The spectre of terror returned to haunt India on Thursday with two blasts in Hyderabad that killed 15 people. It is still too early to ascertain who is responsible for the sixth blast in the city in 10 years but given that the blasts took place during the evening rush hour in crowded places means it was planned and executed with the intention of causing maximum damage.
That blasts continue to take place in India indicates that little has been achieved in combating terrorism. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government had information two days ago about a possible attack. It is a matter of concern that despite this information, the blasts could not be prevented.
One theory is that the blasts are a response to the hanging of Afzal Guru. The government should have anticipated such a reaction and should have been suitably prepared.
There must be a reason why the US has not seen a major terror strike since it cracked down with a vengeance after the September 11, 2001, attack. India also needs to act swiftly and decisively to ensure bomb blasts don’t become one more thing Indians ‘adjust’ to. For this, we need more policemen on the streets, improved intelligence, better coordination between agencies, and increased use of technology.
India may be a country of a billion people but its leaders need to demonstrate that each of those people are precious and must be protected. Words of condemnation after blasts alone won’t do. We need to see some action.