Mumbai convictions have come at a time when, under the UPA, India’s resolve to fight terrorism had touched its nadir. Not that the present dispensation is hesitant, ambiguous and apologetic in its approach. More tragically, it has found political reward in pandering to the zealots.
Consequently terrorists and their fellow travellers have acquired celebrity status. Just take the unqualified encomium showered on Madani, Sanjay Dutt and Haneef.
The media over kill on Sanjay Dutts’ well deserved conviction has diluted the significance of the course justice has taken in India’s first encounter with mass terror on March 12, 1993. Justice will be fully done only when the prime conspirators Dawood Ibrahim and elder Memon are also brought to the county and put on trial.
After 9/11 the world has vowed to fight terror in all its manifestations. But there are also countries that still harbour terrorism. There are others like Pakistan and Bangladesh who are unwilling partners in this fight because of the US pressure. Is India slowly falling into the third category?
Justice P D Kode, Mumbai police and the prosecution deserve praise for the excellent work in ensuring that those involved with spilling the blood of innocent people and daring the authority of the state have got their just desserts.
This cannot be said of the investigations in terror attacks in the past couple of years. The politicisation of the investigation and the resultant police apathy are all too obvious and it is even feared that India is fast becoming a safer rendezvous for terror modules.
The long arm of law does not reach many powerful people though their culpability is well known. The Coimbatore blast prime accused Madani is an example. The Mumbai judge underlined that everyone is equal before law. The best tribute to the victims of the serial blast is the resolve of the nation to fight to the finish forces that weaken the country.
Mumbai is a prime target of these divisive elements. The TADA court has proved, given the will, justice, though delayed will not be denied.