on September 7, 2011 fright and horror struck Delhi in the morning when 15 people (two succumbed in the hospital in the following weeks) were killed and 70 injured in the blast outside the High Court premises. It was crowded with the visitors waiting to get entry passes. No one was injured in the previous blast but every time the fate doesn’t plays the same role!

Indian government was warned by the US, UK and Australian advisors of imminent terror attacks on Delhi especially in the “vicinity of key government installations and tourist’s sites”. At that time, highly placed government sources told that the advisories were taken “seriously” and Delhi Police has been on “full alert”. But the fatigued alertness of our Police system along with the present ruling government can be very well assessed after the recent explosion.

Immediately after the blast many theories were formulated. The most debatable was among them all: on Sept 7th the opposition was to take a stand against the cash-for- vote scam in the Parliament and the BJP members were incredibly confident to take the UPA government in hands. Therefore, the blast was triggered by the UPA government in order to change the course of attention and bring about a new problem to be dwelled upon.
Our eminent leaders stood up and shunned this blast. The blame game again took off. Various dimensions and perspectives came in. But what exactly could be the reality? It would not be right to blame the security system altogether as we cannot overlook the fact that it is after all under the nose of our government who keeps on regulating it.

The government can talk at length regarding the security system but then there needs to be specialized Agencies in order to predict and eradicate such situations by following the pattern and the networks of such occurrence. Immediately after the 26/11 case, Multi Agency Centre was formulated along with National Investigation Agency to look into all terror related cases. MAC was operationalised through an executive order and NIA was cleared in an unscheduled Cabinet meeting.

In our Home Ministry there has been a long pending proposal of setting up the NCTC (National Counter Terrorism Centre) on the lines of the agency set up by the United States after the 9/11 attack. This so called NCTC proposal has been with the government from past 18 months. Along with it, NATGRID was also not paid any heed to. The proposal was made in December 09 and the project now has been allotted a 10 acre plot in New Delhi and discussions regarding the powers and functioning is yet to be decided upon. Therefore it can be clearly said that it will take another 2-3 years for this to be fully functional. Who knows this project totally takes a steep fall if the present government goes out of power and the new government doesn’t think it to be worthwhile enough to set up a NCTC or NATGRID! The new government just might come up with a new proposal which would be very effective and operative, but then it will take another 5 years to pass the approval for the project.

The day of the blast, top UPA leaders like Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi and few more ministers paid a visit to the injured admitted in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The next day on September 08, RML (government owned hospital) was asking the families of the Delhi Blast victims to purchase white sheets to cover the dead people. This is the convenience and hypocrisy of our system and the government to take chances along with twists and turns according to their whims!

With every blast, government and police force along with security systems are tighten so as to create a sense of security amongst the people. For that time, people regain back their strength to move around freely. Then, another strike takes place and people are again assured with the same old measures which failed. Is it that we people are bold to go out in the open despite this blasts or are we compelled to go out? It is always said that there was a lapse in the security. Are those people ever charged for this so called “lapse” in the security? How is it that in every blow there’s always a lapse of security?

Today the whole and sole responsibility lies on the shoulders of the citizens. It looks, that we are paying our taxes to be paid to the government servants for the “lapse”. As they’re not competent enough to look into the matter. Despite so much of technological advancement and prior security alarm, such incidents still takes place and then there is no answer to such slips. Regardless of so many agencies, the predicament is still there.

As a solution, everyone would say, the government should take strong steps and make the Agencies more efficient in order to track the problems beforehand. But we all know, at the end of the day, no such things are going to happen as the so called “Big” people are busy filling their overflowing pockets instead of looking at the pathetic condition that our nation is going through. Since, these so called big people are not directly affected, the common man is, and therefore it really doesn’t matter to them! It is important to understand and realize that terrorism is an ideology propagated by certain heads. It is important to track them down so as to avoid such blasts in future. Needless to say, of course the agencies like NCTC has to formulated in a free flowing process and the actions within these institutions should be quick instead of traditional bureaucracy lagging behind. More importantly, as a citizen, we have to be careful enough to figure out suspicious behavior of the people around us along with procuring unidentified bags and luggage’s. Although, we cannot evade such incidents as general mass but then if we are careful enough to stop such kind of fundamentalism in any manner, we should make sure to make a better use of it. We need to keep our eyes and ears open in order to elude the challenge presented to us by such heads.

Author Note
Mallika Sinha, Research Assistant, Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict, New Delhi. Views are personal.