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When Manmohan Singh congratulated himself for his handling of 26/11 terror attacks

PM Manmohan Singh actually boasted about his handling of the 26/11 attacks. Congratulated himself on it and asked for votes on the basis of that in the 2009 elections.

They say don’t politicize terrorism, nor the response to it. I don’t believe in that. On the one hand, terrorism is an intensely political act. On the other hand, national security is one of the primary responsibilities of the government. As such, response to terrorist attacks should every bit be a political issue, just as much as jobs, roads, electricity and water supply.

Remember how Joe Biden, then Vice President of the United States, campaigning for a second term for Obama-Biden in 2012, had famously said: “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!

Yeah, nothing wrong with talking about terrorism or response to terrorism in political terms.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is either trying to cover up the motivations of terrorists. Or trying to shut up the conversation to avoid embarrassment to an incompetent government.

Every time PM Modi has mentioned the surgical strikes or the Balakot airstrikes, UPA’s apologists and India’s liberals have given the same whiny response: Don’t politicize.

Now, it is a matter generally agreed upon today that the UPA government’s response to 26/11 attacks was a complete disaster. Everyone remembers how the Chief Minister of Maharashtra arrived at Taj Hotel with a touring party from Bollywood. Everyone remembers India’s Home Minister more concerned with changing suits than coordinating the response of security forces.

Read: Tales of betrayal and Congress’ insensitivity as the 26/11 terror attack left 166 dead

What is not so well known is how then PM Manmohan Singh actually boasted about his handling of the 26/11 attacks. Congratulated himself on it and asked for votes on the basis of that in the 2009 elections.

Here, take a look!

Economic Times article

That statement is from April 2009, at the peak of the Lok Sabha election campaign.

And do we have video? You bet!

For what it’s worth, in that speech, Dr Singh also reiterated his statement that Muslims should have the ‘first right’ to India’s resources.

Economic Times article

Politicizing terror? Check.

Dividing people into first and second class citizens by religion? Check.

Folks, I give you the ‘honest’ Dr Manmohan Singh.

As I said, there would have been nothing wrong with the politicizing terror part if only the response to 26/11 had not been so disastrous. If there was ever a day that made India look like a weak state that would not stand up for itself, that was it.

A day for which we can never forgive the UPA.

Not only did Manmohan Singh do nothing to salvage India’s dignity after 26/11 attacks, he allowed his party members to drag India deeper into the mud.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh releasing book blaming RSS for 26/11

Blaming 26/11 on RSS? Could there be anything more anti-national? Could anything have made Pakistan happier?

Incidentally, Aziz Burney, the author of that book, later apologized to RSS for making these ridiculous allegations. But Digvijay Singh did not.

What action did the Prime Minister take against Digvijay Singh? Nothing.

Read: ‘The party chose to pander to Muslim fears’: Wikileaks cable on Congress’ dangerous politics over 26/11 terror attack

In fact, one of Dr Singh’s ministers openly raised doubts on India’s official position on who was behind the attacks.

India Today article

Manmohan Singh still did nothing. Things got worse and worse. By 2013, India’s Home Minister declared to the whole world that the BJP is a terrorist organization.

Business Line article

Even at his latest UN speech, Pakistan PM Imran Khan gleefully reminded the world of this remark from Sushil Shinde. There is no doubt that Pakistan will keep bringing this up and embarrassing us. There is nothing we can do.

Dr Singh could have done something at the time. He could have chosen to retaliate against the 26/11 attacks. He did not.

When his minister questioned the government’s official position, he could have sacked Antulay immediately. He did not.

When Digvijay Singh went to release that book, Dr Singh could have chosen to throw him out of the Congress. He did not.

When Home Minister Sushil Shinde called BJP a terror outfit, Dr Singh could have chosen to sack him both from government and party. He did not.

And yet, Dr. Singh continued to claim credit for his handling of the attacks, even asking for votes on the basis of it!

Don’t politicize terror, they said. Ha!

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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