Posts Tagged ‘ cst attack ’

mumbai terror attacks nov 2008

haven’t posted on this blog in 3.5 months. combination of work, life, not enough motivation and what have you. the past 2 days have made me want to post. i am thankful that various friends and their families made it safely through. but there are so many people who have lost their lives or been traumatised for life. the damage done is way too much. whatever happens, and whether we rebuild our lives and ‘move on’, i don’t think any of us can feel the same way as we did, 48 hours before this. of course, mumbaikars are resilient and we pick up our lives and get back to our daily routines… and we have done that blast after blast, riot after riot, flood after flood.

but most of us have not been exposed to this kind of serious violent conflict with weaponry used in wars that goes on for hours and days. and no, its not because it was “south bombay” and the “elite” who suffered. CST was not full of the elite, nor were the hospitals and the most of the staff at any of the hotels were certainly not of the same strata as the people they served.

despite everything, we have been a privileged lot, we have not been surrounded by the constant sound of gunfire, explosions and of course, death, the way kashmiris have or of course, people in any other region who live amidst constant conflict. 48 hours have seemed like an eternity in our lives, but there are people in many conflict zones who have known no other life. and i can’t imagine how they live.

any vestige of innocence or naivety i have had earlier (its debatable how much of it one would have after the age of 30 anyway, but whatever there is), has vanished completely. i can never be the same person that i was 48 hours before. it doesn’t mean that i am going to be depressed for the rest of my life or anything like that, and in fact it may not be apparent from the outside at all, but something has changed in me, i know it, and its never going back.

thoughts in no particular order:

1. the most sickening: political parties espousing the supposed “aamchi mumbai” cause who actually don’t care about mumbai or its people at all, who want to be on the front page of every newspaper just because of their strong arm tactics – and put that against the NSG, none of whom wanted to even show their faces in front of the cameras but have been instrumental in saving lives and the city. where were the so-called fighters for the maharashtrian cause, why are they hiding now? i can’t even describe how disgusted this makes me feel, knowing full well that such parties can still win seats in the elections – for all our jaagores, we may not be able to prevent it.

2. equally sickening: news channels that will go back to covering ridiculous stories such as celeb break-ups as “breaking news” – and put that against something like this… isn’t it apparent what breaking news is supposed to be? its not about cricketers flying kites or celebrities losing their dogs. when are the channels going to cover news that matters and force everyone to think about it… whether its kashmir or naxal insurgencies or geniune cases of wrongdoing. when are we going to demand it & want to know about it, instead of watching drivel?

3. the indifference: various indian agencies blaming each other for the lack of Intelligence on this but not making any effort to improve their standards simply because they don’t need to. we can’t make them accountable if we don’t care what’s happening in our country, and we don’t. we prefer to know abou Saif & Kareena not about Dalits being tortured, babies being killed or builders tied up with mafia. think back to the last meaningful conversation you had about any genuine, real issue. its not that easy to remember, because we are absorbed in the job, the night out, the party, the new car, the new cell phone… should we not think about these things too? of course, we should. but why do we forget about the reality of the environment we live in? awareness is the first step.

4. the big question: a parliament that doesn’t meet for the number of days they should, they are paid because of our taxes, but they don’t see it fit to work for a living, because after all, they get all their salaries and perks without any expectation of performance. why should such people be in control of a nation of a billion people, why do a billion people put their trust into any of these leaders? why do we even educated people believe in factions and divisions and think about our communities first… how can this change?

5. the un-understandable: there are 20 year olds incited and brainwashed into wanting to kill as many people as possible before being killed themselves… and the more that die, the more that take their place. how is this happening, how are they brainwashed into thinking this is their purpose in life? i cannot fathom what can make someone believe that killing hundreds of innocent people and then killing themselves is going to further the cause of a religion. what values are these and how do people turn into killing machines? what can we do to prevent it? it doesn’t matter what country they come from there has to be a way to prevent children from growing up to be machines.

6. why don’t we live by the principle of doing the right thing? why don’t we think about that the next time we shove people in trains, cut lanes & jump signals in traffic, bribe cops, buy something in the ‘grey market’, smoke in a no-smoking zone, drink & drive… we are not going to become terrorists tomorrow, but think about the fact that if we did the small things right, the chain of subsequent events would be different. after all every action is linked, and priding ourselves in how we get away while breaking rules isn’t helping. its not about being “goody-two-shoes” its about thinking back to principles that actually mean something, that should be more part of our life than the race for that fat pay cheque or the new acquisition. that we shouldn’t support wrong doing in any form.

7. while all the groups on facebook and orkut are fine, its more important for us to introspect than react. we react first and then react again, but doesn’t the thinking get left behind? we lurch from one event to the next, only reacting. but everything is driven by personal growth, and personal growth is impossible without introspection. i don’t think this is some esoteric principle, i think it should be part of each and everyone of us. maybe if our politicians did the same, we would be in a different place.

8. to some extent i feel trapped, as i am sure many of us do, trapped in a country that we know can be a different place but is actually held hostage by its political heritage that only deserves to be wiped out. criminals have become netas and are MPs; how do we prevent this from happening when many, many parts of the country filled with poor and uneducated people are forced to vote for these people? there is not a single politician one can respect, at least not the ones we see as ‘national leaders’. even if i exercise my right not to vote, how can these people be prevented from holding the country hostage?

9. we have seen that we have amongst us people who help others at risk to their own lives, soldiers who answer the call of duty so bravely that they make us proud, we all believe in the India shining. we are happy to be living in this country at the time of its rise from the “third world” though we all know we have a long, long way to go. how do we do our bit, and become pro-active and aware citizens?

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