Mumbai Blasts and Armchair Patriotism on Facebook

Explosions in the country’s favourite city ensues knee-jerk ‘reactions’ on social media. Fits of armchair-keyboard patriotism are reflected everywhere. What suddenly gets fashionable is talking about Kasab/Afzal and blaming the government – the easiest one can do without the tiniest of research/understanding. The media is in a frenzy misinterpreting every single official press release: rabble-rousing at the time we need it the least. What follows is my understanding/response to whatever happened and is happening.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

A cliché beaten to death. Still relevant. Religious scriptures are misinterpreted and people are brainwashed. They think they have a cause. And they’re passionate about it. So much so that the desired ends justify every possible means. It’s incredibly easy to rationalize when you have a decent education and food in the belly. The root cause, as I understand, is the sheer volatility and inflammable sentiments of what we term ‘terrorists’. To me, they’re just a bunch of extremely passionate believers standing by their belief. Isn’t that exactly we are taught and we appreciate?

You’re no different.

They’re told that their ‘brothers’ (criterion: same religion) are being massacred. They react.

You see that your brothers (criterion: same country) are being massacred. You react. On Facebook.

It’s just that they’re ready to take a couple of steps more than us rational-in-our-AC-rooms intellectuals. But the root is the same. The volatility. The impatience. The urge to revenge. The tendency to club together individuals who happen to share nothing more than the same faith.

Killing Kasab/Afzal doesn’t solve sh*t. If at all, it’ll make matters worse.

I’m not justifying the inordinate legal delay. The protracted (lack of) prosecution is indeed shameful for the entire nation. But let’s move on and not crib about the same old thing. Can someone please explain what will killing them achieve? What message do we want to send across? And more importantly, TO WHOM? The to-be bombers? Let’s get a hang of the ground reality. Our stereotypical Mr. Terrorist doesn’t consume the media we do. For all we know, Mr. Kasab/Afzal might just be projected as ideals who made the ultimate sacrifice and who need to be idolized. What next, Mr. Facebook-status-updater?

War with Pakistan is not a solution. War is not a solution. To anything.

Does anyone understand the consequences? Does anyone even know how is a war started? On what grounds? Like Uncle Sam does? Go – bomb – affect civilians – destroy economy – destabilise region? I don’t know either. All I know is that it is more difficult, destabilising and detrimental than beating up an eve-teaser.

Acquired wit, Inherent Stupidity

I have special sympathies for people with status updates: ‘Kasab’s birthday, have a blast’. Trust me dude, you’re not funny. Escpecially when 500 people have posted exactly the same! At least make the minimum effort of validating. Kasab’s birthday was Sept 13 for the record. Plus, ramblings like India should have expected something like this is dumber than anything Digvijay Singh has ever farted. How I wish you had the ability to think!

For Lord’s sake, understand the meaning of a ‘secular state’.

What amazes me is the tendency to update ‘status’ in a fraction of a second spewing venom about a word one doesn’t even understand. Foremost, we are a secular republic only in theory. Officially we don’t have a religion and that’s everything we can boast about. Religion is involved on a daily basis on both macro and micro level. But I don’t want to even get started in that direction. What beats me is allusion to secularism-fathered impotence. Now, what’s being potent? Let’s have the balls to uneuphemise our life. It directly refers to seeing every Muslim in bad light just because the perpetrators have often belonged to that religion. Can any premise be any more flawed? Can we be any more prejudiced?

Varun Kumar Gupta

Varun Kumar Gupta, an alumnus of the prestiged XLRI Jamshedpur where he founded Writers INKorporated (WINK) – the writers’ club of XLRI. Presently, he’s making a living selling salty snacks and breakfast cereals at FritoLay’s, PepsiCo. A nut, an India-believer, a Sachin Tendulkar worshipper. A marketing maverick who when not procrastinating, writes at