Sunday, August 18, 2019

ONLY A STRONG CDS WILL BE ABLE TO BREAK SHACKLES

SOURCE:
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday-special/columns/only-a-strong-cds-will-be-able-to-break-shackles/819068.html


ONLY A STRONG  CDS                  WILL BE ABLE                               TO                          BREAK SHACKLES  

                        BY          

 Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retd)




As long as service chiefs retain complete authority over operational and administrative aspects, they will continue to compete for influence, resources. Without integration, synergised operational planning will remain a mirage.





Way Foward: 

The appointment of the Chief of Defense Staff must be a part of a comprehensive plan for overhauling the higher defence management system, including the restructuring of the military into theatre commands. PTI



Following the submission of the Kargil Review Committee report, a Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted to review the national security system of India comprehensively. The GoM report was an extremely meticulous document in which our weaknesses were honestly identified, and detailed recommendations made for strengthening the national security architecture. While looking at the higher defence management, the GoM had observed that the “COSC (Chiefs of Staff Committee) has not been effective in fulfilling its mandate”. To overcome this weakness, it was recommended that a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) be appointed to serve as the “principal military adviser” to the political leadership.

There are many reasons as to why the CDS has not been appointed till now, but it would serve little purpose to debate these reasons with the Prime Minister clearly announcing his intention to create this post. The media is abuzz with speculations on the frontrunner for the CDS, but again this is hardly a crucial aspect of the Prime Minister’s announcement. The real key lies in the role and responsibility entrusted to the CDS, and whether this is only the first step in the revamping of our higher defence management.

There are two viewpoints on the role of the CDS. The first sees him as facilitating the planning and budgeting process by prioritising the acquisitions of the three services. In times of stressed budgets, this is an essential requirement. He will also promote jointness by laying down the joint warfighting doctrine and cutting down duplicate structures and organisations that perform a similar task for different services. Logistics and training are two such areas where restructuring is possible.


In terms of direct command, the CDS will be responsible for tri-service commands like the Strategic Forces, Andaman and Nicobar Command, and the newly raised Cyber, Space and Special Forces agencies. This model is a significant improvement over the current system, where the three services pay only lip service to jointness and work to promote their own interests. The Chairman COSC is a rotational appointment with incumbents often holding the post for only a few months. The CDS will bring in the much-desired stability and authority when dealing with the three service chiefs.

However, in my view, this model does not go far enough to achieve true integration in the military. As long as the service chiefs retain complete authority over both the operational and administrative aspects of their force, they will continue to compete for influence and resources, and resist any integration that could dilute their authority. We have already seen great resistance from the Air Force on the setting up of integrated theatre commands. Without integration, synergised operational planning will remain a mirage.


The appointment of the CDS must be a part of a comprehensive plan for overhauling the higher defence management system, including the restructuring of the military into theatre commands. It is incomprehensible that India has seven Army and Air Force commands along its northern border facing a single western theatre command of China. In a warlike situation, synergising of operations will become extremely difficult.
After the raising of theatre commands, these should be placed under the CDS, who will then assume operational responsibility. It is only then that the CDS will be in a position to give well-informed advice to the political leadership. In this model, the service chiefs will only be responsible for the training and administration of their respective forces. It could be argued that this will create a very powerful post that could be viewed with suspicion by the political class. Similar views have been expressed in the past, but the Indian military has a stellar record of remaining apolitical and unfounded fears should not come in the way of essential reforms. 
It is only a strong CDS that will be able to break the shackles of existing practices that have hobbled true integration and kept us tied to World War II era structures.
There is unanimous acceptance that the character of war is changing, but we are still tied to service-specific equipment like tanks, aircraft and ships as the primary weapons of war. Information, cyber, space, psychometrics and artificial intelligence, areas that transcend service boundaries, have received little attention and require urgent focus. 
The Prime Minister has taken a decisive step, and it is hoped that it is the part of a larger process to transform the military into an efficient force capable of meeting all of India’s future security challenges.
— The writer is former GOC-in-C, Northern Command    




Sunday, August 4, 2019

Another ‘Arab Revolt’? History Never Repeats.

SOURCE:
https://www.newsclick.in/Arab-Revolt-US-Iran-Tension-Donald-Trump




             

             Another ‘Arab Revolt’?

                         History 

                   Never Repeats.

                            BY

          M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

 


The Arab Revolt (1916-1918). File photo.



AUGUST 02, 2019    



The Arab sheikhs who instigated the US-Iran standoff have heard the African proverb, ‘When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’. But they chose to ignore it. The assumption in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi was that President Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ strategy would frighten Tehran and life would be back to normal very soon with a weakened Iran bludgeoned into submission. 
On the contrary, the gyre of the US-Iran standoff is only widening by the day. What was thought to be a localised affair is acquiring international dimensions. America’s Arab allies no longer have a say in the mutation of the US-Iran standoff. 
The Saudi and Emirati role narrows down to bankrolling the Anglo-American project on Iran and to allow the western bases on their territories to be used as launching pads for belligerent acts aimed at provoking the leadership in Tehran into retaliatory moves. In sum, there is growing danger that they  might get sucked into a conflict situation in a near future. 
The Gulf states lack “strategic depth” vis-a-vis Iran and are sure to find themselves on the frontline of any military conflagration. Conceivably, neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE bargained for such an eventuality. 
. It is possible to discern amidst the welter of interpretations given to the “partial” pullout of the UAE forces from Yemen, Abu Dhabi’s calculation that safeguarding homeland security comes first, way above any imperial agenda. That sobering thought may also have prompted the UAE to make some overtures most recently toward Tehran
The UAE has taken a nuanced stance that no country could be held responsible for the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf in June. Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said “clear and convincing evidence” is needed regarding the attacks that targeted four vessels off the UAE coast, including two Saudi oil tankers. In essence he distanced the UAE from the US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s finding that the attacks on oil tankers were the work of “naval mines almost certainly from Iran”. 
Significantly, Al-Nahyan made the remark at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a visit to Moscow in late June, which from all indications focused on the efforts to bring the war in Yemen to an end and on a possible Russian initiative to moderate UAE’s tensions with Iran. (Interestingly, within the week after Al-Nahyan’s visit in late June, Moscow also hosted the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the UN special envoy on Yemen.) 
It is entirely conceivable that Russia is doing what it can behind the scenes to lower the tensions between Iran and the UAE and in the Persian Gulf region as a whole. Moscow has lately rebooted its proposal for a collective security system for the Persian Gulf. In fact, on July 29, the Russian concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf has been distributed as an official document approved by the UN. 
The Russian document envisages an initiative group to prepare an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, which would later lead to establishing an organisation on security and cooperation in this region. China has welcomed the Russian initiative and offered to contribute to its success — “We would also like to boost cooperation, coordination and communication with all the corresponding parties.” 
Clearly, the Russian proposal flies in the face of the Anglo-American project to create a western naval armada led by the US to take control of the 19000 nautical miles in and around the Strait of Hormuz that will put the West effectively as the moderator of the world oil market — with all the implications that go with it for international politics — and literally reduce the oil-rich Persian Gulf countries to de facto pumping stations. For that reason, the Russian initiative will not fly. Simply put, the US and Britain will resent Russia butting in. 
However, there are other straws in the wind. The Iran-UAE joint meeting to address littoral security cooperation in Tehran on July 30 is a tell-tale sign that the Persian Gulf states may have begun to realise that the endemic insecurities of the region ultimately require a regional solution. Iran has welcomed the Emirati overture and sees in it a “slight shift” in policy. 
The big question is how far the UAE can get away with an independent foreign policy toward Iran. The West traditionally dictates the bottom line and that cannot change fundamentally unless the Arab regimes in the region give way to representative rule. 
This is where the real tragedy lies. The big powers — be it the US or Russia — are largely guided by their own mercantilist interests and are stakeholders in the autocratic regimes in the region, which they find easily amenable to manipulation. A century ago, when an Arab Revolt appeared in the region, Britain had engineered it to roll back the Ottoman Empire. Today, there is no such possibility. The dismal ending of the Arab Spring in Egypt was to the advantage and utter delight of both the US and Russia. 
Having said that, the situation is not altogether bleak. The western powers and Russia fiercely competing to secure lucrative arms sales running into tens of billions of dollars annually. This can be turned into opportunity.
The Russia-Saudi axis calibrating the world oil market shows the potential to incrementally shift the locus of Middle East politics. 
Similarly, China’s appearance on the scene opens seamless possibilities for the Gulf states. The recent visit by the UAE Crown Prince to China underscores the Arab ingenuity to test the frontiers of strategic autonomy even in such difficult conditions. The fact of the matter is that the UAE has openly defied American pressure and is positioning itself as a hub of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and, furthermore, has become the first country in the Persian Gulf to introduce the 5G technology from China. (See my blog Belt and Road takes a leap forward to the Gulf.)




























Monday, June 3, 2019

Our PM and CMs are puppets of the IAS

SOURCE:
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/seeing-the-invisible/our-pm-and-cms-are-puppets-of-the-ias/


       Our PM and CMs 

    are puppets of the IAS 

                   By 

        Sanjeev Sabhlok


 Sanjeev Sabhlok

Sanjeev Sabhlok joined the IAS in 1982 but resigned after 18 years upon concluding that India's corrupt socialist governance system cannot be reformed from within. He concluded that the IAS itself is a major cause of India’s misery. Since then he has attempted to build a liberal party for India even as he earns his living as an economist in the Treasury in the Victorian government in Australia. In 2013 he was instrumental in forming Swarna Bharat Party (SBP) which takes inspiration from Rajaji’s Swatantra Party and stands for comprehensive political, social and economic liberty. Sanjeev holds the pen on SBP’s manifesto and believes the document now contains all the essential reforms to transform India into a First World nation. He is author of Breaking Free of Nehru (2008, Anthem Press), and manuscripts such as The Discovery of Freedom and Seeing the Invisible (economics for children). He sometimes writes about SBP and its policies in the Times of India editorial page and in other outlets.




June 1, 2019,

I’m simplifying things quite a bit when I say that our elected politicians are puppets of the bureaucracy, but as I will show presently, this is a fair comment given our institutional arrangements. Our bureaucracy – taken as a whole – is not only more powerful than any elected chief minister, it is more powerful than the Prime Minister.
This situation is a complete violation of the principles of liberal political theory. In a democracy, the executive should be checked and balanced by the judiciary and parliament. The idea that the unelected machine of government (the bureaucracy) will itself check the executive by exercising independent power was never intended by any theorist of political science.
This huge power of the bureaucracy in India – much greater than the power that even the British Indian bureaucracy wielded – came about during the haste of the 1947 partition and Constitution drafting. Sardar Patel made a strong case in the Constituent Assembly to continue with the colonial bureaucracy. There was no time to think about alternative models. He asked: “Is there any Premier in any province who is prepared to work without the services? He will immediately resign. He cannot manage.”
This panic led to not only the Constitutional inclusion of the all-India services (India is unique in having the public services form part of its Constitution) but the way Part 14 of the Constitution was drafted, enormous restrictions were imposed on the sovereignty of the executive and the People of India. In all democracies, the executive is supreme, with almost unlimited discretionary powers to hire and fire public servants. Not so in India. Article 311 massively dilutes this power and makes it virtually impossible for the executive to remove public servants.
As a result over the past 70 years, even the PMs of India haven’t been able to easily remove corrupt IAS officers, leave alone the incompetent ones. A PM’s entire tenure can go by in chasing up a single case through the courts. There are cases in the Modi government where even compulsory retirement has been insufficient to get rid of bad officers. Our bureaucracy thus sits on a pedestal well above elected representatives. Effectively, it is the IAS that is sovereign in India, not the People.
There is a widely cited but spurious argument that has enabled the IAS to hold on to their powers: that Indians trust their politicians less than they trust IAS officers. The people perceive the IAS to be incompetent, self-interested and arrogant but they trust their political leaders even less. Further, many honest IAS officers, in their genuine concern for India, want the IAS to continue so it can block corrupt politicians. But their remedy does not address the cause of the problem. Fixing the problem of corrupt politicians requires a different approach (which I’ve elaborated elsewhere) and we should not use the existence of bad politicians to justify the world’s most powerful but incompetent bureaucracy.
The main puppet-master in the IAS is the Establishment Officer (EO) in the Ministry of Personnel, about whom most people do not the slightest clue. The EO’s sole purpose is to defend (and expand – to the extent possible) the powers that Patel gave to the IAS. The EO operates behind the scenes, manipulating and controlling (mainly frustrating) the elected government. He dramatically reduces options for the elected representatives on almost all major appointments. And of course, the Cabinet Secretary plays a crucial role in defending the IAS empire directly at the Cabinet. This itself is a huge anomaly. In genuine democracies, a bureaucrat must not have a seat at the political table. In Victoria, an elected MP serves as Cabinet Secretary.
Such is the clout of the EO and Cabinet Secretary that Ministers and Chief Ministers need to send their emissary to the lowly EO to try to influence his decisions. This clearly shows where power lies in India. Our elected politicians have no real powers to deliver their election commitments. Our democracy is thus being choked from within – by the unaccountable and ultra-powerful IAS.
The IAS is unfit for the task of taking India from the Third World to the First World. From my personal experience (and I continue to have good friends within the IAS), no IAS officer comes even remotely close to the competence of middle-level managers in the Australian government. If the pool of administrative leaders in India is so poor, how can India possibly succeed? We need to urgently broaden the talent pool for each job and ensure the right incentives and systems of accountability. The function of EO might have worked for the colonial British government but it simply can’t work in a modern democracy.
This hugely powerful Indian bureaucracy (of which I was once a member) contrasts with the situation in Victoria where the Premier (Chief Minister) of Victoria is the unquestionable boss. He appoints Secretaries, who then appoint other officers down the line. No one can tell the Premier that he can appoint officials only from a “shortlist” prepared by a petty bureaucrat. And if a Secretary doesn’t perform, he is fired without notice. The Premier is fully empowered to get the job done. The link between the voter, his taxes and the performance of the government is direct and unambiguous. No EO sits behind the scenes, stymying the elected executive.
The saving grace for India is that the PM does have a few powers to shop outside the IAS. The recent lateral entry program has been one such rare instance. Some people have questioned the Constitutional power of the PM to do so, but I believe the Constitution allows such limited powers.
The State governments, on the other hand, are in really bad shape. Their freedom to appoint outside the IAS is almost completely circumscribed. In particular, all important posts in the states have been captured by the IAS through IAS cadre rules. These include senior positions in local government bodies, such as municipal corporations. While the IAS system doesn’t, of course, control precisely who is appointed, it ensures that only one of them can hold these posts. In that sense, the Chief Ministers of the States have even less flexibility than the PM.
As a result, IAS officers are able to thumb their nose at State governments. They can go to the EO and get themselves posted to another state or to the Government of India or even abroad. Everything depends on the officer’s relationship with the EO and Cabinet Secretary. That’s why the IAS is such a cosy and exclusive club.
It is high time to bring this dysfunctional and undemocratic system to an end. Within two years the BJP government will have the opportunity to amend the Constitution. IAS is the first thing that must go.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Real Buddha Quotes

Source:
https://www.realbuddhaquotes.com/author/admin/page/6/



Thursday, May 9, 2019

PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY DEPLOYMENT IN DOKLAM

SOURCE: GOOGLE EARTH


     OPERATING INSTUCTIONS


(A) This Google earth is a heavy programme and can be best viewed on DESK TOP or LAP TOP with Windows 10 or other compatible system . On mobile it may not function

 ( B ) GOOGLE EARTH should have been down loaded on your PC

 ( C ) Click the url given at the bottom down load and click OPEN . PLA deployment will open automatically

  ( D )  VIEWERS ARE REQUESTED TO GIVE  COMMENTS TO ENABLE TO IMPROVE THE PROGRAMME

                              THANKS _ VASUNDHRA


PEOPLE'S  LIBERATION ARMY DEPLOYMENT  IN DOKLAM
                     AS 
          ON 08 MAY 2019
                      by
              VASUNDHRA

DOKLAM: THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY OF BATTLE FIELD 
AT STRATEGIC & TACTICAL LEVEL

Below is the url of deployment of PLA on the Doklam platue. On opening the complete deployment of PLA will open. At this stage no comments or explanation notes are given because this being a trial run. Standard symbols as available in Google earth are used. Any military mind will take no time to put the picture in its correct perspective on the nature of deployment .

      OUTLINE OF DEPLOYMENT 

As per imagery fortifications for a divison level force are ready. There are  NINE mortor PLATOONS located. TEN Hellipads . Satellite antenna for  registering the targets And transmission to satellite monitoring station for aquistion targetting and guidance system to the destruction of  the target . All support arms are chasis mounted. NO towed wpns have been sighted. A net work of roads have been laid . New roads from Chumbi to Doklam platue are in progress. Every second day new fortifications can be observed coming up. There are chasis loaded platforms seen of Howtizers, may be a sqadron of light tanks ( 32 tons ), Pinaka class rocket tubes, MBRLs. Deployment un mistakenly is OFFENSSIVE DEFENCE posture. This is initial posture. Intensive additional offensive fortifications is in progress.  

  By conservative estimate the force level in Doklam is a Divison & total force in Chumbi seems to have increased  by multipliction factor point five to point seven five.


Detail Report will follow




CLICK/ GOOGLE TO OPEN

https://www.dropbox.com/s/40431413vwglli1/PLA%20DEFENCES%20DOKLAM%20AS%20ON%2008%20MAY%202019.kmz?dl=0




       




Saturday, April 27, 2019

‘Anatomy of an Attack’.

SOURCE:
https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/sri-lanka-terror-attacks-isis-ntj-emergency-churches-5696924/

  Informed theorising can help put together motives, assess potential and piece ideas together to create a narrative.

THOSE WHO ONLY LIVE FOR TODAY AND ARE OBLVION OF TOMORROW AND CARE TWO HOOTS ABOUT YESTERDAY ARE DOOMED

Yet such is India’s lack of a sense of remembrance that it laid the Kartarpur Corridor’s cornerstone on the 10th anniversary of 26/11, with an oblivious Indian vice president calling it a “historic day”. Pakistan couldn’t have received a better gift from India.



   ‘Anatomy of an Attack’. 
                     By
         Syed Ata Hasnain


                              THE CARNAGE


The Islamic State (IS) has lately taken responsibility. Yet,the international connection is a matter of piecing the complex jigsaw of international terror, Islamist networks, the situation post the 2009 war with LTTE and other events.


God has often been unkind kind to the island nation of 21 million people. Such a beautiful land and such good people but Sri Lanka seems doomed to its unfortunate fate of violence of different forms. The latest carnage involving bombings by as many as seven suspected suicide bombers, leading to over 250 fatalities at eight locations, is apparently a manifestation of some large-scale clandestine external support to a set of proxies. Since investigation is underway, there is as yet informed conjecture about the (NTJ), an Islamic entity. It is suspected to be a radical Islamist group, which came into the spotlight only in 2017 after the Buddhist radical group Bodu Bala Sena reportedly undertook a campaign against the Muslim minority in Sri Lanka. At this stage, it is sufficient to believe that religious and ethnic differences are behind the carnage. The Islamic State (IS) has lately taken responsibility. Yet, the international connection is a matter of piecing the complex jigsaw of international terror, Islamist networks, the situation post the 2009 war with LTTE and other events. How this deadly cocktail comes together to smother a quiet island nation perhaps needs deeper investigation. At this moment we can, at best, theorise.

Informed theorising can help put together motives, assess potential and piece ideas together to create a narrative. It commences with the immense potential for sectarian violence in Sri Lanka. There is the defeated LTTE, which would desire to rise again since the Tamil population remains as un-integrated and, perhaps as subjugated as it was during the 30 years of the civil war. The government has done little to prevent its resurgence and diaspora networks remain fully alive. The LTTE is expected to return one day with vengeance, but not yet. Besides, the LTTE is hardly likely to target Christians and their places of worship because many are Christians themselves. For them to act as subsidiary of another international group is least likely. International intelligence agencies including those from India had warned Sri Lanka on April 11 about the possibility of NJT undertaking some form of terrorist action around Easter.

Sri Lanka has a 7.4 per cent Muslim minority; an undetermined number are from the Wahabi sect and others are Sufis. However, in that country’s majority and hard-boiled nationalism, everyone other than Sinhala Buddhists are suspected of being anti-national. A severe trust deficit exists based upon years of internal civil war and internecine violence between various faiths and groups. As an island nation under the larger shadow of India, where 190 million Muslims reside, its sectarian tend to be ignored. It is just the kind of situation tailor made for two things; first, a demonstration of international radical extremist capability; second to send home a message that these terror networks exist across the world and mother organisations still control them. That is why the finger of suspicion points to confirmation of the IS, which has staked claim for the carnage.
After its defeat in the Middle East, the IS has made efforts towards sustaining itself in third countries or locations. Efforts are on in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Southeast Asia it was the Philippines where it attempted to ride on a surrogate group such as Abu Sayyaf. In the competitive world of international terror, the IS perceives a need to continue retaining its current primacy; any leeway given to other major groups such as al Qaeda will see many years of effort in the Middle East wasted. With an intelligence appreciation, placing oneself in the shoes of IS leadership, it is not difficult to determine that with the loss at Marawi in the Philippines, little progress in Af-Pak and the recent losses at Idlib in Syria, the IS was desperate to show case itself. Targeting the Sinhala majority would be counterproductive as the retaliation from radical Sinhala groups such as Bodu Bala Sena would be intense. Targeting the Tamil community would similarly be counterproductive since the LTTE’s networks may eventually be needed. The Christian community is 9.7 per cent of the population and historically no Christian-Muslim feud exists in the island. That is all the more reason that the chances of retaliation against Muslims would be low.
A second chain of events involving bombings remains alive as per the US intelligence agencies. The IS, with its caliphate-like aspirations, would have viewed the killings at Christchurch, New Zealand as just the event to avenge with an act against Christians anywhere on the globe. Easter was the most appropriate time as was the selection of churches and five-star hotels where western tourists (again largely Christian) would be present in large numbers. The questionable part of this rationale is the short interval since the Christchurch killings — March 15 to April 22. The type of suicide bombings witnessed in Sri Lanka would have called for resource collection, planning, motivation of seven suicide bombers and very careful coordination without even an iota of a leak. Five weeks to plan is far too little time. Christchurch probably only became a justification. The IS’s organisational skills are well known. It could be deduced that the operation was in the planning stages already and given greater justification by Christchurch. It is reported that just a year ago, a cache of explosives and ammunition linked to NTJ was found just north of Colombo.
For us in India, it’s a narrow escape. It could well have happened in southern India but the Indian intelligence system is a reasonable dampener for the IS. Little do we realise the worth of our intelligence agencies, which have kept India safe ever since 26/11 with no major targeting outside J&K (excluding Pathankot which too is a military station). If the narrative built above is true, then the IS has obviously sneaked in through surrogate returnees who fought its cause in the Middle East. Maldives nearby too has many, Sri Lanka some. India has over a hundred, mostly logistic support personnel — many could be motivated as potential suicide bombers. With the same threat developing in J&K, these are dangerous portents. India and Sri Lanka need intense intelligence cooperation and even more an understanding of social dynamics which contribute to the hard ideologies behind such acts.
The writer, a former corps commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, is currently associated with the Delhi Policy Group and the Vivekananda International Foundation.



                                             PART 2


SOURCE : https://theprint.in/world/sri-lankas-easter-bombings-have-indian-links-pose-a-serious-security-threat/228064/

Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings

have Indian links and  pose a serious security threat

  
BRAHMA CHELLANEY


New Delhi must outlaw the Tamil Nadu NTJ. India 


cannot become a victim of Thowheed Jamat terror 


after warning Sri Lanka about the bombing plot.






  27 April, 2019




The Sri Lanka bombings — one of the world’s deadliest acts of terrorism — highlight the growing terrorist threat to democratic, secular states. Far from a concerted and sustained global war on terror, the anti-terrorism fight is being undermined by geopolitics. The global ideological movement fuelling terrorism is Wahhabi jihadism. Yet, the US-ordered total ban on Iranian oil exports from May 3 will reward this jihadism’s financiers.
Despite specific and detailed Indian intelligence warnings, Sri Lanka failed to avert the bombings, in large part because of a divided and dysfunctional government. However, Sri Lanka was quick to detain the bombers’ family members for questioning once the suicide killers were identified. By contrast, the Pulwama bomber’s family members not only remained free but also gave media interviews rationalising the suicide attack.
Sri Lanka has a blood-soaked history, but the scale and intensity of the latest attacks were unprecedented. The coordinated bombings, in less than 30 minutes, killed more people than the 2008 Mumbai terrorist siege, which lasted nearly four days. Actually, in terms of sophisticated methods and synchronised lethality, they were eerily similar to the 1993 serial bombings that targeted Mumbai. Jihadists have long used India as a laboratory: Major acts of terror first tried out in India and then replicated elsewhere include attacks on symbols of State authority, mid-air bombing of a commercial jetliner and coordinated strikes on a city transportation system.
The series of extraordinary steps Sri Lanka took after the bombings — blocking social media, imposing a daily dusk-to-dawn curfew, closing schools until April 29 and proclaiming an emergency law — may seem unthinkable in terrorism-scarred but rights-oriented India. But such measures were necessary to maintain control and to deter large-scale reprisal attacks against Muslims.
Ironically, in the days leading up to the Sri Lanka bombings, the 2008 Mumbai attacks were back in the news in India because of Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Pragya Thakur’s controversial comment on Hemant Karkare, the police officer gunned down in that siege. The irony of ironies is that those 26/11 attacks received more Indian attention this month than on their 10th anniversary five months ago. This underscores a troubling truth:
Nothing draws the attention of Indians more 
than political controversy, however petty.

The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is especially true of India, which — far from heeding the 26/11 lessons — doesn’t remember its martyrs. How many Indians know the name of Tukaram Omble, the “hero among heroes” of 26/11? An ex-army soldier, who became a police assistant sub-inspector, Omble — by ensuring terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s capture alive — provided the clinching evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in 26/11. Kasab was captured after the ambush killing of six cops, including Karkare and additional commissioner Ashok Kamte. Omble grabbed the barrel of Kasab’s AK-47 and took a volley of fired bullets, allowing others to seize Kasab.


All the 10 Pakistani terrorists involved in 26/11 wore red string wristbands for Hindus that Pakistani-American David Headley got for them from Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple. But for Kasab’s capture (and confession) helping to indisputably establish Pakistan’s direct involvement,
Pakistan’s wicked plan was to portray 26/11 as exemplifying the rise of Hindu terrorism by capitalising on the then Manmohan Singh government’s classification of the 2006-07 blasts in Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express as “Hindu terror”.

Omble’s extraordinary bravery thus should never be forgotten. Nor the sacrifices of the other 26/11 martyrs awarded the Ashok Chakra — Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Gajender Singh, Vijay Salaskar, Karkare and Kamte. The 26/11 siege affected the national psyche more deeply than any other terrorist attack. Yet such is India’s lack of a sense of remembrance that it laid the Kartarpur Corridor’s cornerstone on the 10th anniversary of 26/11, with an oblivious Indian vice president calling it a “historic day”. Pakistan couldn’t have received a better gift from India.
Make no mistake: The Sri Lanka attacks hold major implications for Indian security, in part because the main group behind the bombings, the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), is an ideological offspring of the rapidly growing, Saudi-funded Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ). The TNTJ, wedded to fanatical Wahhabism, rails against idolaters. It helped establish the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath, from which the bomber outfit NTJ emerged as a splinter.
Like the 2016 brutal Dhaka cafĂ© attack, the Sri Lanka slaughter was carried out by educated Islamists from well-off families. And just as Bangladesh blamed Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for the attack, the NTJ has ties with ISI’s front organisation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which, through its Sri Lanka operations, has sought links with the TNTJ in India. NTJ leader Zaharan Hashim was inspired by fugitive Indian preacher Zakir Naik’s sermons and received funds from Indian jihadists. It would be paradoxical if India, which tipped off Sri Lanka about the bombing plot, became a victim itself of Thowheed Jamat terror. First of all, it must outlaw the TNTJ.