Rumblings of a concerned citizen

Dr Gopa Nayak is a writer and an academician. She has a DPhil from the University of Oxford and her first Master’s degree is in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. She writes in both Odia and English and her poems have been included in anthologies of poetry of women. She can be contacted at gopanayak[at]

Gopa Nayak

Gopa Nayak

The recent attacks on the defense base in Pathankot could distract any sensible citizen leave alone political leaders and defense experts. One cannot but help reflect and compare the attack to the recent terror attack in Paris where the common people were taken hostage in a theatre. The media there, not surprisingly, was kept at a distance and what we heard from the media were the painful stories of the victims rather than the perpetrators.

On the other hand, the media here is concentrated on the perpetrators by tracing their links to our historical enmity with Pakistan and concluding it as state sponsored. Anyone with a minimum amount of intelligence can make out that the attack was a clear attempt at derailing the peace talks initiated by India and Pakistan. Whether the talks will be able to achieve the desired outcome for these two nations who have lost lives to wars, is a different matter. The fact remains that war cannot be an answer to any problem. There are ample examples in the world to provide evidence to this conclusion.

Moreover, terrorism is a threat by itself and our Prime Minister aptly described it is an attack on humanity. In the case of France the terrorist came from their own soil. Hence, instead of concentrating on the origin of the terrorists, the focus should be on fighting terrorism. Attacking a particular country even though the said country could have been a safe haven for terrorists will not serve any purpose.

What India needs to concentrate on is to tighten its own security. A prosperous India thriving in a neighborhood of not so well-to-do nations has to look after its own security instead of putting the blame on others. We should be asking ourselves as to how six people with ammunition could enter into our most sensitive areas. We need to lock our houses so that no intruder can enter. When the doors are open and the security at the gate is not alert anyone can enter. We have to make sure that our security is flawless and our men at the borders are vigilant. The need of the hour is to examine who was not careful enough to let the terrorists enter and take necessary measures so that the same mistakes are not repeated.

Coming back to the media what struck me most was the enthusiasm of our anchors on TV studios screaming attacks on Pakistan, often in the presence of Pakistani representatives who were shouting in matching degree and depth of scornful language. Equally despicable was the comments from the representatives of the political parties coming down to sneer remarks such as ‘selling the country’ among others. The anchors instead of talking over their guests should learn to listen and ask the right questions that needs to be answered in the moment of crisis. The political parties in spite of their differences should remain united in defending the country otherwise the country and thereby democracy which gives them voice could crumble.