The Apathy Bomb

We have seen how many people have died in the Jaipur blasts and the toll just seems to be rising. What is shocking, however, is that this is another in a long line of bomb blasts and terrorist attacks that continue to wreak our country. I am not concerned about what exactly happened, what the sequence of events was, what was the modus operandi or which terrorist outfit eventually claims responsibility for the reprehensible act. What I am worried about is the deteriorating state of security in the country.

It seems like no one is safe in any part of the country, anymore. Terrorists can strike anywhere, be it Mumbai or Bangalore or New Delhi or Jaipur or Malegaon or Samba. It is the civilian population, largely removed from the direct management of the state and its policies that bears the brunt of the terror. Fathers, mothers, children, a young sibling, and the sole breadwinner of a family – these are the kind of people who are affected by the attacks. And then, the very next day, politicians and administrators will sit in the safe and protected confines of the Big O and blame each other for the attack which no one wanted in the first place. This is exactly what is going to happen soon. The BJP and its allies will accuse the UPA government of being soft on terror. They will allege that POTA should be reinstated. Manhoman Singh will be accused of being a prime minister who is soft and does not stand up to the terrorists. Sonia Gandhi will be accused of fomenting sycophancy in the party unit and not giving two hoots about what is happening to the “common man”. The Opposition will try to project itself as the only combine that actually cares about the state of the commoners. The Speaker will try to maintain a semblance of decency in the House. And when that happens, the Opposition will protest and troop into the well of the House to disrupt the proceedings. And in the entire melee, the actual situation will be forgotten. The number of innocents who lost their lives prematurely will be forgotten.

The plight of those, who probably lost the sole breadwinner of their families, will be forgotten. Since the majority who are killed in a blast are those from the lower economic strata of the society, their lives are not worth taking into account- that’s exactly what follows after every such incident… Even today, it was the rickshaw-walas , hawkers and vendors, plying their trade in busy market areas, who were hit by the blasts. Unskilled and uneducated, if a rickshaw driver loses a leg or a hand, or maybe both, because of a blast, how will he earn his living? Will the state take the responsibility of raising his children, educating them and providing them jobs in the government sector? Will the state take care of his impoverished spouse in her old age? I am sure not. The government has announced a compensation of Rs five lakh for the kin of the people killed in the blasts and Rs one lakh for those who were injured. What kind of sick justice is this that enables our politicians to simply announce a measly compensation of five lakh rupees, trading it for a precious human life, and get rid of their conscience pricking them? Oh, I am sorry; politicians are widely reported as being conscience-less. Those who were injured in the Mumbai serial blasts of July 2006 were to be paid the same amount. And most of them have not yet received the money. They have to run pillar to post in their tragic condition to claim what is rightfully theirs. What is one lakh rupees to someone who has lost his/her limbs or eyesight or the sense of hearing? Medical expenses are constantly on the rise today and even a simple surgery costs more than a lakh. Perverted sense of justice, isn’t it?

People will continue dying, children will continue to lose their parents, and mothers will keep on losing their kids. But what will not be lost on the state will be the terrible injustice being inflicted on the population who are unjustly targeted for what the state did in the past maybe, or what policies are being pursued now. Another blast will come and go, but the sufferings of the populace will not come to an end.

Moonmoon Ghosh

[Image Source:]