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TERROR IN MUMBAI

December 16, 2008

The terrible thing about terrorism is that ultimately it destroys those who practice it. Slowly but surely, as they try to extinguish life in others, the light within them dies. Terry Waite

My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this dastardly action.

I have waited for a couple of weeks to pass after the terror attack, for the heat to die down and the dust to settle down for a clearer picture to emerge. This gap has given me ample time to think and the view the happenings in a different perspective, and helped me not to be rhetoric or to jump on to the band-wagon of politician bashing.
These 60 hours of war which came into your living room has evoked extremes of reactions to the 2 types of Indians,one the Indian politician and the other, the Indian soldier.
The fallout on the political side has been 1 Home minister dropped, 1 CM forced to resign, 1 deputy CM resigns owning moral responsibilities, 1 Finance Minister, takes over as Home Minister. The politician, the despicable character he is made out to be is always the favourite whipping boy. Like you,he is the one I love to hate. Agreed there has been a big lacuna in the intelligence department, but why should a minister take responsibility for the lackadaisical attitude of people who are paid to do their jobs. What punitive actions were taken against them is anybody’s guess. It is always the same story, we demand the Railway Minister’s resignation because a drunk gang man or a gate-keeper did not do his job; we demand the Aviation minister’s ouster because some mechanic in the hangar messed up the maintenance of an aircraft. I don’t know if any resignations were called for after 9/11 in the US.
How many of us can consciously say that we have been on the right side of the law always. I cannot. After all, the ministers/ MPs are there because a majority of us voted for them or worse still, a majority of us did not vote at all. We have absolutely no right to blame them for everything. We would be irritated if it took a longer at the security checks, feel insulted if we were frisked, object to our bags being checked and yet scream from the rooftop if anything went wrong. As I write this Zaheer Khan, our cricketer had a problem with the cops looking after their security. We believe that we are above all and can’t be touched.

On the other side, accolades have been pouring in for the policemen, commandos, ATS personnel who lost their lives on duty. Their deaths are an irreparable loss to their family, but they surely would have taken up the profession knowing fully well the dangers involved. Would we bestow martyrdom to the sewage workers who die of asphyxiation, trying to clean the sewers; to the traffic police killed by a hit and run vehicle while regulating traffic; to construction workers who have fatal falls while constructing your house; to the bus drivers killed in road accidents, who take you to your destination. Let me hasten to add that I hold the soldiers/commandos/ATS in very high regard. Being a son of an (ex) service-man (‘once a service man always a service man’, my father used to say), I have missed my father when he was serving the far off places in the North East and know of the sacrifices made by the families. My point is there are innumerable faceless people who toil to make your town/city/country, a better place to live and sometime losing their life in their line of duty. I only wish that we respect everyone at all times and not wait for a calamity and go overboard with the praises.

Does this sound as a voice of reason or as mad ramblings of a demented mind? Only you can say.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. shail permalink
    December 21, 2008 15:12

    “..but they surely would have taken up the profession knowing fully well the dangers involved.” This part of your post answers something. The accolades are poured over the policemen and soldiers exactly for this reason. They join the profession, go out to do their work knowing fully well they might not return. For whom?? They are not going out to die for their family members but for all the strangers that are their country men.Of course, those others who die in the performanceof their duty like the cinstruction worker or the asphyxiated sewage worker or the traffic policemen do so accidentally. They did not wilfully court death for the rest. That does not make their death any less important. Just that it is different.Why do you think the mothers and in many cases the fathers too refuse their ofspring to join the army?? Believe me I have seen so many refusals! They feel it is inviting death. When someone does a job of that sort, it does call for extra acolades. It cannot be equated to accidental deaths. IMHO.

  2. shail permalink
    December 21, 2008 15:14

    Sorry for the n number of typos. I am aghast! I blame this unfamilar keyboard I am using!

  3. PRG permalink
    December 21, 2008 22:09

    Shail,I needed someone like you to thump me on the head to correct my twisted mind.Something like a death wish. I think the typos are not because of the unfamiliar keyboard but because you feel so strongly on the subject. Thanks.

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