Now that the 60-hour Taj seige by terrorists in downtown Mumbai is finally over its time to take stock of the past present and future events.

PAST

Terrorism has never been new to India and although lakhs of Indians have been killed in terrorist attacks in India ever since the Kashmir problem escalated in the 1980's, India has never got the world's attention or sympathy when it came to acknowledging across the border state-sponsored-terrorism. Besides the fact that our governments dont give a damn about Indian citizens, the US, UK and every other developed nation always ignored us screaming that Pakistan was a petri-dish for mushrooming terrorism. The US always had a soft (blind) spot for Pakistan because of the latter's support during the Cold War and showed their gratitude with billions of dollars in Financial aid and the decades old green-card lottery system, whereby 50,000 visas each year would be doled out to Pakistani men who could later bring their spouses and family members on a dependent visa whilst educated Indians had to make do with a cap on the H1 visas annually. I came across a former Intelligence chief Vikram Sood's blog entry on Terrorism which makes an interesting read.

PRESENT

The Pakistani terrorists were able to strike at will as they had complete terrain knowledge especially the Taj Hotel and it was only when the terrorists singled out Americans and Britishers and Jews that the world smelt the coffee. 'Kashmir is just an excuse to kill at will in the name of religion'.

The Jews came to India more than 2000 years ago and one of my neighbour(s) in Mumbai was a Jewish family, which was my second home and I can never forget that they would never eat non-veg in my presence out of respect for my beliefs. Even my non-veg eating Hindu friends have never respected my beliefs as much as they did !!

One captured terrorist admits that they thought they would return to Pakistan alive and didnt know it was a suicidal mission. Duh.... anyone with half a brain would know that the moment you pick up a gun you become a terrorist, and for someone who has no qualms about killing other human beings, he wants the mercy of life for himself. The suicidal mission was well-planned some months ago when they had visited Mumbai pretending to be Malaysian students. By breaking it up into small modules with each unit having 'need to know basis' information, the Pakistani bosses had ensured that brainwashed souls would be remote-controlled at every stage and re-create an Indian 9/11.

FUTURE

Terrorists do not believe in the philosophy of any religion ...they are just selfish in action and motives, either professional or political. India has never been good at politics and has always been bad at selling itself, the lack of spy intelligence notwithstanding. Our political parties will never take a stand and reach a consensus on tackling terrorism firmly. Rather they will indulge in debates about terrorism which will turn into a debate about Muslims being a minority in India, which directly benefits the terrorists. When will our so called secular politicians come out of this false cocoon and face terrorism with conviction without worrying about vote-bank politics ?!

While the politicians will have to bury their hatchets and work for a national agenda, we also need a neutral media which has the guts to focus on the truth and not just sensationalism and regional appeasement tactics to get maximum viewer ratings. The likes of Shabana Azmi, Arundhati Roy, Teesta Setelvad  and Barkha Dutt could do well and stop insulting our intelligence with their biased babble. Do they have the courage to live the life of a military commando or that of good officer(s) who get killed due to poor quality bullet-proof jackets in the line of duty ? Ofcourse not... instead we are bombarded with  their brainless chatter from those cosy news-rooms 24/7. For a change the media could focus on facts instead of sensationalism and minute-by-minute analysis. Why do we forget history in the form of the unforgettable hijack of Indian Airlines IC184 where we were unfortunately negotiating with terrorists and who can forget the time V.P.Singh released a dreaded terrorist Masood Azhar for securing the release of Rubbaiya Sayyed in Kashmir who went on to setup the LeT.

Today we are glued to the moving images on TV but tomorrow as a nation we just move on, certainly not any wiser or more unified on the issue of weeding out terrorism. We conveniently forget about it till the next episode. That is our history and unfortunately this horrific incident is no less tragic than the gazillion terrorist attacks all over India but our esteemed politicians will grab media bytes to lob accusations and counter-accusations on who is more serious about fighting terrorism than actually doing something about it. Will we ever learn from history ?!

Atleast let's not forget to pay our tributes to the military martyrs and their counterparts - the civilian heroes.

UPDATE : Wanted by Interpol, sheltered by Pakistan and Dubai, Dawood Ibrahim, provided logistics to the terrorists. From the ET : "Instructions were passed on to the jihadis outside using satellite phones. Also, some terrorists were tracking the movements of ATS officers on TV and accordingly instructed the jihadis located closeby to attack them. Even after the agencies realised this and switched off the cable/satellite TV feed to the hotels, the terrorists continued to get updates from their local handlers having access to TV channels". Besides, they were also instructed to kill till death and used Google Earth Maps for geo locations of their targets. Apparently  four terrorists are still believed to be at large and a hunt is on for them..... Scary and depressing !!