Friday, December 5, 2008

Perils in Parallels

To call the Mumbai tragedy, “India’s 9/11” would be parallel to the chatter of Texan cowboy. Indian officials, I believe, ought to be smarter than that. The 9/11 lexicon is proven to be perilous.

The ashes in Mumbai raise more questions than the number of dead from several countries. It was an international tragedy that the Indian government is partly responsible for, exposing its sorrowful state of intelligence and law enforcement.

Reading the Western press, it seems India is about to bomb Pakistan, which itself is home to the “Islamic Nuclear Bomb.” Reading the Indian press, it seems there are many sane Indians who are questioning the lethargy of the Indian government and challenging the hyper Hindutva leadership. The former is still trying to figure out who to blame and the latter wants to rush and unleash the “Hindu Nuclear Bomb.”

We must not forget that a recent train bombing being assigned to “Pakistani agents” was indeed the work of a serving Indian army officer and his comrades.

Bomb talk is dumb. Bombing Afghanistan was dumb. Bombing Iraq was dumber. The Mumbai tragedy merits a thorough investigation followed by a thoughtful analysis, in that order. The people in India and around the world have learned much since the bomb talk of Cheney & Bush, also in that order.

As an Indian by birth and having watched “investigations” of all sorts while growing up, I say that the current Mumbai “investigation” will be a farce at its best. And, now as an American by choice, I am equally comfortable to say that I do not trust the American government, either.

The sane Indians and Pakistanis must urgently and immediately demand the following:

1. Pakistanis must demand their government ask the United Nations to convene an Investigation Task Force comprising of its nation members but excluding the countries such as Israel, Britain and the United States - parties with direct interests in India and the region.
2. The Indians must demand their government give unfettered access to the United Nations Investigation Task Force to complete its full, independent and impartial investigation of the tragedy.
3. Indians, Pakistanis, Americans and all people of good conscience should call upon United Nations to play its role and not merely remain a spectator.

It is time to act for all people, not just Indians or Pakistanis. In allowing the Indian discourse of 9/11 parallels is perilous for all people.
An awesome essay by Arundhati Roy crystallizing more ---

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