For a brief moment I had the following as my GTalk status message:
Wanted! For the Indian Government: A backbone and a soul…
Then a close friend pointed out with understandable anguish that the members of the police, fire, and security forces were also the government; the various brave people from the public administration who were involved in solving the latest terror crisis were also the government.
Trying to make a case that my reference was to the ruling party (forming the government) was a battle lost even before it could be started. And understandably so.
So let me try a different approach.
This recent spate of at least 10 different terrorist strikes all across the country in the last one year is slowly but surely poking holes in the internal security set-up of the country. Many questions are being raised to the Indian government which seems to have failed to undertake effective measures to check terrorism on Indian soil.
Among others, the Deccan Mujahideen — virtually an unheard of organisation until a few months back — is surely ruling the roost in terms of carrying mass and large-scale terror attacks across the Indian Nation. Or at least being quick and first to claiming the credit for most of these inhuman and evil highly coordinated attacks.
That the top three police officials – who were consistently a pain to the terrorist and criminal organisations – were killed in the initial part of the attacks, points to the intensity with which the terror operations were planned. A news report communicated the shock of the police force when their top officials were martyred, with a sub-inspector recounted the incident amidst shock and sobs.
Checking up with family, friends and acquaintances in Mumbai, brought to light many who had a close call during the terror attack, but had been decidedly fortunate than the hundred dead and two hundred injured. While the legendary resolve of the Mumbaikars came through in their statements, the uncertainty caused by the grim situation also crept through in their statements.
“All well and safe. So far.”
“Indeed it’s horrific! I’m in Pune and praying for the people of Mumbai.”
“Horrendous situation. Still quite chaotic.”
“Everything’s fine here. At home today. Truly terrifying.”
“Was out when the open firing happened. We actually heard the firing and saw police vans everywhere. But luckily we managed to find a cab home immediately. We are safe now.”
“We are alive and well, for the time being. And will remain so if Patil permits.”
“Situation is very bad out here. We are fine.”
In a day or two the media and the rest of us will be talking and heralding the resolve of the Mumbaikars, who will not let anything stop them. But seriously, taking nothing away from their iron-strong resolve, what can a Mumbaikar do? For that matter what can anybody do?
Terror attacks or not, the people (read “the common man”) do have to return to work, to continue earning their livelihoods, to carry on whatever it is that they do daily in their lives.
This is a fact of life for most, if not all, of us!
At this moment, I can’t help but think to how any other city would cope with such a tragedy. Given the sad state of affairs with regard to the security infrastructure, I can only fear a mayhem.
As the questions that need to be brought up are being raised on the inaction of the Home Minister on the myriad terror attacks, which seem to be continuing unchecked, we also need to remember to pay our gratitude to the numerous under-paid under-equipped under-appreciated security forces who are fighting a daily battle to save our souls.
I do hope the politicians at the helm of the country pull their acts together, better today than tomorrow. For once they can stop bringing in politics into everything.
This is not a time to talk of political ideologies, nor of bringing in religion, nor of breaking the country and its people into castes and sub-castes, and playing vote-bank politics.
This is a time for the Raj Thackerays and Narendra Modis and Omar Abdullahs and Rahul Gandhis of the country to come together to fight for and save our Motherland.
This moment of terror, grief and tragedy is as right a time as any for all Indians to come together as one and resolve to do everything in our power and beyond to fight the enemy that is increasingly affecting our daily lives.