Blog Past: Mumbai 26/11

I wrote this on December 1 last year:

There is a palpable sense of outrage and fear in people – outrage because of the failure of the politicians and bureaucrats to prevent such attacks, and fear because there is no guarantee that this will not happen again somewhere else in India in the next few months (or weeks). There is also a tremendous sense of Pride at the armed forces – whom we saw in live action through the days. Put it all together, and these mixed feelings create a restlessness within. That’s why it is not like previous times. This time, it is different. And if out of this, we finally get a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, then those 195 deaths will not have been in vain.

How wrong I was. A year on, how little things have changed. The same state government, the same Home Minister in that government. The CM then was put in the Union Cabinet. The Union Home Minister then is probably going to be a Governor soon.

41 thoughts on “Blog Past: Mumbai 26/11

  1. It is a sad state of affairs. But what do you expect, when 34% of the adult population is classed as illiterate (as of 2007)? Hopefully the demographic trend over the next decade would result in changes in the political sphere as well…

  2. Not just public memory but public stamina is also short lived. Following 26/11, Sita Ram Yechuri in a prog on NDTV said, “Its no good burning candles & holding placards and saying that we politicians are bad…we sacrificed our professional careers to do our bit “I think he was right…where are all those professionals who work in posh & plush offices, who came out on the streets just after 26/11 condemning politicians ? The same happened in London before NATO invaded Iraq. Scores of people gathered at Hyde Park holding banners & placards saying “No war in my name” & perhaps the following day got busy with their regular lives. Change demands tremendous perseverance & courage which can not be born out of intellect. Can any comparisons be made between the modern campaigners & the struggle of Emily Davison ? (11 October 1872 – 08 June 1913) an activist for British women’s suffrage. She burned the house of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. When she was asked in a public meeting why did she do it. She replied, ” He was not listening” & there was a huge applause. Later, Emily stood in the way of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby & died a few days later in the hospital. Derby Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_r6-JpO9Q&NR=1
    Why did she bother ? Just to highlight her struggle & secure voting rights for women in Britain. Of course many such examples can be given in the Indian context too which have shaped the present that we live in.
    There is nothing like Political Will it is the Public Will that creates a nation’s destiny. People in the modern world want change without much pain & suffering… What do you expect from a generation of remote controls & push buttons ? The upgrading or reinstating of Maharsthra’s ministers is a slap across the face of the public and specially the people who came out on the streets.Battling governments has never been easy. I guess people who start calculating ROI etc should never start braving governments in the first place. Its a battle of will & wits…..Are the people prepared ? I don’t think so !…….
    So they should continue to be governed by the government that they deserve…

  3. >> there is no guarantee that this will not happen again somewhere else in India in the next few months (or weeks).

    Most importantly, things have improved, ruling government is on top of most affairs, PM is traveling to further countries interests, and jealous Hindu politics were shown their real worth. The unlikelihood of your prediction turned out good for the country. Unfortunately I never came across one, who could tell in substance why the pseudo right wing politics are good, be it.

  4. I am so glad you started this discussion.
    In the 70’s and80’s and mumbai was so safe. It is difficult to imagine that so much happens there—terrorist attacks, Raj Thakare caused attacks, and still when I speak to my friends there ,they are as happy and content as can be. I grew up there but cannot imagine to do it with my kids.
    Is there no value and conideration of human life at all? And what do you consider quality of life?—Just that have a maid, driver and can take multiple vacations abroad. I guess most will say yes. You have no say in who governs you, what they build next to your house, how clean is your air. mumbai-ite will get angry if he suffers a personal damage and will not be able to do anything as no one will support him and his cry will die out. Well, if we unite from inside and out we may be able to do something.

  5. I absolutely agree with your views that how little the scene has changed.

    We have elected the same government again and most importantly have the same home minister again. God Forbid, if something of this kind happens again, what are we going to face?

    I always feel that Indian people have become immune to all the dangers and troubles in life. All of us have become so self-centred that we are the least bothered about our neighbours or the things going on around us. It is just enough that i have a job, two square meals a day, good education for my children and a roof over my head. Thats It!!

    And this is exactly the attitude which is taking us back and creating a rot in the society. Why can’t we for once think above all these things and set about to make our country a more better place to live.

    Why do we wait for the other person to take the first step?

    There are so many questions and more arising each day. What are we going to do?

    Like i always say “Mera Bharat Mahaan” . i just hope at some point of time, we can all forget our petty issues and get somethings done. Then and then only can we be really Mahaan.

  6. >>”What do you expect from a generation of remote controls & push buttons ?”

    May be some cool technology that will stop terrorists from attacking our country and city….

    I admire the people who stood for the causes they beleived in, faught for it and sacrificed their lives doing so.

    We may need people like those even today but what may work better is more people working to develop technologies that will releive us from our social problems.

    Innovation and Entrepreneurship can work better in today’s world than political campaigns.

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