Monday, December 15, 2008

From Darkness to Light

The dust has settled now and I thought it was over with me.

But I was in a restaurant in Kolkata and there was a loud noise. My heart skipped a beat and everybody present there was looking in the direction where a balloon got burst; with fear in their eyes. Then I realized that 26/11 terrorist attack was still living with me; and living with others.

So we were hit by another terrorist incident and this one was different from others. It was marked by the audacity of terrorists, and also the television coverage that they got because of it. For almost three days, entire India was glued to television.

This incident brought terrorism so near to common man. It is difficult to relate with a person blown by a bomb in the train, but the impact is much more when we discover the count of dead after three days of anxious wait on television. It is also not pleasant to know that terrorists can attack a family dining in a restaurant, or those sleeping peacefully in an obscure building.

I think the aftermath this time should be different. I hope we are really fed up of terrorism and we will not take it any more. But a voice inside me keeps murmuring; this reaction is because elites were hurt this time. I dismiss this as a vague thought and try to figure out why blasts in north east or Naxal attacks in interiors almost go unnoticed.

I also try to figure out why workers of the hotel were helping their guests amidst the attack; or how the GM of Taj was working for the safety of guests when he had himself lost his entire family. Can this ever be lure for money or promotion… I imagine what goes in the mind of a commando unit which knows that they might be sitting on a ticking time bomb. I salute them all and envy their love for their job.

I hope that sooner or later we will find a solution for this menace, but I still do not know what it shall be. I get irritated by people who keep on repeatedly stating ‘we must something about it’. I also do not like those who feel that ‘hot head’ is the solution for everything.

Winston Churchill once said that democracy is the worst form of governance, but it is better than all other forms ever tried; and I cannot agree more. I know that we will have to and we should live with our democracy, though choosing the right representatives remain our job.

I also do not understand how attacking Pakistan is going to help us. Though we will have to pressurize Pakistan to deliver but turning into another Iraq (and this one with nukes) by destabilizing it can be more dangerous. At the same time we also have to find answer to the homegrown Sadhwi Pragyas and the likes of Indian Mujahideans.

When all this was happening, I felt a rage inside me. But in a calm mood, I feel blessed that I am in government service and work for my country. In case you are naive like me and do not know what should be done now, just work for this country.

Let us take it from darkness to light; and that can only be done with a calm mind


Shoonya said...

Hi Anurag,
I also believe that the 'hot head' is not a solution. But India has tried the diplomacy options on the issue. There were enough evidences given to international organizations on the issue of 'Pakistan breeding terrorism'. And it is happening from a long time. This 26/11 is just a 'high profile' case generating more media coverage. I wonder what more can indian diplomacy do.
I think the problem is, nobody seems to be accountable in pakistan. There is a government, but i am not sure if it has the rights of governance. If i remember the facts correctly, LeT was banned after Parliament attack in 2001, It's leaders were 'house arrested', but they still managed to do more damage. I fear the history may repeat itself.
There will be investigations, Pakistan will face international pressure, do something. India will also do something, The convicts will be tried in courts, The supreme court will provide justice in due time, and we will have petitions for forgiving Mohammad Azmal Amir (ala Mohammad Afzal).
And we will salute our 'spirit' that everything is back to normal !

Saagar said...

An eye for an eye leaves the world blind. But if you wait and lose both the eyes and the same thing happens to everyone else, the world is still blind. I still remember a poem from my childhood which goes something like this..
And then they came for Jews, I was not a Jew and so I let them go on along with others, And then they came for Christians.. and so on.. And then they came for me, but by now, there was noone left to help me and since I was alone, I was helpless.

As long as we have internal communal divides that makes our own citizens helps foreigners invade our country in these ways and strike terror in our minds, there isnt much any one can do.

So if no one asks what can be done, how will the problem get solved, Staying quiet obviously doesn't solve the problem. Something has to be done, war is not a solution but staying quiet isnt either...

ammu said...

I agree wid sagar that sitting idle is not an option ,the law and order system has to be strengthened, but there is also need for radical change in political leadership.Its very unfortunate that youngster are today opting for civil services but hardly anyone widout any political backup is entering politics.

Anurag Srivastava said...

@Shoonya: I agree with you, but I missed something or you also did not spell out any solution. I feel that India does not have many options other than it is already exploiting. Pakistan can explode if disturbed and that can be much more harmful for India. Lets make India stronger for the time being, at least I do not see many alternatives to that.

@Saagar: Of course we must seek a solution, but lets not get carried away. I think pressure must be applied and it must be in the right direction.

Assembly election results also show that people are getting mature on such issues as jingoism did not stand in comparison to the developmental issues.

I hope that we will find a solution, but for the time being the corner of the world where we can easily make the change is our own country.

@ammu: Have a look at

Shoonya said...

Yes, i also did not provide any solution. In fact at this moment, i do not know what is the solution. But saying no to politics and politicians is definately not the solution as our media was saying. I am proud of being a citizen of the largest democracy of the world.

I have an observation. I do not know, if many agree with me though.
But my observation of indian history (post independence) says that as we have progressed by educating ourselves.
We have started knowing about our rights, and media has a big part in it.
We are aware of our rights, and question each and every process which fails to provide us our basic rights.
While this is excellent; i think in this development, we conveniently forget about our duties.
If we perform our duties towards a democratic country. I think, we will not need to curse our leaders at every crisis point.

For example, during the mumbai attacks; I am sure there must be some person, who could have got the hint about what is going to strike mumbai within an hour or so.
Its fairly impossible for them to come and spread havoc in a crowded city without anyone getting a clue beforehand.
But as it always happens, either because of fear or 'why should i get into this trouble' / 'it is not my job' thinking; we could not prevent the loss. If not prevent, i am sure it could have been minimized. Please note that i am not denying the failure of our intelligence and our leaders. I am just looking from a different perspective.

And yes, i again do not know, how can i get people to perform their duties. For start, i can perform my duties first, and hope that the world follows !!

Satish T J said...

Have anyone considered autonomy to be a solution ? If LOC becomes a IB then any intrusion will enable India to consider it as a attack on its sovereignty .

adarsh singh said...

How about unification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh???? Delicious thought, aint it??

JULIE said...

Anurag--I have always wondered: was religion meant to unite or divide.
Happy New Year---as happy as the world might let us be.

Satish T J said...

Julies statement has made me irresistable to comment .

Religion was always and is a instrument in the hands of rich ( burjwa) to control the actions of poor( prolitariate) . SO Religion was devise to divide and not unify .