The world’s largest democracy is going through one of the most critical phases of its 61-year old life. We should call it India’s mid-life crisis; a period of dramatic self-doubt where one tragedy is being matched or answered by a greater tragedy. It seems that competition – one of the main features of marketing – has begun to apply even in the gory field of terrorism. We are being pushed into the dirty pit of terrorism in a cyclical motion. Terrorism has begun to apply the rules of communication. Communication is a two-way process. Terrorism is increasingly following in the footsteps of communication; where ‘our terror’ is being answered by ‘their terror’ or vice versa. This phenomenon is alternatively known as ‘tit-for-tat terrorism.’ It is in this framework that Malegaon September 2008 blast must be looked into.
The Malegaon blast probe which made headlines all across the world was earth-shattering. Before the probe could completely unearth all the faces involved in the blast; another terror storm rocked the nation’s psyche and Malegaon probe was suddenly put on hold. The worst aspect of 26/11 may be that it consumed the faces involved in Malegaon blast probe but Malegaon can not be put on the back burner. The shocking revelations of Malegaon blast can not be easily erased from peoples’ memories; be it Hindu or Muslim. 26/11 may have overshadowed Malegaon, but it can never be forgotten because it has now been associated with the Mumbai carnage.
Does that sound strange that Malegaon probe has been associated with 26/11?
No. The two fateful events had one similar character: ATS chief Hemant Karkare. And whenever, people would recall 26/11, they will surely remember Hemant Karkare. And the name Hemant Karkare has become synonymous with Malegaon blast probe. There emerges a triangle whose dots will always be connected to each other.
Hemant Karkare’s loss has proved to be a severe blow to the Malegaon investigation. The main character of the script is no more. Can a script be completed without the main character? It might be possible that a film can never be sustained with the death of its protagonist but in real life things are different. Karkare has left behind footprints on the sand. Now it is the job of the directors (read politicians) to guide the new actor (read K.P. Raghuvanshi); to make sure that he follows the footprints left by his predecessor.
The new actor must remember that footprints on sand don’t last long.
The director (Ashok Chavan), his assistant (Chagun Bhujbhal) and the new actor know and understand that Malegaon script has already been drafted. The new players just need to complete the script. Any change or delay in the completion of the script will be detrimental. Audiences are desperately waiting to witness the climax of the story.
The people of Malegaon are not very happy with the track record of K.P. Raghuvanshi; he was the ATS chief when September 8, 2006 blasts took place. But still, we have no grudge against him; our readers will recall that Nanded blast was being investigated by Mr. Raghuvanshi himself. The ATS investigation in Nanded blast was far better than the investigation carried by CBI later. In fact, Mr. Raghuvanshi should be given a free hand to complete the Malegaon probe as early as possible.
With Karkare’s departure, the once media-savvy ATS has suddenly become media-shy. People of Malegaon want ATS chief to assert himself in order to restore the faith of the people. He has not made any remark or addressed a single press conference on the issue of Malegaon probe till now. His long silence is open to misinterpretation. He must speak up his mind in order to put rumour mills to sleep.
It’s your turn to speak up, Mr. Raghuvanshi!
Will you please oblige?