It has been a long time posting. I had been preparing a post on Kumble and Ganguly all this time but the events of the past two weeks have totally changed plans and motivations.
It has been 11 days and people are still talking about it fervently. News channels are still showing the images of the Taj and the Trident burning and of Nariman House gutted, politicians are still talking about taking action (talking, not doing) and people are still showing their anger. There have been umpteen terrorist attacks on India and Mumbai. However this time one gets a feeling that it is different. Till now all attacks were done through suicide bombs in crowded places. The attack lasted seconds and then it was over to the police to tie up the ends and make arrests and encounters, human rights activists to condemn the police for "fake" encounters, politicians to give darshan to the affected spot and then spout sound bytes about terrorists being cowards(all the while changing their clothes and look dapper), the media to go melodramatic about our suffering (and the spirit of Mumbai if it happened in Mumbai) and then after some days, everyone would go back to following their routine. However this time, the attack involved terrorists undertaking a commando operation which would have been admirable in its execution if it had not involved killing innocent civilians. The attack lasted three days and led to 170 plus dead innocents and with only 10 terrorists killed. 17+ innocents for 1 terrorist. The operation has been a huge slap on the face on India's homeland defence mechanism. It showed us as being unprepared and caught us with our pants down.
The actions of the politicians has been oh so typical. The opposition instead of showing solidarity is trying to take advantage of this in the next election. Narendra Modi flies down and melodramatically hands over a cheque of Rs. 1.0 crore to the slain ATS chief's widow. This after publicly maligning him for doing his job when his department arrested and is prosecuted a Sadhvi for the Malegaon blasts. The cheque was returned back which increases my respect for the Karkare family). The Maharashtra CM went underground the whole time when the attack was happening when his leadership was required the most. Mr. Deshmukh has been one of the most incompetent CMs ever whose only purpose in life has been to manipulate FSI norms and please the builder lobby. To say anything about Shivraj Patil would only increase one's BP. As a Maharashtrian, I feel extremely ashamed and degraded when I see these hermaphrodites represent Maharashtra and Marathi people. Them being relieved of their positions should have been at least a little step towards finding a solution. However the reasons provided for the same depresses one even further. The FSI CM was removed not because of inaction and incompetence but because he took Ram Gopal Verma for a ride in the Taj. The deputy CM was removed not because of lack of efficiency but because he hurt sentiments by saying wrong words in a language he barely understands. The Fashion conscious Patil was removed only when Madam Sonia could not protect him further. Our politicos have got their priorities all wrong. They demand and get Z security while they have shown no inclination to secure India - a job for which they were recruited by us in the first place. Do we pay taxes to see them move around in pomp causing a big nuisance to all or to improve our living conditions. Why is so much money being taken away from me when I cannot be sure while stepping out that I will come back alive?
The media's role in this situation has come under criticism. In their haste to get breaking news they disclosed details of commando operations to the entire world. India TV had a terrorist speak to them on live television when the ideal thing to do would have been to tell him to fuck off. In their haste to get higher TRPs, they (especially Barkha Dutt) dragged worried relatives in front of the camera and making them break down. When there were no new developments, fictional ones were created. Rajdeep Sardesai went ballistic about a shootout in CST on day 3 when there was none. People were advised to leave offices because of the misinformation. Power without responsibility is dangerous. Media has got a lot of power. If they shirk responsibility, it needs to be imposed on them.
One interesting thing to note has been the absence of the voice of the human rights activists. Where are those dicks, assholes and Arundhati Roy now? Seems like they do not care much about dead policemen and citizen. Hey, some US and UK citizen also lost their lives. Great oppurtunity to speak some frothy lines about degrading security in India and earn brownie points from the Western liberals.
Same goes for the "Marathi messiah" aka "The Great Marathi Hope". Where is he now? Wasn’t Mumbai his baap's jagir? Does one not have to do the duty of saving's ones jagir when it is under attack? Why did he not send his brave activists to the Taj, Trident or Nariman House and make them do some actual constructive work by attacking the terrorists instead of taxi drivers?
What does one do in such circumstances? Obama talks about being the change. How can one be the change when he is surrounded by such filth? It overwhelms us and demoralizes us.
The huge gathering on 3rd December was a great sight with thousands of people gathering to protest the incident. It was great to look at and know that there are a lot of people who also care. However beyond the uplifting feeling, what will it achieve?
How do we tackle this mess? Some want us not to vote which just shows how much grey matter they are endowed with. Not voting defeats democracy and will lead to the same people coming to power to abuse it even further. Some people want us not to pay taxes. That has valid points. Why should we pay the Government if it is not serving us well? Just like one gets demotion when he does not deliver the goods, the Government deserves to be paid less. However, will it work? It is illegal and gives further excuses to the government to not do anything at all.
A solution needs to be found to this huge problem facing us. Till that time, all of us will have to watch the show as bystanders (unless we become a victim of another attack when we become the collateral damage) having the power to make absolutely no difference. It is a bad feeling, this feeling of impotence.