Don’t beat me up for asking such a question.
We claim that unity in diversity is our specialty. Up until today, I saw many examples of diversity, but few of unity.
What this attack in Mumbai has done though, is to bring unity in adversity, as the people of Chennai are calling it. It is grief that united.
Did you see how local Mumbaikars, cheered with every truckload of army men that came in? Every time they shouted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai,’ I got goose bumps. India has never been an aggressor. We have been at war only a few times in the last 60 years: The ones with Pakistan in ’65 and ’71 and then Kargil. This is why we have never given a thought to our troops. Thousands of young men and women sign themselves up to the army, in times of peace, with no guarantee that the future will remain the same, prepared for any circumstance.
Unlike the USA where their troops are in much use every day all over the world, India never got to see action out of hers. In the US not supporting their troops is considered an offence. Not legally. But the troops go into war confident that they have their whole country behind them and their country is grateful to them.
But today, these men and women who we never regarded, today we learnt how indispensible they are. We suddenly became aware of their presence.
It took terrorists to make us aware.
In times of peace, when a pacifist preaches his message, no one wants to hear it. Today, when one gets up onto his soapbox to preach peace, he has an audience. The audience knows that he either accepts to follow the path of peace and still maintain some hope for tomorrow. Or he accepts that violence is the order of the day and nothing can change it. And I think more of us want to see the victory of peace today than ever before.
What this attack in Mumbai has done is that it has brought the urgency of seeing the success of peace to the top of everybody’s mind and wish list. There is nothing more anybody wants.
It took violence to make us aware of peace.
Initially, the fear was that communal riots would break out.
It did not happen. At least not so far.
This time, those who dare make discriminatory comments are being hounded down.
Instead, all anger is being channelized towards a new target. I never thought this would happen, but it has. We have taken our politicians to task. This is how, this times attack, was different.
Politicians usually manipulate every situation to their convenience.
This time we didn’t allow it.
Scour the internet. Remember I said that’s where the youth of India lives? Every young person is suddenly demanding answers out of them. They are not all sitting back and complaining.
Suddenly every young person is aware of their rights. Their right to information.
Every young person today is resolving to go and vote at the next elections.
Suddenly every young person is aware of their duty. Their duty to vote.
NOW we have finally agreed, that ‘Enough is Enough.’
It took terrorists to make this happen.
Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and all the other police and army personnel who died fighting for our security.
It appears to me, that India would not have been so shaken up if their deaths hadn’t happen. This reminds me of the movie Rang De Basanti. Talking about the movie later with a friend, I complained that the ending should have been happier. He said, “It just wouldn’t have been as good if they hadn’t all died in the end.”
So thick headed India required 102 deaths, along with 12 police and army men and 300 injured, to actually feel and be affected.
Why did it take an attack in our own country to get united? We see terrorism all over the world. But we had to wait for this to happen, to be affected?
If we continue on this path of reconstruction, those 102 deaths would not have been in vain. Or else, they will remain as wasted unfulfilled lives. They will remain statistics. And their blood, and the blood of more to come, will be on our hands.
I don’t think those 40 men anticipated that they would actually stir up the people like this. They dug their own graves. 1.13 billion people(according to the latest estimate made, in March this year) and more, are waiting to throw mud on it.
As one man said on NDTV, “The fire is not on in the burning buildings, and the many funeral pyres being lit. Now it is on in our hearts.”
Ask me again, what good could possibly come out of what happened in Mumbai.