What took place during the week just ten kilometres from Pakistan may either be a monumental lapse in security protocols by various agencies, or indicate an effort by countries hostile to India to decapitate the elected leadership of the country, thereby (in their view) causing sufficient chaos and indecision as to enable additional gulps of Indian territory to external powers long harbouring such territorial ambitions. The sequence of events during what are being described as “security lapses” involving Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi is disturbingly similar to what took place in Sriperumbudur in 1991, when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during an election rally. It is ironic that the Congress Party, which lost both Indira Gandhi as well as Rajiv to assassins, is seeking to make a mockery of the entire episode. Following the lead of national spokespersons of India’s former political colossus was Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who explained away the crowds and the disturbance as merely the exercise of citizens to protest or demonstrate, this time on the sides of the Prime Minister’s convoy as well as in front of it. Efforts have been made to establish the peaceful nature of the crowds by pointing to BJP flags being waved by some. At Sriperumbudur, the lady who assassinated Rajiv Gandhi posed as a supporter of his and moved forward to garland him with a bouquet of flowers that concealed the suicide vest she wore. As during the “security lapse”, there was no effort to screen those approaching Rajiv Gandhi, who would have seen a pell-mell situation in front of him, with throngs seeking to come towards him filling the space. Several of the presumed “farmers” looked very different from those they claimed to be a part of, and if the past year is any guide, would have been expected to be badly disposed towards PM Modi, ostensibly on account of the now withdrawn farm laws. Permitting such individuals to gather in numbers on what ought from start to finish have been fully sanitised in close proximity to the PM’s cavalcade, even allowing them to physically block the progress of the cavalcade, was more than a “security lapse”. If there was no drone surveillance of the route, that was a serious lapse, given the efforts by the Sino-Wahhabi alliance to return Punjab to what it was during 1985-94, when GHQ Rawalpindi-sponsored violence became a part of everyday life in that state. That around 20 minutes were spent stationary on the road after the blockade caused by protestors in front was encountered is another inexplicable lapse. As soon as the protestors were seen, the convoy ought to have reversed itself and moved to a safer location. Finally, it was Prime Minister Modi who gave the order to return, a step that ought to have been standard operating procedure in such a situation. Neither the Central or the Punjab authorities can be sure that there was none in the crowds who were armed with guns or explosives or both, as no frisking took place, not to mention removing them to a safe distance (for the PM). It was fortunate that nothing happened except the inevitable political name-calling and pyrotechnics. Where circumstances are concerned, the sequence of events over a bit under half an hour on the road leading towards the International Border that overcast day could have resulted in something that had best go unmentioned. It is unpleasant but needs to be said that the writer has witnessed the funerals of both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv, and does not want to see any other Prime Minister of India go the way they tragically did within five years of each other. There is no doubt that as PM, Narendra Modi has transformed India, much as Indira Gandhi did, and Rajiv sought to do before death denied him a second term in office. Or that there are not just individuals or groups but countries that are unhappy with his stances and policies and may wish to see him replaced.