Just a Page in a History Textbook

26/11 should have been a day that changed us as politicians, businessmen, teachers, students, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and especially as human beings. It should have changed the way we looked at life and all that is important to us. Instead, hundreds took to blogs, Twitter and the media with a vengeance to make a lot of noise – the same as you and me right now but failed to channel it into action.

How dare I make such a statement? How dare I be so holier than thou?

It is not my place to belittle the authorities or to tarnish the memories of the loved lost ones. It isn’t your place to write about an event that took away so much from so many and affected you in no way whatsoever. It is however, our place to recognize that we have failed as a nation and as human beings by not asking the right questions at the right time.

For all the hype that followed, especially because the elections drew nearer, how many of us chose to act? If indeed we meant those angrily determined words that poured forth from every radio, television, newspaper and text message, why was the voters turn out as low as it was? Why do politicians still get away with violations and misconduct? And who, dear reader, panders to their ego by giving up on finding a way to make these leeches accountable?

Naïve and idealistic of me, isn’t it?

Hundreds of people – innocents – died and we lived only to stand in obedient silence for a minute to honor their memories. The manager of the Taj and a woman named Kia Scherr lost their families but overcame the tragedy to do something about it.

Naïve and idealistic of them, isn’t it?

Life, a demanding mistress and a nagging wife, has moved on. It isn’t just, it isn’t fair and she doesn’t wait around for us to catch up with her – something the politicos still don’t realize because as long as you rake in the moolah, gown yourself with 2.5 kgs of gold and employ 75% of the NSG commandos to protect them from the same masses they swore to protect, reality is a distant dream. An example would be the delinking of terror from the bilateral talks with Pakistan, even as an increasingly aggressive China uses the U.S to mould a docile India.

This is not a post about 26/11 and her martyrs (May their souls rest in peace). This is not a post about those who were left behind to cope in a world that likes to call itself humanitarian on just the anniversaries of events that should have shattered its conscience.

What we have failed to see is that those boys with the guns chose to act on our inactivity; and for the fundamentalists, they are heroes only because they chose to act. Our heroes are gone. Our heroes gave up the one most precious thing – life – so we as human beings were redeemable. But we have failed them because we have forgotten the terror, the utter disbelief, the blood and the rage of frustration and have settled for remembering a date to honor our promises of never forgetting.

Manita Deo

[Image courtesy:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/dharmesh84/148111309/]