Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Watershed Moment?'; don't count on it . . .

A terrorist attack in our country which many have called the worst in history. For more than 60 hours, the whole nation was said to be in a nightmare. But the nightmare has just begun.

Many are calling this a watershed moment in our history. But the reality is different. In a few days, all will be forgotten because we are supposed to "move on". We are supposed to have a spirit of resilience. We are supposed to forget the fact that those pieces of scum merely walked into our country and took our people hostage and killed a lot of them mercilessly.

Oh yeah, let's blame the usual suspect. Politicians, police, and Pakistan. Of course, the home minister should resign. Of course, the government is weak on terror. Of course it's the intelligence failure.

People will denounce each other. Politicians will create a divide, and the families of those brave men and woman who lost their lives will look on with horror. Disenchanted with their country, with their leaders and with the people who inhabit this once great nation.

But we will still look on. We will still go back to living our lives. We will still play the blame game. We will still shrug and ask "Who shall we vote for?" and "What can a single person do?"

However, these excuses don't hold water. Throughout history, a single person has started movements which have changed the world for the better.If we don't like the people we vote for, we can at least demand they do something. If you are not a vote bank, you will be ignored. In our country, the educated masses watch helplessly as the people we elect to govern us pilferage and rape our country while we write editorials and shout on news channels.

Become a vote bank. Demand that our politicians either shape up or ship out.

We can look towards smaller countries like Indonesia and Nepal, who bought change. Change in a mostly peaceful manner.

We have seen that a large group of people can make a difference. Look at what happened in the Jessica Lal case. People stood together and each candle lit for Jessica was a candle lit for change and democracy.

Great nations are not built on blog posts, editorials or by waxing eloquence on news channels.

But, perhaps, the truth is that we aren't a great nation. Perhaps we are just a group of people, who reproduce like rabbits, and who are forced to live next to each other.

But when I look at those visuals of those brave policemen who went into a 21st century battle with 19th century weapons, not even blinking, I don't imagine they were of any religion or any caste. They were Indians. Those brave NSG soldiers didn't ask people for their caste before they rescued them. The brave hotel staff who gave up their lives, young and old, opening doors and taking bullets for their guests, did not think about getting TV time or about getting votes. Hidden amongst us, are people who unknowingly do heroic things. Without any hoopla. Without any expectations. Maybe that makes us great. Maybe that makes us a nation of people.

A bullet does not have any nationalty. A bomb does not kill members of a particular community. A terrorist does not discriminate between rich and poor.

No matter how much we deny or the excuses we make, we have a choice. A choice to make our government work for everybody. A choice to give value to each and every human life in a country of more than a billion.

We need to wake up and act now, otherwise, the terrorists will leave us incapable to do so.


Che said...

If only I had a penny for every time in last 3 days I was invited to join a community against terrorism, community for mumbai, community for peace, invitation forl ighting candles and what not, i would still be in deep shit but atleast i could afford a beer!

Over Rated said...

Well, I know. We do tend to go overboard with things. :P ..

But the beer sounds good .... I could sure use some right now ...

Abhishek said...

I am worried about that we have settled down in same post-blast routine.
and the talks last till the frenzy does, after that everyone will be back in the normal life, waiting for next one!
I don't drink beer also, what should I do?? :(