Yes, this is another post triggered off by the Mumbai Train Blasts.
I wake up to Page 1 stories of Mumbai’s resilience. DH admires the spirit of the never-say-die city and ToI says Bombay has lost its spunk that it showed so well in the 1993 blasts. Great going, I felt, but something was missing…
An email forward which I guess most people would have read by now told me what it was. This forward is a letter to the terrorists telling them they can’t quell the spirit of the people or divide them yada yada yada. So far, so good. But hey, how come there is no one asking for some action? Have we become so accustomed to hearing about loss of lives that we are immune to it? I agree we shouldn’t disrupt normal life as far as possible, but that can be followed only when you are confident that your life is not in danger, when you know for sure that the government is going all out to protect you. How come no one is pressing for the terrorists to be booked? How come no one has yet talked about how it could have been prevented? Or about whether it could have been prevented? Or what we can do to prevent further such attacks? [And here, I am not taking into account ToI’s page 2 today which tells us what to do when there’s a terrorist attack in Bangalore]
Why this attitude of showing the other cheek? In other words, what’s the point of this forward? To tell the terrorist no matter what he does, he cannot cause mindless panic? But for how long? Well, the answer to that is easy: As long as human life is considered cheap in India. As long as the life in question doesn’t belong to a minority community which is a huge vote-bank.
I remember the news coverage of the 7/7 attacks. There wasn’t footage of gruesome, mutilated bodies like on CNN-IBN yesterday. They allowed their dead some dignity.
And the other main story in Toi-LeT paper is of the Sabarimala Temple Controversy. Reams and reams have been written pitying the lady’s plight, and on how unfair it is to bar women from entering a temple after this fading starlet confessed her sin of entering the temple. About how Lord Aiyappa is an MCP, a hypocrite. About how women need their God as they are so oppressed otherwise in society. I decline to say anything on the last two sentences, but I’ll say this: The temple has some rules. And you deserve punishment if you broke those rules. Whether the rules are baseless or not is another matter.
I’m ranting again about how our country is plagued with problems. And I know there’ll be atleast one person who tells me to ‘do something’ to solve the country’s problems, and to ‘be the change’. And I very well know where that person’s patriotism comes from. Heck, why do people bother to kill politicians? When one dies, there are another five equally bad ones to take their place. You can’t remove evil ideas just by removing their practitioners.
What we need is a revolution. Of a different kind. The slow kind. Which helps people change the way they think, their approach to life. For which the media need to stop being the ME-dia. For they are the voice of the people, who show what the public like and dislike. [Aside: going by ToI, you get a feeling that the Indian public are becoming increasingly asinine] I don’t know how to go about doing this, other than by being [or trying to be] a model citizen and inciting others to do the same.
Worse, there’s no alternative reality we can delude ourselves with, anymore [which makes us lose ourselves in make-believe creations of the media masquerading as the real thing- a fair example is RDB, and human interest crap on news channels is another]. We have a land of plenty right with us, and we now KNOW that we are the masters of our fates, we KNOW now that violent uprisings are of no use . Sure, we keep wishing our situation was better, and the possible ways by which that would have been achieved, like maybe communism, but we really KNOW now that you can’t keep a people shackled for long. We all know that the only way to change things is by tiny things, by collective will, by making our own informed decisions, for all the heroes we looked up to in these sixty years of independence had feet of clay.
<>We shouldn’t blindfold ourselves and pretend nothing’s wrong with the world that can change our way of doing things. We need to believe in a new kind of affirmative action, the results of which we might not immediately see, but moves us to an entirely different way of thinking, which, by chance, might just turn out to be better than the current situation.
Yeah, I want to change things out here. Mainly coz I’m alternating between demented with happiness and demented with shock at having read my palm from a trusty book on the subject and discovering that I’m going to be assassinated.