Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

13th July ‘2011, History repeats and what do we learn? ~ Mind-Full Ramblings

14th July '2011 : 10 AM

Mumbai: A city defining Life

Mumbai has perpetually been in lime light for reasons, right and wrong alike. A city buzzing with life from 4 AM and that keeps working until midnight and after is one candid pick for terrorists, who know they would never find dearth of people to kill here, with the additional leverage of being inconspicuous in such a huge crowd! And it is a city of business, good and bad! I do not belong to this city. But having traveled enough in this city in the past, I can say it beats the population of any corner of our country. The city of Goddess Mahalaxmi and Lord Ganesha that it is, Mumbai comes across as a city of unfulfilled dreams, a city of alluring promises, a city of myriad choices and a city that defines life! When it comes to metros nothing beats the charm of this 21 million heavily populated city. But then, 26/11 and now 13/7 has made the common man question the 'life' called Mumbai. How safe it will be henceforth? A question that does not have an answer yet.....

History repeats!

Mumbai blasts look like a chapter of history destined to repeat time and again. Shock waves floated around yesterday (13th July’2011), when three bomb blasts rocked the peace and routine of Zaveri Bazar, Dadar west and Opera House. What followed suit couldn’t have been the least unpredictable! With the media having a field day (the typical one) and with the chief minister Prithvi Raj Chauhan as usual ‘condemning’ the dastardly act with Home minister P.Chidambaram joining the ‘condemning band wagon’, everything seemed like a Déjà vu! (Remember 26/11?)Why? Because the blasts happened in Mumbai - the strong (oops!) ‘the heart of India’, because people here have a ‘great spirit’, or each one of them bears a ‘lion heart’, or because they have the highest degree of tolerance to anything and everything under the Sun, be it legitimate or otherwise or because they tend to ‘adjust and move on’ in life whatsoever happens? I am not sure which answer suffices best, but the fact remains - life is priceless. And with each passing day, it looks like we are watching some bloody video game where a guy comes in with a loaded gun and goes on a killing spree to satiate his bloody appetite for insanity! Looks like life is taken so much for granted by a few killing machines who do not even mind getting killed in the process! But then,does it become a preference for terrorism to creep in? Looks like it!

Facebook – the leading social networking site was flooded with status messages full of anger, loathe, sadness and helplessness at the security lapse that could/could not have been avoided. Also the government, as predicted must have immediately raised a security alert thereafter, in all cities, in malls, theaters, hotels and offices! So to check for suspicious elements breeding in our society, we have to ‘wait’ for a bomb blast to happen. As I write this, I remember the words of ‘the stupid common man’ from the movie ‘A Wednesday’ – “ Kyun, mujhe us din ka intezaar karna chahiye jab mera koi apna bewajah is tarah ki jaleel maut mare?… Perhaps democracy answers with an affirmation! With every social networking site, every news channel, and every home gossiping, ranting, rambling about the series of unfortunate events, there is nothing in this world that can soothe the affected families who have lost their dear ones to insane people. Their world remains shattered, dark and blank! Like the common man states in the movie – “Ek aisa haadsa hota hai to channel badal badal ke sara maazra dekh liya. Sms kiya, phone kiya, shukr manaya ki humlog bach gaye aur phir us situation se ladne ke bajaye hum uske saath adjust karma shuru kar dete hai..

But then comes the million dollar question : What more can a common man do? And what else can he do? With a family to run, with a career that gives him his daily bread and butter and with a cartload of worries, the common man boards the local everyday to slog from dawn till dusk to make his ends meet. However, he forgets about the most precious thing about which he has stopped worrying - his life! And that worry comes alive every time when some professional sadist like Kasab opens fire on a bunch of innocents! These incidents remind us how worthless our constitution is, how rotten our judicial system is, how recklessly our democracy is being abused and how spineless our political system has become! Sorry, I would blame the politicians no more, except for warning them with the same words of the ‘stupid common man’ – “We are resilient by force, and not by choice! Some day, it would not be surprising when a common man becomes the 'stupid common man' from the movie 'A wednesday' to start 'society cleansing'. Silence should not be mistaken for complacency!

Common man speculates!

And we, the people of India, feel the brunt, not understanding why!. As an ‘ideal common man’ would say – ‘We vote. We elect our leaders. We pay taxes and we move around with a faith that we are secure.’ However, how many of us can honestly include self in that ‘we’? We are extremely good at abusing our politicians and even better at abusing our own democracy by not taking our voting right seriously. Today, FB was flooded with messages cursing our politicians, some vying for Kasab’s blood and some even suggesting war! Literacy does not cure ignorance, is what I deduce! If one were so concerned about our country’s administrative setup, then he might as well appear for administrative service exams or study law or do a research in political science, or even get into politics. How many of us are ready to take the plunge? One, two, twenty, hundred? No one wants to get into a ‘ditch’ called politics! And then, people would conveniently say, ‘Aah, Politics is a dirty field. Who would get into it?’ No one wants to be the scavenger! No one wants to be the player, but the spectator! Everyone wants to stay clean! You and I enjoy democracy, don’t we? I do! It gives me a right to voice my opinions. I cannot do much about what has happened in Mumbai. What I would like to do, I cannot do and so what I can do is what I am doing! Blogging about this…..writing about how I feel about this entire pandemonium! So democracy has its cons too and quite serious ones!

With a severely crippled constitution, in a country where that Kasab should have been executed long back, he is still waiting for his turn. Who knows, he might even celebrate his 101th birthday in India! It sounds shameful? Pretty much! And when we talk of our hollow judicial system, if there is a law to convict a criminal in a straight square case, there will be ten laws to bail him out! (Remember Jessica Lal’s case, where the accused got his due after 10 long years, despite the fact that the case was an open and shut case!)And then if Kasab is being treated with chicken biryani and is being guarded closely, it is so apparent that our system is bloody flawed and our politicians are just following the system. Nothing more, nothing less! I have little faith in Indian constitution which needs to be revamped from scratch! But then what is that you or I can do? Yes, I am asking my readers and at the same time, questioning self. Vent out frustration on Facebook? It is good to release emotions. Feels better, doesn’t it? But why so, that our frustration pops out only when some blast claims lives or when some plane is hijacked or when some terrorist is freed during a high profile kidnapping case?

People, we need to cure self of ignorance first! Perhaps, starting with little gestures of being more pro-active and being more alert than before, one might be of greater help to the society rather than suggesting illogical ideas on combating terrorism! First, go and vote! You get the leaders right, you get everything right! The bombs of yesterday were a reminder for us that it is high time that we take our lives, our rights and our society seriously.

The awakening: Lessons dawn.....

When there was a blast at German Bakery, Pune in 2010, I felt sad. Not because that was one of my favorite hangouts of all times, but because I had some cherished memories there with friends. But because, on the same day, a brother and sister who were incidentally at the same place, lost their lives. The agony of those teens’ parents must have been unfathomable! But when we blame and curse terrorists, come to think of it, who are they? For sure, they are not aliens who have travelled from a world above and beyond, just to create havoc on earth! They do not totally constitute the uneducated people of the down trodden strata of society. They do not come with a tag around their neck that defines them as renegade killer bees. Well, all of them do not come across as our ‘neighbor(s)’ but they surely belong to a crowd that supports our ‘neighbor’. If you are blaming Kasab, you might as well blame a bigger Indian crowd that supports people like him. And mind well, those supporters are not just politicians. They also belong to the category of ‘the common man’, who constitute this country, who we people brag of, who RK Laxman often paints as the pained public! What is the point in blaming people like Kasab, when there are people working against the country from within?

The saying – People living in glass houses should not throw stones at others, rings true for our country. Just like charity begins at home, so does value system. Perhaps, our value system is too weak to exist in a democracy like India. Here, in our country, people are barking dogs who keep barking until they are tired and then give in to the compromises which are not necessary all the time. After all, everyone cannot be Anna Hazare, but everyone can make an effort to follow his footsteps at least, to question what is wrong. Society cleansing seems crucial today, especially when our lives do not seem to be worth a tickey for all the price we pay to have a democracy. Or perhaps, democracy is just too overrated. Period!



Blogger Arti said...

Hi Narayani,
Beautiful post. Written from the heart in a common mans language...
My dad escaped twice from these blasts once in 1993 when his office was bombed and then again a few years ago during the serial train blasts.. He came home early today!!
We feel so helpless...

July 15, 2011 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger Narayani Karthik said...

Aah it is scary to hear that.....I pray for the safety of all people in Mumbai and all other places where terrorism takes a peek in so often....The problem lies with us people actually.....only if everyone voted, we would have got the right leaders! Sadly, democracy has its dead ends.....Sigh!

BTW Thanks Arti for the comment :)

July 15, 2011 at 6:13 AM  

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