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!


Young Turk said...

Its a well written piece of writing. The questions that you ask are valid too. I guess we as citizens are not much proactive to demand answers from our government. One aspect is that we can not just blame the government for all the politics that is carried out in the name of religion, caste, community which eventually leads to events like delays in punishing perpetrators of terror attacks and communal riots. If we examine carefully, i feel that more than the politicians, it is the bureaucratic administration of the country needs to be revamped and overhauled. And the need of the hour is also to sensitize people to not further deepen divisions of caste and religion in an already divided country. And as a media person you can create empowerment and sensitization through your writing! Keep it up!

Meenu said...

badhiyaa lekhakji..lage raho..

Rajesh said...

Hi Tushar!

As usual, you are emotionally attached to your thoughts, job and our beloved country INDIA.

If there were many more Tushars to challenge the Governments to create better, more secure and safer environment to live in...!

Dr Rajesh Khajuria

Robin David said...

You know what Tushar, I am not sure anybody even knows how terror can be fought with an "iron fist". If governments start using this so called iron fist, you will not have a free-flowing democracy like you do right now which allows you to freely pen this blog. Those who use the iron fist are generally extremely paranoid and the first thing they do is take away basic freedoms of a citizen. I also find the term "iron fist" extremely vague which can be interpreted any which way you want. That is no way of fighting terror. Julio Rebeiro had once told me the only way to fight terror is to get the people on your side. Shrink the support base of these terrorists and make it increasingly difficult for them to operate. I though that made sense. What do you think?

deartush said...

Hi Robin boss. You r right about the word and concept called 'iron fist'. I agree that one's basic freedom is taken away when strict steps are taken, but then there has to be some strong action somewhere. Why USA didn't have a single terror attack since 2001 while India had plenty of them - with many more to come? Their citizens accepted strict security measures by will or force as they knew that it was for their good. All I want to say is that some strong action has to be taken instead of just paying lip service and the usual "We won't tolerate terrorism".

Cross-border terrorism has to stop as it is the common man who is dying in heaps. We can't just let people die in the name of freedom. So, we should at least take some steps to show that we are willing to fight terrorism. But, the government doesn't even show this basic willingness and instead keeps running to international community to put pressure on Pakistan...

rajnish said...