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Time to re-assess
By Ghulam Muhammad

As an old proverb goes, one can wake up a sleeping person but not one who feigns sleep. BJP-led coalition government's repeated excuse of 'intelligence failure' is losing all credibility, as people can easily make out that the fault does not lie with the intelligence agencies, but in BJP's political thinking and priorities, that force it to ignore intelligence inputs and risk major security and law and order problems, in the pursuit of its political agenda. 

The ultra-patriotic and super-nationalist political party, in effect, has been compromising the country's external and internal security, in order to achieve its partisan political aims. The recent series of threats to national security can be traced directly to the BJP's deliberate acts of commission or omission. Kargil warnings by junior officers are on record, but ignored by all top brass, for reasons best known to them. In the end, the nation suffered a traumatic face-off with Pakistan, which could have been avoided if intelligence available had been properly assessed and acted upon. 

BJP's electoral politics are widely believed to be linked to the Kargil campaign, when precious lives of our jawans were lost, offering the dubious photo-opportunity to BJP leaders to shamelessly bask in the reflected glory of the martyrs, victims of their own treacherous strategies. 

Prior hard intelligence about terrorist attack on Parliament was available to the highest government functionaries, like the Prime Minister himself, who spelled out the expected attack on Parliament a day earlier in a public speech in Mumbai. The terrorists could have been tackled outside the boundaries of Lok Sabha complex, even if a trap was laid to demonstrate the efficiency of our security forces. BJP took great risk with the lives of 542 members of parliament and the danger of a unnecessary military engagement with Pakistan, if the operation terrorist trap had gone awry. 

The supposed 'intelligence failure' in Godhra and the state-wide rioting heavily coloured by mass genocidal pogroming, is the most recent and shocking criminal disregard of all signs of grave threat to peace and communal harmony that were emanating from VHP and Bajrang Dal's daily dose of belligerence and anti-Muslim outpourings that so conveniently coincided with UP election season, where BJP was facing a humiliating defeat. 

Prompt as ever LK Advani issued a statement that Pakistan's ISI has a hand in Godhra incident. If ISI was so ubiquitous in every big or small incident in the land, either our intelligence is hopelessly inadequate, or actions on their finding are deliberately delayed or avoided by their political bosses in order to take advantage of the expected tragedy. 

Daily statements by VHP minions from Singhal down, had been charging the national environment with insecurity and dread. And to attribute all such failures to intelligence agencies, is a cowardly act of cop-out. Shushma Suwaraj, even after four days of Gujarat burning, was insisting that Ayodhya was at peace and she did not find any sign of trouble. Her comments can only be attributed to her innocence in such sensitive matters of national import or her active complicity in the planning and execution of a grand plan to destabilise the country first and then appear on the scene as its saviour. Even if Sangh Parivar had followed network TV interviews of common citizens on the streets, they could easily make out how even an average Indian, though denigrated as 'ignorant', comes out with such mature and informed sound bites that it is not easy to fool all the people all the time. 

Sangh Parivar has every right to strive to rule India with a proper democratic mandate, just like any other group of citizens; but it should re-evaluate the divisive content of its blueprint for India's future and the sorely-needed transparent honesty behind its political strategies.

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