Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | November 30, 2008


For the last few days, I am terribly disturbed. There have been plenty of reasons in the globe I live in to make me feel wasted.

Many would find I am overreacting but at times I am apologize for not being able to be numb. In urban areas of world we have enough of numb, self-centered and ignorant people and I am also a part of them. However, I am irked to be such a waste. I am neither doing something, which contributes to any person in need, nor am I powerful enough to ensure protection to my dear ones and myself. I do consider writing to be one of my strengths to voice my opinions but apart from a limited group of people who are at times as helpless as I am, does it actually matter?

Am I able to change the minds of any one person whom I don’t know? Am I able to put sense to the people who drive inequality in the name of profit? Am I able to do things with utmost freedom as I thought everyone would be able to do? The answer to many such questions is big a NO.

However, still I go on, in the hope that someday I shall make a contribution too. I would have a voice too which shall be heard and understood.

The aftermath of Mumbai attack is utter helplessness as far as India is concerned. Pockets of world that are still safe from this sort of massacre, cannot also possibly sit back and relax because none knows when would they be targeted. This entire menace of terrorism where an uneven fight between some armed men and helpless civilians happen has left the normal people of the world wondering – what have we done?

As far as India is concerned, I am absolutely of the opinion that the soul cause of India being what it is today is because of its politicians. Most of the times when I write I never shy away from saying WE ARE THE CAUSE and I go ahead and accept the responsibility myself and even apologizing as a citizen of this globe but when I see such events and the VIP actions following that, I cannot possibly accept always that we are the cause.

We have been constantly let down by politicians and it is high time that something revolutionary happens to them.

What about a daylong media black out of any news featuring any politicians and mentioning that most of their viewers wanted that?

How many of us think that sort of action would be taken by progressive media?

It is irritating to see the helpless PM exhibit his helplessness as a supposed leader who should ooze confidence?

It is traumatic to see some Maharashtra government officials calling the incident small?

It is frightening to believe that Madam President is actually the head of our defense forces?

How long shall we go on allowing every one with power to believe that we know we are helpless?

It is hard enough to understand none cares actually unless the big daddy’s from outside India pressurize us to act. In this case, I hope such external pressures mount on India to get its act in order? I sincerely hope so.

I also hope Indian defense forces and police forces who become the scapegoat in almost all situations such as these despite fighting with courage and dignity have leaders who can say NO to being used as Body guards of corrupt politicians. It is sickening to even see such a thing.

We all know who or what makes them ineffective sometimes and sometimes frustratingly corrupt.

I seriously hope they continue to be the warriors as they are not they work in a better environment. Sometimes the existing equipments are fine (given that our defense budget is tremendously high), but the bureaucracy involved in using them is pathetic.

As far as Indian state is concerned, I put myself in the shoes of people trapped in one such attack, may be having a gun lying in front of him or her but handicapped by his or her inability to use it!

I got scared.

We in India don’t have any compulsory military training unlike many other countries. I think it is high time we give ourselves a serious thought on that. I think India needs some discipline into its systems and that is why school or high school curriculum should remove some “weird” subjects that are taught to us and incorporate a more practical mode of education.

Every citizen of India needs to be taught to defend himself, a bit of perhaps fire fighting and of course at some stage crisis management.

I am aware all these come at a huge cost of individual choice and freedom but sometimes a continuous inefficiency doesn’t lead us anywhere but to adopt harsh measures.

As for we who missed such training, we have not much choice left. We don’t have any idea of self-defense forget crisis management. We are even powerless in front of policies and high handedness of the powerful ones. However, we can hope at least our future generation is better equipped in confidence and strength.

I know democracy is a much-hailed theory but I am sorry to say, it comes at a huge price too.

Despite being democratic we are rendered ineffective on face of terror and not just terror but the root causes of terror. We are so democratic that anybody can infuriate us and cause pandemonium, we are so democratic that we cannot say to the VIPs that your visit at the hospitals would create more trouble for the forces and we are so democratic that we forget that any moment we are the ones who would be affected, if we are not already.

Many thanks to you and prayers to all who fought from policy, army, navy, fire services, hotel staffs and people like you and I.

I hope someday I show the courage that you have shown.

I hope that we don’t move on, hail our spirits and accept terrorism as a part of urban life. Let’s not forget our situation and do everything that we can do to better the situation.

If we can write, let’s write.
If we can mobilize communities to discuss ideas for betterment of our societies, let’s do that.
If we can tell ourselves whether to vote or not or find out why do we vote, let’s do that.
If we can look beyond petty things like our usual heartaches, let’s do that.
Let’s take pledge to make ourselves and people around us to make aware and secure.
Let’s tell our children that even sports, physical education, crisis management is important.

I am trying, desperately trying to master all my courage, lift my sagged spirits, bring back my lost confidence, fight situations at my hand. It would be helpful that if all join together.

I hope we have the power to fight back the terrorists and petty politicians.


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