Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | December 3, 2008


While it is true the general hatred that is directed towards the terrorists should not be directed towards either a community at large or for that matter to a country in general, but that is what Indians generally end up doing in times of extreme crisis such as these. However, if the neighboring country does not co-operate as we are made to believe, then what is the way out? Is it not fashionable suddenly to see our neighboring government as friends?

Also, we must be mindful we should not shout calling for a war. Not only war breeds more suffering, but the incompetent Government may use it to gain the much sought after political mileage. Problem is war unites people more than anything else, but asking for war would be playing into politicians strategy.

To my mind, thus Indian citizens should indulge into constructive civil movement and mass mobilization. United effort that continues for month is the need of the hour. We have lighted candles many times from 1993 – during all terror attacks, during Kargil wars, for Jessica, for Nitish, for Rizwan, for Nithari children, for Aarushi and for Nandigram but after a month of so, none of us actually carried out in the same spirit in any one of those. What we could do is to keep our vigil and intent and hope the pressure sustains.

The following few issues to my mind have been re-established in the last few days:

1. Though in our post-independence history of 61 years, we have had various insurgencies, riots, few wars, we have been living in a denial mode especially from 1993 till this period that our internal security is at threat. Successive Governments have increased the share of defence spending in our Federal Budgets, many new initiatives must have been brought in but all these failed to prevent us from internal attacks. While we may not be in a larger “civil war” kind of a scenario in theory, but I do not think we are in any lesser state either. Our enemy does not have any concrete goal, it ensures mass killing and we have to strongly realise and react without further political complexities.

2. Whatever may be the reason but successive Indian Governments have failed to mobilise international support / consensus on its situation. Though, Indian Map as exhibited by various international websites dissociate India from some of its Northern landscape, within India we clearly do not know what should we conclude from that. Is it not sad that India does not have a uniform place in world map?

3. Our lack of focus on education, help emerge a civil society, failure to abolish caste / sect system is beginning haunt us everyday. It shows that movements led by the greats like Ishwarchandra Bandopadhaya or Rammohan Roy or Mohandas Gandhi never lost their relevance. Just that those who governed us undermined their importance. For us, they remained us History chapters and nothing else.

4. Those of us, who were privileged enough to go to decent academic institutions have mostly shown the typical Indian narrow mindedness even while adopting one single habit that benefits the society. I don’t want to pass on the buck, but still I believe uncivilized, lazy races such as ours needed stronger enforcement of basic laws (even for community services such as cleanliness). Academic institutes, media, hospitals and corporate houses are run by people like us, so I am not sure whether we can expect a huge amount of change in them all of a sudden. Unless law is stringent and enforcement is honest, I do not see things changing in terms of our apathy towards social upliftment. I do feel the down-trodden are much more aware and organised when compared to the middle class and the elite. We need to be united and shrug of our laziness and apathy for something serious. Among everyone else media needs to play a very important role here and media does include blogs too.

5. Politicians have failed us time and again. To my mind, they are like Frankensteins created by us. I am sure many people, in their youth were actively involved in politics, hoping to contribute to its ethos, but sadly they were disillusioned after being singled-out for being honest. Some such people do community services these days but they are highly unorganized. Certainly we have to be concious about our politicians and not put-out the fire that is burning in us currently against them. I am sure we can certain do things like – writing, talking, realising and committing ourselves to these realisation to start with. I am sure non-violent ideas shall flow from us which are forward looking and possibly path-breaking. We must be conscious of the fact that some of us do support incidents carried out in Nandigram, weird protest modes adopted by Trinamool, Bajrang Dal’s fanaticism and many such things. We must ask ourselves perhaps before indulging in such support that whether we want ourselves to be responsible for a social unrest. What Major Unnikrishnan’s father did by his outburst against a certain CM, was earlier reportedly done by the mother of slain student leader Chandrashekhar Prasad to Late Indrajit Gupta (noted Indian leftist politician). However, such responses should come from more and more people (not just from people who are affected) and media. We have ignored such issues long enough by choosing other preferred options but how long can we go on with such ignorance. Doing something is even helping clean the street next to our house or writing repeated letters to the Municipality to clean the roads. It is frustrating process that there is so much to do that everyone has something or the other to contribute despite their busy schedules. If we dig up, we shall find to-day we are very well networked – someone is in civil services or police or government or media – let’s utilise those connections. Of course, we must exercise sanity in everything that we want to do.

6. India is our home and even if we are staying far apart and aloof, we possibly cannot avoid getting affected. It may not be as apparent as to how we are getting affected but our global image individually, our prospects of doing good in career, our trustworthiness as human beings, safety of our family and ourselves all get affected by incidents such as these. Unless and until we realise that, we cannot help ourselves. If we wish for a better world for ourselves, we have to build that. In doing that some of our personal preferences should be compromised too, if need be.

I for myself, get annoyed by even small things such as, why do people leave meaningless comments on my blog and request me to read their blogs. If I get angry at such small things, I need to be patient to accept others as they are – may be their starting a blog for constructive purposes deserve my viewing and endorsement. (I am reminded of a house-keeper in one of my earlier offices on whom I wrote an article long back. He appreciated that I write but he could not read or write though he motivated me to write everyday even asking me to show him my blog once in a while).

The above was just an example and it may be noted, I may sound preachy but these points apply more to me than anyone else who is reading them.

India is our home and that is where we belong and being aloof does not solve the problems. If we are not contributing in curing it, perhaps our future generations shall be affected. If we are not killed by the menace that we have created, perhaps our children shall get killed.

It is high time that we hit back and appreciate efforts from all corners before rubbishing them in our rhetorics. (I am actually not even viewing the blogs written by Shobha De, Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar and Amir Khan with sarcasm which I may have done sometimes back).

We may have opinions about everything and every action that others have taken but is it not the right time to give our best to channel the opinions into actions?

Most of our efforts would see tremendous hurdles but if one such effort succeeds then we may have done some good for our nation.

I want to be part of such efforts. I want to wake up and be in control. I want to shrugg off my cowardice and inability. I am terribly ashamed for being the way I have been towards my own people, my own world. Let India become a beautiful part in this world where I am sure there is more goodness than evil – just that thesedays goodness is under threat from wealth, power and bullets. However, if goodness is united with conviction, world is bound to change. I may not very optimistic at the moment because we have created a huge backlog but who knows, if we wake up and open our eyes, we may be able to clean up the mess with amazing speed.

Do let me know, if anyone wants my support and effort to help clean my country, my world. I am eager to do realistic contribution to the best of my abilities to the healing process.

Let’s hope we become good citizens.



  1. I am not a believer in a full fledged war too.But these evil forces don’t show any restraint whatsoever time and time again, and its government refuses to even accept something like ‘ We don’t have any hand in it, the militant forces (which cause internal mayhem as well) are the main culprits’.They can’t even digest the fact that all the terrorists were pakistanis! I can’t think of any option other than the govt. taking some strong military action.why can’t we pinpoint some of their main terrorist camps and send our best aircrafts bombarding them? even a 2 hour action can cause a lot of damage. They ought to have some lessons learnt.Whether we go offensive or not, it does’nt matter to them.One way or the other they are surely going to terrorize the masses in future!
    We have to make sure though that civilians don’t get killed in masses in the process.
    As far as the International support goes, no one has cared more than we had done, ever.Its all a political gimmick.France sells its aircrafts to both India and Pakistan.Profit is the only thing that matters to them.US is concerned that defending a threat from India will channelize more forces towards Kashmir instead of helping them in eliminating the taliban at Afghanistan border.rubbish! We are sure to face some flak if we take any covert action but that will soon die down with time in my opinion.
    All said and done as you said, the restructuring of the society won’t happen in a sudden breeze of nationality.We need to make bold decisions whenever it seems right.We have to protest against any wrong done in the society and just not be mute spectators shrugging off the responsibility to someone else. Instead of beating up doctors or lynching a street pickpocket we need to use the existent laws in rightful ways to punish the culprits.
    Deeply spread Corruption has become the main threat to our society.we misuse the means to justify our ends.We have come down to so low a level that we always seek the shortcuts even if the hard way is not so hard to follow.And for that,our inherent laziness surely needs to ousted from our blood.
    If we want not to ignore the burning issues after a certain stretch of time then we have to become passive.It is this soft attitude of ours that outsiders take for our weakness time to time.We need to show some anger at times(like the current lot we are watching) but not be inhuman enough to take impulsive action.Burning buses or trucks when they run over someone only aggravates the problem.
    And as for the politicians are concerned, I really think that politics has to be treated like a job! Only way we can stop criminals to use their power and making the business more dirty is by taking some stringent measure while choosing someone from decent educational background and experience to fight in the election.If the parties can’t do it we should have some right allocated to us to ask for the credentials of the person we are going to vote for.Otherwise we are always going to have some sharad pawar as the agriculture minister who has little knowledge of that sector as far his educational profile shows or a KPS gill,who has almost destroyed our legacy in hockey!

  2. I apologize for senseless Babri outrageouness

    i apologize for calculated Godhra massacre and numerous encounters

    i apologize for sowing the seeds of separation in 1947

    i apologize for advocating it

    i apologize for secretly thanking my stars for not being born in your home

    i apologize for making you feel an outsider in my every action and inaction

    and i am ready to die by your bullet if that is the only way to pay for my sins

    Because i am you

    i pledge that from now on i will see to it

    that i absolve myself of my sins in this life

    But please do know that when you kill me, you will be killing yourself

    because you are me.

    I do write this in the comfort of my house

    far away from the place you shot me down

    But died i have, a thousand times,

    and i am still alive waiting for you to forgive,respect and love me.

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