Sunday, November 29, 2009

Has anything changed ?

Today, as I sit down to write this piece – rather a clutter of my thoughts – I wonder what has really changed. What has changed after a bunch of terrorists descended on Mumbai and sprayed bullets indiscriminately, killing hundreds of innocents about a year back. Except the lives of kin of those killed and injured in the terror attack, has anything really changed? Our politicians’ attitude, our security system, our police force or government’s attitude? Anything? A two-minute silence in Parliament, usual warnings by our politicians that those responsible won’t be spared, candle light walks and compensation to the kin of deceased and injured. That’s it. Nothing else!

In last one year, I didn’t see any urgency among our politicians or entire government machinery to fight terrorism with iron fist. I didn’t see even any kind of shame in the eyes of our leaders who failed us again. How else can one explain the fact that seven Pakistanis simply walked in the financial capital of our country and spread terror at will? That there was no fear in their eyes while walking on our city roads and killing our top cops. Few misguided youngsters held a nation of over one billion people at ransom. Are we really a free and safe country?

I wonder what gave the terrorists so much courage? Is it the fact that they know that our government will never hit back? Or that Indians lives are very cheap? Or were they sure that our politicians will be too busy blaming each other and Pakistan to take any concrete action against the plotters? May be I am asking too many questions. But, all I can do is ask questions. Cause I want answers. In fact, everyone wants answers, and fast. Right from the Taj Hotel manager who lost his family in the terror attack to the little baby Moshe to the commoners hit by bullets at CST. We want to know why can’t we walk safe in our own country. We want to know why the culprits always go scot-free despite killing hundreds of Indians. We want to know why the politicians move around in Z-plus security even as commoners die in local train bomb blasts.

Will our government or administration be able to save us from such terror attack in future or rather how prepared we are to deal with such kind of situation? Considering the fact that prime accused in Parliament attack case Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist in Mumbai attack caught alive are still breathing and enjoying all the facilities in our jails, I don’t think we have any hopes. If our leaders had any kind of remorse or, rather, outrage they would have hanged both Guru and Kasab by now. But, here we are. Talking of democracy and justice. And, for whom? For the people who killed and maimed hundreds? Do they really have any human rights? Do we need a trial to prove that Kasab, who was caught on camera spraying bullets, has really killed anyone? Isn’t it a mockery of justice? Or rather a mockery of our entire Indian system in whole.

I just can’t live with the fact that the Indian government has spent over Rs 31 crore for keeping Kasab alive, so that he could be hanged latter! And, why is the government doing all this? To prove to the world that we are a true democracy and justice comes first for us. What a joke! Where was justice when the killer of Jessica Lal was let-off from the court for want of evidence? And when the law finally caught up with him, he got parole and was found in high spirits at a Delhi bar. There was no talk of fair justice when Bollywood star Salman Khan ran his car over few poor labourers in drunken state on Mumbai roads few years back. Or when prime accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots were made ministers in the UPA government. I can recount dozens of such incidents where the accused were let-off just because they were either rich or influential. If we don’t have any shame in supporting such worthless brats, then why are we ashamed of executing Kasab and Guru. Isn’t it the least that the government can do to give a stern message to the perpetrators of terror attacks, that we won’t tolerate such nonsense? And if anyone tries to harm our citizens, we will not blink an eyelid before executing the attackers?

But here Kasab has liberty to appeal against the fast track court judgement in the high court and latter in the Supreme Court too. And, if the Supreme Court too finds him guilty and decides to hang him, he can put mercy petition before our President. So now you can count the years or decades before Kasab actually gets death penalty for the gory crime he committed. And hilariously, if I may so, our Union home minister P Chidambaram says, “I am proud that Kasab will go through all the legal justice systems before receiving punishment rather than being tried in Kangaroo courts.” Don’t know whether to laugh or lament over such statement!

High time that the Land of Mahatma takes a lesson or two from Ramayana where Lord Rama too didn’t hesitate to pick up weapons and declare war against the demons so that the world could live in peace. After all, the great Mahatma too was a firm believer of Lord Rama. All that I and millions of Indians want is a safe life. Safety when we dine in our restaurants, stroll on city roads and travel by public transport systems. Safety when we watch movies and shop. Is that too much to ask? Ask any politician and he may probably say, yes!