Friday, December 5, 2008

Mumbai Terror 2

Continuing from the last post….

The political circus continues with more resignations even as the anger of common man boils over onto the streets of Mumbai. I wish I were there at the anger march screaming my lungs out. Yes, politicians are intelligent deaf; they cannot hear things they don’t want to. So such cases we need to scream even more loudly.

Bomb blasts and such violence has become more or less a routine in India these days, there is one every other week. It is just the casualty figures and the number of bombs that are different. So what makes the recent Mumbai episode so special that people from every walk of life just decided to take it down to the street? I am not sure. My blood always boils after such violence. But this time it was all the more frustrating because of the prolong pitched battle and hostage situation. I just feel that our country’s political system and law enforcement systems are so weak that I cannot trust them any more. Adding to my anger is the official apathy. The ‘chalta hai’ attitude. This is not the first time it has happened, this is definitely not the last time it is going to happen. So how come are our leaders so complacent? They just do not seem to be doing enough. While they have Z+ category security, we have none. When we go out of home in the morning, we never know what we are getting into. This being the case do we really need those donkeys who rule us? (The Donkey thing is copied from one of the boards held during anger march, it read “ India a nation of lions ruled by Donkeys) I wish our politicians were donkeys. At least they would just be stupid instead of being cold calculating profit seekers.

During all the violent incidents before the Mumbai episode, my anger would be straight at terrorists and their backers at Pakistan . Now it is more direct at the Indian authorities. We know there are hoards of well trained terrorist, we know they want to kill us. We know Pakistan is a failed state, it’s civilian government had very little control over its all-powerful Army and ISI. Fine those are external factors we cannot do any thing about them except be prepared for any eventuality. But what we can do is make sure our public areas are safe. Hotels, roads, hospitals, schools, collages are all safe. As it is we have enough reasons to die right from contaminated water to various diseases. We do not want a crazy maniac to add to the list. All I need is the reassurance that there is enough money, men and material being dedicated for my safety from the government coffers that I painfully pay for every March/April as a tax payer. But I am getting such a raw deal. I pay my taxes religiously, I am left to die a miserable death at the hands of a lunatic whereas our politicians, who do not work half as hard as I do, they get to use free phones, free Bunglows in Luyten’s Delhi, they get free air tickets, they get to over stay in the government Bunglows shamelessly even after the supreme court calls them shameless asking them to vacate immediately, they get Z+ security with NSG commadows following them probably even when they answer nature’s call. While I pay they enjoy. Is it so much like the feudal societies of medieval ages. Democracy here is just a farce.

I guess this is actually where my anger is bubbling from. May be this is the reason why rest of my fellow citizens are anger as well.

The second development is a change in political orientation. I have always been a supporter of BJP. I have admired Sri Vajapeeji and some very efficient people in his cabinet like Col. Khanduri and Arun Shourie. This time too I would have been sympathetic to the party but then the full page bloody advertisement begging for votes even as people lay there dying, was something that spoke volumes about the current leadership. They wanted to derive maximum political millage here. That was truly grouse. Now Advani just seems to be another power hungry politician at the dusk of this career trying to be the prime minister he always dreamt of. What crap! I will not get into this thing. Never. I will never vote for either BJP not Congress. Congress I have never voted for chances are that I will never vote for them even in my entire life. For all the 1.2 billion, they just need the Gandhi’s to lead them. Even if it means someone who is a Gandhi by marriage and the other is so reluctant and uncomfortable being a politician. This is what I think I need to do, much better if we all could do.

1) Demand for better service as tax payers. Government after all is just another player here and they should realise we the tax payers are their boss, not the other way round.

2) Make sure our voice is heard. One great thing about American democracy is the voice. Voters demand that candidates debate each other and then they make up as to whom they did be voting for. Along with these debates there are civil society institutions, think tanks that analyse, debate and influence public policy and of course out comes in elections. Such think tanks are much helpful when media is bias and inefficient as it is in India right now. We seriously lack such institutions. We need to build them, since building them is rather an expensive and time consuming affair, we can take some help from the blog-o-sphere. Academicians and intelligent people can express themselves here so that each one of us has a space and our collective voice be heard in Delhi . Such a voice will definitely act as a part of the checks and balance so crucial in the functioning of any democracy.

3) Keep the pressure up. Lets not forget that this year alone the toll related terror related violence has been close 3000.Let us not forget everything as time goes by. Let us keep reminding it to ourselves, and keep asking question and make sure our so called leaders provide us with satisfactory answers.

Despite everything, I cannot but stop myself from sympathising with the Hindu right wing. After all, may be it is just the Bhajarang Dal, and people like Purohit and Sadhvi who actually care for us and wants to make a difference in our lives. They have risked their lives (if they indeed did) and they are doing something which we are not. May be supporting them is definitely not a bad idea even though I do not want them to kill anyone (except the terrorists and may be some unwanted politicians)…

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