On Wednesday, tens of thousands of urban, English-speaking, tank-top-wearing citizens stormed the Gateway of India, a famed waterfront monument, venting anger at their elected leaders. There were similar protests in the capital, New Delhi, and the southern technology hubs, Bangalore and Hyderabad. All were organized spontaneously, with word spread through text messages and Facebook. ~ The New York Times
One fine day I was switching through the different channels at my home, and suddenly I was shocked to see the unprecedented Mumbai terror, happened on the same day (26th Nov '08). It left an unexampled sorrow in my heart… And it didn't happen first time.
Till 90's I was too small to understand terror and terrorists. I was growing in a small village of Bihar and primarily I knew only one thing, which is my education. As a son of a teacher, I was supposed to perform well in school, and I'd work hard to maintain it with the limited set of resources I had. It was 90's when I started listening killing of people in Kashmir (J & K) and North eastern region of India. My father listens BBC London radio news religiously in the evening, and the news will report few casualties almost every week. It wasn't that there was no terrorism elsewhere in India or before 90's, but the fact is that I couldn't understand terrorism and its scope properly as I was a child.
I asked my father that as per geography book, Jammu & Kashmir, and North East states belong to India. Why people of India attack our own people, police and army? My father answered that its political will which is not strong enough to stop these terror groups. Certainly this was not the sufficient answer but my father suggested me to not think these things and rather I should just concentrate on my books.
Couple of years later ('93) I heard that Mumbai has been blasted like anything by some terror group. If I remember correctly, Mumbai was the first Indian city after so called terror infected regions (J&K and North east states) to be targeted in this way (volume) by any terror group. That opened a new sense of mind to think about terror. That blast definitely left an impact on me. As it didn't have any direct impact on me, I would be still doing my routine work and live peacefully without any social responsibilities. But we used to talk about this blast in our age group. This discussion would be more presumptuous and almost non-scientific but our honest intention behind this discussion wasn't challengeable. We all had some kind of grudge towards the system which couldn't do anything to stop this blast to happen.
Later on I moved to New Delhi for higher education and job, and faced real terror as a citizen. I would be hearing every now and then that a particular part of India has been bombed. Same story… Bomb was planted in auto rickshaw, car, cycle etc. There is a foreign hand behind it and all sort of things. Every bombing will have almost same conclusion.
First time I could fear that the terror can hit me as well, as I was also part of crowd which visited the sophisticated places for terrorists. Town markets, malls, theatres etc. Obviously I couldn't think of making any strategy about how to avoid this terror threat. Sometimes when bombing will happen then we'll stop going to market for some days... Obviously this is of no help… but still!
During all this bombing, some of them were really and really looked offensive… but none of them looked as offensive as latest Mumbai terror attack (26th Nov '08). It was a unique kind of deadliest attack that an Indian city has ever dealt. It killed the maximum number of citizens in any one attack, it killed the maximum number of foreigners so far in one incident of terror etc… but most prominently it killed people belonging to creamy society of India.
First time in history, untouched class (untouched by terror attack) of India was being attacked. First time so many businessmen were attacked in their area. I like the following paragraph of New york times…
In India's city of gold, the distinction between public and private can be bewildering. For members of the working class, who often cannot afford housing, public sidewalks become living rooms. In the morning, commuters from gated communities in the suburbs pass children brushing their teeth at the edge of the street. Women are forced to relieve themselves on the railway tracks, usually in the dark, for the sake of modesty. The poor sometimes sleep on highway medians, and it is not unheard of for drunken drivers to mow them down.None of the previous terrorist attacks, even in Mumbai, had so struck the cream of Bombay society. Bombs have been planted on commuter trains in the past, but few people who regularly dine at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel, one of the worst-hit sites, travel by train
. ~ The New York Times
There is an India within India. An India of rich and affluent class; which had never been attacked. The India of rich, who always received terror attacks as yet another incident. An India who won't come forward against the government policies at all. An India which will have private deal with the politicians so that their business run smoothly. The deal which always took place in backyard.
Middle class in India won't have their say as usual. They will listen what another India of rich is saying. If rich guys have come forward then middle class will also come forward and that's what will make difference. We definitely realized this chemistry during latest terror attack incident on Mumbai. Almost each and every person from the other India of rich spoke against the leaders and our political establishments. And then middle class too followed them like anything. Media didn't leave a single stone unturned to make it movements of middle class… but actually these were the people from rich class who made the difference. When they felt unsafe, they spoke. And they spoke for good. They spoke to galvanize the middle class which forms a majority of India. Aftermath was good and it looks that its working. Government is definitely working to improve so many rotten things from society but upto an extent.
Terrorists had killed few policemen in the recent terror attack in Mumbai. This was not the first time they had been killed, but this killing of gunmen was different. These policemen were being killed in order to protect the rich class and other class.
Nuxals kill hundreds of police men every year in India. No one cares for that. That is yet another story. Every now and then you will listen that policemen have been killed by Nuxals in West Bengal, Orrisa, Chhatisgarh, Andhra, Bihar, Jharkhand etc. But none of the persons in rich class will utter a single word about it. It's been happening since I was a child or even before that. But I haven't heard any rich people of India talking about that. Why? Because it doesn't impact our rich society life directly. They didn't talk that the police needs to be strengthen, and that there is an urgent need of a strong political will to stop Nuxals killing innocent people and police. It shows which India our rich and middle class is trying to save. They are still not talking about a holistic picture. They are still trying to protect their home and hang outs. Well, that's fine; I strongly agree that government should ensure that terrorists don't do anything against our affluent class but what about those voiceless people? Why don't they deserve attention? Why is their life cheap enough to be ignored? Why can't international media write about that? Leave international media… Why do Indian media ignore that? Why should be police reform happen only when terrorists attack Taj? Why can't we be determined enough to force government to do police reform so that the rural policemen don't get killed by Nuxals every now and then?
I seriously doubt that if Nuxals don't get support from someone sitting in Delhi, they would be able to carry out mass murder of policemen every year. But who bothers to find it out! Leaders on the name of region kill so many people from other region; but who cares about that! Obviously the targets of regional leader s (virtually another sort of terrorists who drops the poison in society on the name of region and religion), and target of Nuxals are poor. They are not rich enough to be heard. They don't belong to Mumbai, Delhi or Bangalore! And of course they don't dine in Taj.
Let's be honest and more pragmatic towards the problems our society and in turn the nation is facing!
Whatsoever… It's my India and I definitely love it as another Indian patriotic fellow.
Ram K Ojha