It has been a week now since the ruthless attacks. Public anger has never been so omnipresent and neither have our politicians come under such a heavy scrutiny(no wonder they have been royally goofing up and giving tactless statements which is doing nothing less than fuelling the fire). Targeting foreign nationals in the attacks was one foolish move by the terrorists because the whole world is now upon them like red ants. Statements which included words like “Stateless actors” which intended on shrugging off the responsibilities were not bought by anyone and laughed at. Incidences like a movie director taking a walk in the burnt down Taj were blown out of proportion by the media while the public gulped the news in disbelief(Sometimes the media do comes handy).

THE GREAT INDIAN FUMBLE

It had been a week of revelations. A coup de theatre beyond an equal. Two days into the ghastly event and three statements made by our politicians were elemental in converting the tide into a tsunami. 
R.R Patil made a juvenile statement about the incident being a “small one” and dug the grave of his political career. 
BJP Vice President Abbas Naqvi puddled in troubled waters when he made the “women wearing powder and lipstick and burning candles” remark. The audacity of it was that he himself was wearing a coat while he defamed the Indians for aping the west and its an entirely different story that he was asked to comment on something else.  
The icing on the cake came from Kerela’s CM V.S. Achuthanandan who ended up making a statement which could be considered the worst insult someone can inflict on a martyr’s family. Of course, a lot of pressure went into making him apologize but the harm was already done. Sample this:

mumbai

On the other hand, the attacks opened up the Pandora’s box and everyone from the Intelligence Agencies to the Maharashtra Government and the Center turned a beetroot red. Our PM mumbled a few inaudible statements about setting up a federal spy agency and creating four NSG hubs while the nation came in terms with the fact that the Navy and the Coast Guard ignored the intercept from RAW that these attacks were expected, that the intelligence agencies had informed a year ago that such an attack was in the pipeline and that the U.S. informed India twice about the upcoming sea attack on Mumbai. The Government gave a jaw dropping performance making the citizens realize that their lives really don’t matter. The word politician ended up becoming a swear word and the nation realized that human life was the cheapest commodity in our country.
The way the whole operation was handled also came under the scanner. A minister taking 90 minutes to respond to such a critical situation, the NSG commandos transported from airport in BEST buses and shoved in the 1500 room Taj without any night vision equipment knowing very well that there was no electricity in the hotel and policemen wearing outdated bullet proof jackets was something which the common man was not ready to watch on live television. The crudity of it all was hard hitting.

THE REACTIONS

Israel offered help but India denied it without a second thought. Pakistan Government and media were busy vehemently denying any connection with the attacks. It was not surprising that Pakistan rejected the list sent by India stating that they wanted more proofs. I am sure that even if we dance in front of them with proof in our hands, they will even go to the extend of putting hot rods in their eyes to ignore us. The main accused of the 1993 blasts is still to be handed to us, even after ample proof of his involvement and whereabouts in his plush bungalow in Pakistan, so we can expect some action on this recent event in another 20 years. Ofcourse, there were some sane people who understood the gravity of the situation. You can read three very balanced articles by eminent Pakistani columnists here.

Although people have been dying left right and center in India since ages, the whole world suddenly woke up to the fact because this time the target were foreign nationals too. Atleast 26 of them lost their lives and although Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmadabad had gone through such similar attacks this year, the repercussion which the Mumbai attacks created were something else. Its good in many ways because this time, the “Rice” boiled with a lot of pressure over Pakistan. Lets just hope that the pressure mounts instead of subsiding.

WE THE PEOPLE

I don’t think India has seen such massive reaction from the citizens since a long time. People flooded the roads and the media projected the anger beautifully. For the first time I thought that they were doing something constructive, no matter how melodramatically. Its not just that we are condemning Pakistan(maybe we are too tired to do that now, because its of no use), but this time we were questioning our own security system. I just saw an operation done by a news channel where they were checking the security at one of the Delhi Railway Stations. Nothing has been done and its as vulnerable as it was earlier and that too when there have been reports that Delhi is the next target. A similar operation was done in Mumbai and the policemen were caught napping as a revolver was taken inside the railway station.

We have been pointing fingers at the politicians about being irresponsible but how much cliched it might sound, we have to be the change we want to see. We, as citizens of this nation, are also irresponsible at the grassroot level. Leave alone taking responsibilities about important issues, how many of us don’t bribe traffic police officers, litter of the road, do illegal constructions and break traffic rules? Did we succeed as a generation who considers themselves as Indians first and then something else? Isn’t it ironical that we need a tragedy of such humongous scale to unite us? Oscillating the Government from BJP to Congress and back to BJP is not going to play the trick and we all know that. Both the parties have an equally bad track record. Its the “people” of this nation who have to change, and those “people” include the “politicians” and “all of us”. 

Lets not become this guy who spit all his venom on a Jet air-hostess. Generalizing and putting a whole community in a box is the last thing which we should indulge in right now. Hats off to all those who stood up and actually did something to help the victims. I know one of them and you can find her here

FINALLY

Even though India has a go ahead for the air attacks in case the Pakistan Government fails to raise the terrorist camps to the ground, I am not sure if the Indian Government might actually take the step. I hope we don’t forget this incidence like so many other and our Government take the necessary steps without wasting ages to ponder over them. We don’t have that liberty left and it definitely doesn’t work when we end up being called “a known softie”.

Some interesting reads:

Dear Mr. Terrorist

Reflecting on Mumbai

For Heroes of Mumbai, Terror was a call to action

[photograph courtesy Times of India]

About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

34 Comments

  1. Shefaly December 6, 2008 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Amit

    That is so sweet of you to mention our remembrance. Thank you. 🙂

    I have not helped the victims in any way directly – not yet – but I just got back home from the remembrance and it was well worth it. So far away from India and Mumbai, so many in London were feeling bereft. The messages in our visitor book are touching and sincere. People came together, sat down and reflected on the sad record of terror killings, talked with one another, argued and discussed, and went away smiling and hopeful.

    The best bit is that many have volunteered time – not just money – to take our resolve further.

    Thanks again for both the hat tips. You spoil me 🙂

  2. Vijaya Bharat December 6, 2008 at 5:52 am - Reply

    Still I dont have any hope on my fellow ´Indians´. As usual, like so many issues, they will forget this issue and vote for the same people again and again till they die 🙁 I really hate these people who have such a small rememberance power. After knowing that there are pestisides in cool drinks, how many people stopped drinking them ? Like you said, how many are honest with the things they are doing in their daily life ? I am 100% sure about the winning of those politicians whom you mentioned in this post in the next general elections. Do you think doing rallies or criticisizing the politicians will bring the results ? If they have any self pride left in thier bodies, they should elect good candidates atleast in the next elections. I really dont want politicians any more, I need leaders who can lead my country towards growth & happiness.

  3. amreekandesi December 6, 2008 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Amit, this is a very well captured summary of the reactions and fallouts of this huge tragedy.

    We should just hope that the momentum keeps building up, and we dont let the authorities get away without learning their lessons and taking actions to improve the ground situation.

  4. sakhi December 6, 2008 at 9:30 am - Reply

    i somehow feel that my die-hard optimism is now going to die before me!! 🙁 🙁 I really don’t see future of India very bright with our so-called bright politicians 🙁 🙁

  5. Kiran December 6, 2008 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Thank you for such a well researched post. Many unfortunate tragedies unfolding since a week ago. I am just not able to concentrate on my MBA this time around. It has and is a very gloomy time for many of us. We shouldn’t ignore the political wrong doings of such oath-takers that once swore to protect us. Shame on them.

  6. A December 6, 2008 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Yes nicely mentioned…Reactions from the people and nation-wide agitation is something positive happening at least. In fact the global media coverage has also been not that bleak and, lets hope, the global attention may translate into effective retribution towards those inhumans involved.

    Just wondering what all sustainable and impactful can we can do on the internet-media/blogosphere here, in addition to writing about it.

    In anguish, I too tried to cover few good links and reads, in my post…may check. Especially if you have seen, the decent image-news here and here are quite dispiriting.

  7. Trailblazer December 6, 2008 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Excellent summary, Amit. Very well written. The most important line for me would always be “I hope we dont forget this”.

  8. vishesh December 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    blase

  9. Reema December 6, 2008 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Good link post. Its not only about us bribing police..its also about the sleeping constable realize that its time to wake up literally. But yes seriously I dont think we will ever go anywhere with the kind of politicians we have. I mean every single one of them is like that. Name one who doesnt put his votebank before the nation. Its a paradox actually…politicians not caring about nation.

  10. Liju Philip December 6, 2008 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Dont worry, soon we will all forget it and go back to our ways. 2 months later, another city, another bomb, another 50 odd killed. The same blogging, twittering, smsing, the same Barkha Dutt blabbering till we forget again.

    They cycle continues…..

  11. shivya December 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Really great post. I so agree with the ‘We the citizens’ part.

    “…we have to be the change we want to see.” Indeed. And I am hopeful we will be. We need more thinkers like yourself 🙂

  12. pr3rna December 7, 2008 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Well researched post. Thanks for the link to my post.
    Our politicians were competing with each other in making stupid comments. They haven’t learnt their lessons even after so much rage and anger in the public against them. It took the Congress one full week to find a substitute for Vilasrao Deshmukh, instead of that good for nothing RR Patil Maharashtra has the tainted( Abdul Rehman Telgi fame) Chagan Bhujbal. Somethings never change.

  13. vishesh December 7, 2008 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Congrats 😉 (for more see my blog 😛 )

  14. Den Relojo December 7, 2008 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I know India, as a nation, will soon surpass this trial.

  15. Amit December 7, 2008 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    @Shefaly : My pleasure. 🙂 I know you have not helped them directly yet but I also know that you were planning to do it. Atleast you did something. Why don’t you put up the highlights of the remembrance on your blog? It would be nice.

    @Vijaya Bharat : Bharat, I am sure something positive will come out. I am not sure if you have noticed it, but the wave of public anger is too strong this time. And, I don’t know about others, but you and me have our brains in the right place. That’s two less in the opposite clan. See? Be optimistic. 🙂

    @Amreekandesi : Thanks. 🙂 I am sure something is going to come out of this. The line has been crossed.

    @Sakhi : Wait and watch. Don’t give up so easily.

    @Kiran : Thanks. 🙂 Yes, it has been a tragic week and a week of many surprising revelations. Atleast, the Center had the courtesy to admit the mistake. Let’s see how soon are the measures are in place.

    @A : Since so many foreigners dies, the international media is buzzing with updates and analysis. I believe that writing about it is also in a way equivalent to building up pressure. Its very similar to taking out a rally as so many people are doing it.
    Yes, I have seen these images. So many people have sent them in mails.

    @Trailblazer : Thanks. Amen to that!

    @Vishesh : “Blase” can mean a lot many things. Please explain as I don’t follow one word comments very well. 🙂
    And thanks for the award. 🙂

    @Reema : Yes, as I have mentioned – We have to change and “We” includes “politicians” and “all of us”.

    @Liju : Don’t be such a pessimist! This time it is going to work. Its different this time. Have you seen so many people gather before as they did in Mumbai?

    @Shivya : Thanks. Yes, we will be. Its a matter of how soon we realize this.

    @Pr3rna : Thanks. Yes, after all the stupid statements, atleast one statement can which was a little sensible. The Center admitted that there was a lapse. Thank God! They realized it.

    @Den Relojo : Yes, we all hope so too.

  16. Arpit December 7, 2008 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    this R R Patil is sick …….he is no less than the terrorist who treat humans as just “objects”
    all these politicians ….burn in hell !
    and really amit sometimes after listening such things from the mouth of our own countrymen just adds to the rage.

  17. Smita December 8, 2008 at 9:12 am - Reply

    The whole episode is a pandora box of goof ups…

    The part of your writeup with which I agree the most here is that we the people need to drive the change which we have been demanding. Any change that has to happen has to happen from root level.

    I just wish that we channelise our anger in right direction…

  18. Liju Philip December 8, 2008 at 10:54 am - Reply

    i wish i wish i wish iam wrong. i hope the anger and grief really does something positive to our country

  19. Smita December 8, 2008 at 2:57 pm - Reply
  20. Amit December 8, 2008 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    @Arpit : Don’t bother about him. He is gone for the time being. I just hope that the politicians learn a lesson from this.

    @Smita : Hey!!! Thankyou so much for the award!! 😀
    All we have to do is to do the right things and make sure that we drill all this in the brains of the coming generations too.

    @Liju : Hmmm. Thats better! 😀

  21. Dinesh Babu December 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Very nice compilation. So many questions and so many news arise due to this attacks. So what if RGV went and saw the spot and was actually going to make a movie out of it. Do u think it is ok to do a movie may be after 2 years of the attack? It doesn’t matter. People are too sensitive about anything. The Muslim hatred news is a best example. The last thing we need to do is target innocent muslims with hatred, I mean it shouldnt even be the last thing to do. As for politicians they have successfully achieved a new low. Very nice post compiling various news.

  22. Prax December 8, 2008 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    u has said
    Why can’t you just punch him?
    well because he is waiting for u with a hammer
    if pak wants to hurt us with a thousand cuts
    we need to do our swot analysis and encircle them
    send troops to afghanistan to support the allied troops if they threaten to move troops east, start giving diplomatic aid (just like the pakistanis do) to the baluch, the sindhis etc who want to be free of the punjabi rule…

    i reply first lets find a solution to our internal problems
    the politicians , the creaking justice system and the top heavy army, and a police that is so heavily politicised that the ig level officers fight it out in court to get .
    worse we have an indian media that just shuts up and becomes suddenly aloof of a crises , as i saw in the bbc reporters when an indian journo maybe from toi or the likes , just shut her mouth while the pak journo from daily jung just kept on mumbling and it took a muslim british born journo to counter every word of mumbo jumbo he was uttering about the goodness of his country.

  23. Prax December 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Ps this was indeed well made.

    there is so much bureaucracy and inter agency rivalry
    that nothing filters through as u mentioned.

    Our mumbai police bosses spent a tonne or the upgrade money on upgrading their houses offices and cars, whoever thought that the DB marg police would do such a good job and get that rogue which made all this world condemnation happen
    i know a person whose uncle was a asi in police there..

    The situatuon in raw is not good either as most intelligent people are leaving thanks to the bureaucracy , the low pay and the lack of reward.

  24. Prax December 8, 2008 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    but India denied it without a second thought

    sorry i think this was well thought out as it would have dire consequence with all partys in upa who court votes of a particular community….

  25. Prax December 8, 2008 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    i think we need laws in this country that truely make it secular somewhat like in goa or u will find more of that guys as more terror attacks will happen as liju said and more hindus blame it on that community as a whole….
    plus secular muslims need to wake up to and be counted and more importantly heard, and do something concrete to deal with the radicals of their community.

  26. Prax December 8, 2008 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    not just hindus let me rephrase more people

    plus i admire the attitude of the air hostess, as it takes a lot of courage to do what she did

  27. Nita December 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Nowadays I seem to reach posts pretty late, but well, I must say this is the best summary of the situation I have read so far. Good work Amit.

  28. soham December 9, 2008 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Hey ..

    It was a nice post ..

    But the part which I liked the most is ‘We the people’ .. I dont know why are we venting out our anger on politicians when we ourselves are not clean .. Politicians are not aliens from another planet .. They are among us , from us and by us ..

    There is a saying in Gujarati that ‘Jevi Praja, tevo raja’ (king is a mirror of people .. in our case king implies to politicians) ..

    And by the way, till now bomb blasts were taking place in the local trains, crowded markets and those nameless faceless middle and lower-middle class people were getting killed .. so no one was interested in coming out and speak but now it has reached rich and powerful people who reside in five-star hotels and suddenly we see this anger on politicians .. we indians are really very hypocrite and contradictory people .. but that is the beauty of being an Indian ..

    U might enjoy reading my new post on ‘why are we targetting only politicians?’ ..

  29. xylene December 9, 2008 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Good write up.
    Let see ‘the change’ for a change now !!!

  30. Oxy December 9, 2008 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    One stop junction of all the happenings, LIKE ALWAYS. If we get write-ups like yours, why do we need to watch TV.. 🙂

  31. ish December 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    It’s been horrible. And it’s hardly over. I wonder what Pakistan is trying to do in here by telling us that they’ve caught the LeT chiefs. Do they actually want us to believe that it’s true? Because it certainly doesn’t seem that way. These guys were wanted already and they never managed to catch them earlier. Ab US ne pressure daala toh ek dum se pakad liya? Seems highly unbelievable to me.

  32. Vijaya Bharat December 9, 2008 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Let us see. If something happens really, I will be very happy 🙂 I can’t be optimistic till some thing happens atleast once as I am really irritated by being optimistic and then someting happens which crashes my optimism.

  33. Amit December 9, 2008 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    @Dinesh : That guy who screamed at the airhostess was sensitive but he was completely illogical. It is such unchecked emotional outbursts which create a terrorist. Politicians really need to get their act right. We have told them quite clearly what we think about them.

    @Prax : I don’t think India will go to such an extend. Sadly, we are not capable of plotting to that extend. Sharpening our defences would be a better bet.
    Somehow I feel that no matter how hard the general public try or pressurize, the final button has to be pressed by a politician. Even now we are heavily banking on America to do something for us. Are we so much incapable in the international arena?
    I am actually sceptical that things will change in the long run or not. Terrorists always find new ways to attack. We need to be extra alert this time.

    @Nita : Thanks Nita.

    @Soham : Thanks. Its same to – Jaisa Raja waisi praja. Well, its painfully true.
    I think its not the people who were affected but the way in which the attack was conducted which angered everyone. We are so used to the basic modus operendi of Blasts that terrorists firing at people in railway stations and hotels was too much for anyone to digest. That was why the uproar was so visible. Everyone was shocked at this new form of brutality.

    @Xylene : Thanks.

    @Oxy : Err….I’ll take that as a compliment. 🙂

    @Ish : I was not sure whether Pakistan would take any action and even though they have supposedly done something, I am not sure whether to believe them or not. “Sher aaya” wali situation hai. I think its an “unbelieveble” country.

    @Vijaya Bharat : Hmmm..I understand your point.

  34. Prax December 12, 2008 at 3:24 am - Reply

    well amit
    i was just taking lessons from history and would like u to read about r n kow and how he ran his raw, and how he dealt with pakistan of the old , got the mukti bahini to be a force that finally lead to free bangladesh and how pakis were kept busy with their own internal problems like baltistan.

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