Associate Editor, Print Research
One friend had picked up an auto-rickshaw from the blast site on Barakhamba Road just ten minutes before the bomb went off. A cousin witnessed the dark smoke and sounds of the blast near Central Park being in his office in the inner circle of CP. Few friends were stranded at the Barakhamba and Rajiv Chowk metro stations. As the information was coming in on my mobile on that fateful Saturday evening of September 13, a feeling of anger, frustration and helplessness was gripping my senses amidst the hustle bustle of newsroom.
I was also equally flooded with queries from many friends and family members. As I often used to be at the Central Park after a day of work, perhaps my friends were much worried about me. My usual answer was "nobody can avoid destiny". But in the newsroom I was thinking what if I were there today.
I could not think beyond that. Thank god I had cancelled my routine visit to Central Park on that day.
The 29 dead people were not that lucky like others who escaped. Perhaps the relatives of victims can't blame anybody but destiny. But who to blame when death is destined by a few terror outfits? Everybody definitely has to find an answer.
Should we blame the security agencies and the Government for this? What were our security agencies doing when the Union Home Minister and the Delhi Chief Minister admit to a definite intelligence input about the terror strike in Delhi? Why can't the State ensure the security and safety of the common man from such blasts be it Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Banglore or Delhi? No answer to my anger.
Every time such serial blasts occur the Union Home Minister repeats the same words of helplessness - condoling deaths and assuring to act tough on terror - before the television cameras.
A few hours after the blasts, the Delhi Chief Minister said that there were inputs of a terror strike in Delhi but the place and time were not known. God only knows when the terrorists will strike with prior notification of the place and time of the attack!
In less than five months, four major cities including the National Capital have witnessed deadly terror strikes. How long will the people on the streets be falling prey to the helplessness of the Government? When will the Government really act tough on terror beyond the television bytes? No answer to my frustration.
Post blasts the BJP will push for the need of POTA and GUJCOC Act. The Congress will not take any tough action against the known outfits like SIMI or Indian Mujahiddin, responsible for the serial blasts.
The family members and relatives of the blast victims will be running around hospitals while the security of the people would have become a hot debate under the arc lights of air conditioned studios of television channels.
The resilience of the people is commendable after every terror strike. The entire country stands united to defy every effort of the terror outfits. But how could the spirit of people alone save this country from terror strikes when the real action takers can't look beyond political interests? Should we learn to live with the uncertainty of being victimised by a man made crisis? No answer to my helplessness.
Tomorrow, I will visit the Central Park in Connaught Place after a day of work. I would have certainly overcome that sense of anger, frustration and helplessness but without any answer to it.