The Parliament attack on Dec 13, 2001 was thought of as the worst terrorist attack in India. I think today's overtakes that in terms of extent, casualty; and the planning and coordination by the perpetrators.
Who could have undertaken this savagery? Without batting an eyelid, we all would point the finger across the border – the terrorists who have made Pakistan their base. Pakistan's condemnation is already in. The Pak government has said that terrorism is the bane of our times. The 9/11 made Gen Pervez Musharraf switch sides; but there is hardly anything on the ground to show that he has choked the lifeline of terrorists who are based there.
We are all so vulnerable. Terrorism is a virus for which no one has found a cure. Not even America's awesome military power has been able to stamp it out for ever. We don't need intelligence inputs to know that terrorist attacks could be coming. As Margaret Thatcher said after the Hilton hotel attack, "We need to be lucky always, a terrorist needs be lucky only once."
Home minister Shivraj Patil says there were intelligence tipoffs. May be someone up there took those hints lightly and just slept over vital clues. If that was the case, the blame should be fixed. There is a limit to which we can blame Pakistan. We need to protect ourselves. Our intelligence gathering and security apparatus are most often found wanting, to say the least.
At an individual level, we can only get philosophical and spiritual on such occasions. All one can do is to try and get back on our feet as quickly as possible and get on with our daily lives. There is nothing to gain by fretting and fuming over things over which we have little control. What we can actually do is to find a way forward, because we have to move forward.
It's not the first time Mumbai has been devastated, either by man-made disaster or natural. Every time, the city has shown its resilience. This time too Mumbai will overcome the tragedy. Let everyone out there in Mumbai know that the whole of India is with them.