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Repeating Bomb Blasts And Repeaed Failures Of Prevention:
Why Not A Permanent Solution?

By S. Mohammed Irshad

25 February, 2013

Hyderabad blast was shocking news to the nation. It really took the public memory back to previous blasts in the country. The media reports become a repetition of the previous incidents, just hours after the incident. Sometimes, the public failed to identify whether the channels showing the previous blast's pictures or not, the language of explanation were also seemed repetitive.

Those repetitions were not deliberate, but, those were the results of our response to such brutal acts. The post blast action of the authorities is well known to the public, name of the outfit which planned the blast and it also sure that the police would arrest people who are having connection with the outfit and blast within 24 hours, or in any case publish the photographs of the people who have done it. Besides, the origin, religion and interest of these people are also well established. Hence, the first part of the investigation is easy; the remaining part is also well established. In the second part, government play a major role in placing evidences and civil society raises concern about it. Some counter evidence becomes successful and some are not. Slowly the public memory fades away-back to square one.

This is the contemporary history of blast enquiry. Analysing the whole history of the incident is beyond the scope of this article. The purpose is to share some questions and anxieties of crores of common man in the country.

The Home Minster said that, the government got the message three days before the incident, and police identified the accused within hours. Some political leaders have identified the people and outfit within hours! If the country is having such a facility to trace the culprit within hours of the blast, then why it could not stop or arrest the people before they kill innocent people? This question also sidelined due to the ‘religious identity’ of the accused and it becomes a permanent issue- presence of trouble.

Now the question is how to annihilate this permanent trouble? The failure of the government to stop the killing has no room in this discussion. Generally victims of such inhuman acts are treated in an equal manner, however, the new trend is that, Muslims victims are getting wider media attention than other victims. This is also a new entrant. As said before, this article doesn't try to do a sociological analysis of this whole issue, however, some common questions have to be placed for further thinking.

Terrorism becomes a common property of a particular religion, hence, all those who born is eligible to have the right over it. Who is behind this common property? Earlier people used to believe that religious fundamentalists were created this and this was true to a great extent also. Those who own and interpret the political elements of religion are responsible; however, the contemporary crisis is that, this belief system is also under suspicion. Since, the large public do not need any kind of terrorist support to live in the country, nor the religion deserves. The ‘community who own terrorism’ needed resource to break the poverty trap. Recently, National Sample Survey Organization of India, came out with the date that Indian Muslims are more vulnerable sections in the country. As usual this report is also kept under the carpet. Then who is promoting terrorism? In democracy having well established rule of law has the right to point out that, these people and organisations are responsible for this inhuman act. Is it happening?

The government is trying and failing to book the culprits. Convicting a person or group with full proof evidence is becoming a distant dream of the public. Many people were arrested, but later, the government had to release them by saying that they were innocents. What's wrong with the system? A country spending Rs 110000 crore for defence is failing to ensure homeland security. Spending Rs 3600 crore for VVIP securities are failing to ensure the life of the common man, who have voted them to power.

The government and media successfully create a public opinion that the root cause of growing terrorist acts in the country is a particular religion itself. The whole media trial and state action limited to this religious identity. These organizations which are behind the blast ( if they are real) have no role in the public life of the Muslim community, neither any political aim to accomplish. The political identity of the Muslim community is associated with the national politics, hence, she/he is seldom involved in the political issues of the global Muslim community. Whatever the affiliation she/has with the global Muslim issues are due to common religious identity and practice and this is no way anti-national. In fact the continuous bomb blast/terror attack and religious identity of the accused have disconnected Indian Muslims from the global Muslim issues. Any kind of affiliation or recognition pushes them into isolation. However, the political establishments in the country needed this global relation to justify the failure, this is indeed pushing the community back from public domain. The ‘general public’ is happy with this identity building including media. The state is the largest beneficiary of this identity building. If they are unable to catch the accused, it sends a message that they are having transnational connection or wider religious support. Hence, the state is not responsible or otherwise it establishes that, it is an international strategy. This whole process eventually creates fear among the people. Another critical question is how terrorists are planning attacks when government phases heavy public criticism? If somebody connects it with coffin scam, corruption, we cannot completely disagree.

Popular imagination and anti-terrorism move

Government action is capable to satisfy the constructed popular imagination on terrorism and religious identity. The popular imagination of terrorism is unilateral; hence, it’s quite easy to build defence based on the popular imagination. As said before this lead to the conclusion that a particular religion is the problem. This popular imagination also creates a stateless counter defence and this was proved in Malagave Blast enquiry. There are hardly any sincere efforts to go beyond the popular imagination. The Hyderabad incidents and its aftermaths are not much different from the previous actions. Investigations are started and if it is again limit to popular imagination, there would not be any scope for the final solution.

The larger the question is does state needed final solution?

The author is Assistant Professor with Tata Institute of Social Sciences: [email protected]





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