Eternal vigilance needed against Pak mischief

Eternal vigilance needed against Pak mischief

A deafening echo was heard during the week of the serial blasts that ripped through various parts of Mumbai (then Bombay) leaving a bloody trail of...

A deafening echo was heard during the week of the serial blasts that ripped through various parts of Mumbai (then Bombay) leaving a bloody trail of mayhem and violence on March 12, 1993. The Supreme Court, in its verdict in the case on March 21, awarded the death sentence to Yakub Memon, commuted death penalty of 10 others to life imprisonment and reduced the jail term of actor Sunil Dutt from six years to five years, besides the decisions in other cases. This indeed is like reopening old wounds and reviving bitter memories, but more poignantly the ignominy marked the beginning of the terror war on India from across the borders. While unravelling the conspiracy, the apex court judgment confirmed the hand of Pakistan's spy agency ISI behind the deadly blasts that had Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Anis Ibrahim as the masterminds, all presently sitting in their safe havens in Karachi. Doubtless, in our context it was a season of hell. India was passing through a difficult phase inasmuch as the blasts came in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December, 1992, and led to widespread communal riots in the country. What was indeed unpropitious in India's secular ambience became Pakistan's opportunity. Despite the enormity of the event, it could perhaps have been still remembered as one of the black days in the nation's long history but for the fact that the blasts signalled the start of the ominous terror strategy of Pakistan against India. A A string of terror attacks took place in between in a run-up to the more virulent happenings of 26/11 in Mumbai which had all the makings of an invasion of a peaceable neighbor by a foreign power. Pakistan, of course, has stuck to its denial mode till now, glibly blaming 26/11 on non-State actors (LeT, et al). Thus there is little surprise that Pakistan spin doctors immediately went into the same old mode after the Supreme Court confirmed the ISI involvement in the 1993 blasts. One of them even challenged the Indian authorities while speaking on news channels to file a case in the international criminal court to test its charge against the ISI. However, it is futile to expect anything better from them. The foremost lesson, again, is not to rely on goodly promises of our neighbor, but to keep constant vigil against all such future attempts.
The years 1992 and 1993 conveyed two defining messages: One, in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid; and, two, the start of terror on Indian soil. Even though the star Rath Yatri LK Advani called the day of the demolition as the "saddest in my life", it did become a fortune-turner for the far Right Hindutva forces which finally catapulted BJP-headed government at the Centre later. The entire national sentiment, and not of the Muslims alone, wasoutraged at the felling of the Babri structure in Ayodhya. This in the light of history was nothing new for a nation steeped in the spirit of tolerance and opened-mindedness and all that lies ingrained in the Hindu view of life. The other point concerns the kind of expertise and craftiness put into Pakistan's strategy to start terror against India at a most delicate psychological moment: the demolition and communal riots. A More ominously, the design was to perpetuate civil strife along with a message of "solidarity" to the Muslims at a "critical juncture". Fortunately, it all boomeranged on Pakistan and all of its calculations went awry with speedy return of peace in communal-hit areas. Reactions to the apex court verdict have been varied and mixed. While the tenor of the news channels has been on expected lines, actor Sanjay Dutt hogging the major limelight, the relatives of the victims would have liked stricter punishment for the culprits.A There is general regret that the real masterminds have escaped unscathed, sitting as they do across the borders. Those close to the Bollywood have sympathized with Sanjay and his family, slurring over the larger picture concerning the film world's nexus with the underworld. The mere fact that someone is a celebrity is not of concern for the "court", and it can be nobody's case that anyone has been denied the opportunity to defend themselves. A After all, Sanjay Dutt was found in possession of the lethal AK-56 rifle with other ammunition procured from shady arms dealers. A The more important point is that a celebrity or any high-up must understand the responsibility that devolves on them by virtue of high position they hold in the society. After all, reel life and real life are two different entities but the moot point is what kind of a citizen and how much law-abiding one is that matters. A The law is the same for one and all, high or low. The supremacy and majesty of law in India has been proved time and again, and the adage, justice delayed is justice denied, need not be really bandied about with such gusto as is being done by some commentators in the present context. A
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