In the Wake of the Mumbai Attack

It was extremely heart warming to see so many people rising in unison to help and reach out to the terror struck city of Mumbai. The NSG’s exemplary and efficient service in averting the loss of more lives and ending the brutal terror shall go down in the pages of history!

However, it was really shocking to hear that despite intelligence of suspicious activities through intercepted telephonic conversations coming in a week before the attack, barely anything was done to avert it. Even the stringent police-checking in the ‘hot-spots’ was removed a week before the attacks.

What was really disappointing to see in the end was the way the entire country has risen together against the politicians. Corruption has soaked into the political milieu, no doubt; but at the end of the day, a Government is definitely needed to oversee the functioning of the land.

Crass slogans, abusive posters lined the ‘peace’ marches. What one fails to comprehend about this is the blame game we so instantly jump into at the occurrence of trouble.

It has most definitely been a security lapse, a warning that went unheeded. But the public should also realize that we are the largest peninsula with an exploding population and an uncooperative public that follows neither rules nor regulations! And a Government, they say, is only as good as its people.

Most politicians start out in an uncorrupted, unblemished manner. People, in asking for little favours and by offering bribe, slowly begin teaching them lessons on how-to-earn-quick-money! Once the Money Monster has taken siege, slowly their moral fiber deteriorates. But again, putting every politician into this category is not fair.

What we, as people, must demand is not for politicians to resign or ask them to get out of the country; we must demand good security, efficient organization and honest running of the Government.

When even a seventy percent voters’ turnover is a rarity and half the educated India prefers their TVs to getting up to exercise their votes, what right does the public have to point fingers? As citizens, we always expect those in powers to do all the work while we laze at our homes. That is however, not the way any Government should function!

First and foremost, we need to exercise our votes, encourage deserving candidates. What we need are politicians totally committed to the cause, who are educated and experienced or at least one of the two! We do not need just two parties taking turns in occupying the throne. We need the best out there to rule us.

Why are we keeping quiet all along, not demanding basic rights and waking up ONLY when things go miserably and irrevocably wrong?

Why do we get blinded by popularity and charisma rather than talent and efficiency when we hand over the baton to a representative of the public?

Why do perks like free televisions and radios work with the masses when better civic system and health facilities never seem to matter?

We still put up with traveling by crowded buses, walking through drainage water weeks after the rains have come and gone, pay for overpriced auto rides, use empty plots as our garbage dump yards, spit on streets, urinate on walls AND we complain about inefficient corporations and slacked government officials!

We Indians really need to sit down and decide a thing or two. Governing a population of one-billion-and-counting is no mean task! And a bunch of a few hundreds at office can never really achieve anything if the rest of the population doesn’t cooperate, direct them and help them make the right choices.

Every human being is fallible. Society moulds him to minimize his faults and expose his goodness. We, on the receiving end of the world’s biggest democracy, have to demand justly and encourage the right people.

If we are not able to do that, there really is no way to put an end to this pointless and endless blame game.

”Ab Bhi Jiska Khoon Na Khaula, Voh Khoon Nahin Voh Paani Hai,
Jo Des Ke Kaam Na Aaye, Voh Bekaar Jawaani Hai“

(That which does not boil now, that blood is but a pitiful sham,
That which does not serve one’s nation, that is indeed a wasteful youth.)

(These lines have been written by Prasoon Joshi for Rang De Basanti, Supposedly inspired from Mahathma Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world”)

Sandhya Ramachandran
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