Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deciphering the rising emotions

I know. The heinous terrorist attacks on Mumbai happened a week ago, and maybe like the indifferent Indian politicians, I should let go. But I can’t. Not until I share what I have been thinking, hearing, and debating. The Indian world is upsurge with emotions: anger, depression, shock, frustration, resentment, and melancholy.

I see fingers being pointed and defensive arguments occupying our daily conversations. Most of the world, not privy to the historic religion-based chaos in South Asia, fails to understand the ongoing sentiments. I am a big believer in the political faux pas brought about by Gandhi (notice how I deliberately didn’t add “ji” to his name. In my eyes, he lost all respect the day I figured out the history of Indian independence), Nehru, and Jinnah. For their own ulterior, selfish motives, they divided the nation. They are dead, and look at what the rest of us are facing.

The next day after the attacks, a very dear Pakistani friend of mine called to check on me—to see if my family and I were alright and if everything was fine between him and I. He knows I am emotional and just wanted to make sure. I told him blatantly that I wish I was an Indian commando saving lives, and I suspect his government (if you heard the interview with one of the terrorist, you would too) but not every Pakistani citizen. He is a friend first. His faith and nation don’t make a difference to me. I am no God’s gift to mankind, and I am definitely not trying to toot my own horn, but I wonder if everyone thought my way—just for that day. I doubt it. Few of my Muslim friends, Indian and Pakistani alike, have faced prejudice after every terrorist attacks. These are moderate, peace-loving (like the rest of us) Muslims, who are adorned with suspicious looks just because of the extremists from their realm of faith. Mumbai Muslims have refused to bury the body of the terrorists in their cemetery. How much more they need to prove?

Having said all of the above, but I also understand that in times of calamity, we humans look for an anchor. Someone to pass on the blame on to. Education, sensibility, reasoning, and rationale break all humane boundaries. Sikhs were targeted after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Hindus were targeted after Babri Masjid havoc, Arabs and Arab looking men were targeted in the US after 9/11. Were these hate crimes justified? I personally denounce them. The entire community shouldn’t have to pay for the few miscreants.

The other day, someone asked me, “Why does the Indian government denounce Pakistan?” I said, “Why did the American government mispronounce Iraq as Eye-rack and blame it for trouble everywhere?” It is my belief that India doesn’t refer to Pakistani citizens when it holds Pakistan accountable for these crimes; it condemns the Pakistani government’s support of terrorism or harboring of terrorists. It is similar to the American government’s stance on Afghanistan and Iraq. I don’t think the US holds every Afghanistani or Iraqi responsible for mayhem in the world; just the government’s supporting it.

So, where am I going with this blog? I don’t know. I want answers from the Indian politicians. The CM of Maharsthra then, Vilasrao Deshmukh, never once consoled the people of Mumbai, but soon after things calmed down, he was seen entering the Taj along with his actor son, Ritesh Deshmukh and producer/director, Ram Gopal Varma. That’s when I get angry and shocked. I am frustrated with the Indian media’s unprofessional portrayal of India and their insolent coverage. Amazing, TAJ hotel got maximum reporting because the rich and the famous hangout there while CST was conveniently ignored. Poor lives don’t matter as much as the socialites of Mumbai? The Indian commandos who died in the line of duty, I salute them, and I truly believe India is honored by their martyrdom. But I feel melancholic that the few Indian officials, who cared, are now deceased.

It makes me proud that New Yorkers haven’t forgotten or forgiven 9/11 or the lives lost that day. Our desi “It’s okay,” attitude and tendency to forget isn’t acceptable anymore. Resilience is one thing; callousness towards human life is another. Just because you didn’t lose a dear one in the Mumbai attacks, doesn’t give you the right to accept and move on. Every single day of our lives, we should remember what happened to Mumbai and to the brave hearts that died saving it. This would honor the lives lost and perhaps make us stronger and less vulnerable as a nation.

Without killing, it’s time we Indian citizens took matters in our own hands and showed some solidarity. We should focus on the bigger picture—the safety and security of our future because clearly our incompetent government won’t do anything about it. You’d think the parliament bombing in 2001 and 2002 would have taught them something. But has it?

More until next time.

Copyright © 12.04.2008

"The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Buddha


Anonymous said...

this is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

"Mumbai Muslims have refused to bury the body of the terrorists in their cemetery. How much more they need to prove?"

did not Know about. wow!

Prasant Naidu. said...

We either vote or don't vote to form we are the bigger terrorist!!. In your last blog u did mention that US has the security protection for the people in terms of Marines,FBI etc... but i don't think no one can stop a person who is ready to die.Yes in India the difference is that we take 10 hours to call the NSG and the elite force..
Love your transition of thoughts in your blog.
Keep posting.

Gautam said...

This is too funny.6-7 parts on you tube

Stuti Datanwala said...

This is very well written and thought provoking. I agree with your statement on covering TAJ incident that we did not bother to sanitise CST after the attack, that after one week we found a bag of 8kg RDX bomb which if would have blast would have taken thousnads of lives and ofcourse CST structure.

Stuti Datanwala said...

One more point you have rightly highlighted about Mahatma Gandhi. We call him Mahatma or Father of Nation but yes because of him both the nations are suffering. This is wound given by him which is not healing since 60 years and becoming and will become more painful.

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