Vikram climbed the tree and brought the corpse down. He carried the Vetal on his shoulder and started walking. Vetal said,” Hey King Vikaramaditya, I will tell you a story. At the end of it I will ask you a few questions. If you do not the answer, I will remain your captive. On the other hand if you know the answer but keep quiet, your head will burst into pieces.
Vikram had handled this situation many times in the past. Being an intelligent King, he always knew the answer and the Vetal always escaped.
Vetal started the story.
There is a country called India. It has a neighbor called Pakistan.
India is ruled by a weak coalition government headed by a weaker Prime Minister remotely controlled by mysteriously powerful Italian lady.
Pakistan is ruled by the weakest ever government directly controlled by a strong, vengeful army. The favorite pastime of this army is to train terrorists, fund terror groups and export them to India.
These terrorists are frequent fliers to India or have season tickets in rail, road and sea transport to India.
They periodically bomb various parts of India- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur…..
Also they bomb same city again and again.
Go one step further. They bomb the same street again and again.
They are quite versatile. They use suitcase, bicycle, scooter, car or any other device to plant the bombs. Whether it is a hospital or a Court or a local train, it does not matter to them. They are at ease. They can cause explosion. After the assignment, they go back to Pakistan with ease.
They are very honest and transparent. After the explosion they promptly send emails claiming ‘credit’.
But do not underestimate Indians. They are smarter. They have competent police forces, investigative agencies, intelligence apparatus, etc headed by a still more competent Home Minister. His Ministry sends out intelligence inputs which are “unintelligible” to the recipients!
But his police force is very efficient. Immediately after the blast, they tell you whether-
· it is a low intensity or a high intensity bomb.
· RDX or Ammonium Nitrate or any other chemical substance is used.
· It is a 1 kg or 2 kgs bomb.
· Precise depth and length of the crater created by the bomb.
Their weak Prime Minister promptly condemns the bombing; vows to fight terrorism; assures the nation that he would not succumb to terrorism. (Only the ordinary people in the streets would succumb!)
The Home Minister would not like to be left alone. He also does not hesitate to condemn the attack. However he would not like to let his police force down- every bomb attack, according to him, happens in spite of the Police’ alertness; police protected the country in the intervening period from the previous attack to the present- be it 31 months or 3 months!
For whatever it is worth, the police release the pictures of suspects knowing very well that even if the suspects are apprehended, it would take years to sentence them; again it would take years for the President to decide on their mercy petition; there would be human rights groups praying for mercy on them; there would be State Assemblies asking for review of rejection of mercy petition.
The ruling party has a General Secretary who sees Hindu outfits and saffron color behind every apparent, Pakistan sponsored terrorist act.
India has a vibrant electronic media- it asks victims in the bomb site how they feel about it; it conducts long, unending, inconclusive debates.
Soon after the attack, everything becomes normal. If it is Mumbai, the next day Mumbaikars catch local trains and go to office; we hail their resilience. Delhi High Court is still better. Within few hours of bombing, it resumes hearings. Still more resilient!
Symbolic message to an un-understanding terrorist group!
Concerned citizens light candles, express solidarity and give further more symbolic message!
Vetal ended the story and asked the following questions:
“Tell me O King! What is the meaning of Prime Minister’s condemnation? When the terrorists do such brazen act, why does the Prime Minister call it a cowardly act? What is the purpose of NIA or Natgrid if the country is not able to get credible intelligence? When the police know that the terrorists will not be punished, what interest would they have in apprehending the culprits? When the wife of a police offer knows that if her husband gets killed, the country will not bring the culprit to book will she allow her husband to become a sacrificial goat? When the Foreign Minister of Pakistan comes to India, why does the country forget these gruesome attacks and focuses instead on her blue colour dress, hair style and designer jewellery? Why is the ruling party unable to contain its General Secretary? When citizens return to normal life, do you call it their resilience or indifference?”
For the first time Vikram did not know the answer. He blinked. Vetal remained in his captivity.
And Vikram- Vetal story ended forever.
PS: Pardon me for being sarcastic; it is my frustration.