Just another day, after wrapping up dinner and putting the days spoils away we faced the cancer of our country, yet again.
Only on this occasion we could not shy away thinking, terrorism affects the plebian. We, who frequent the seven star lobbies for our coffees and tete-e-tete were immune.As Bombay turned into Kashmir and Assam, we watched, without grasping immediately the reality knocking at out doors.Many went to sleep thinking the dawn with wipe away the blasts and grenades of the night before and the celebrated spirit of Bombay would once again be, well, celebrated.
But it went on to the point when each one of us were left with no choice but to accept the actual state of the world and our homeland.
Years ago when Nehru was foiling his ambitions to become the Prime Minister and garnered the idea of Pakistan, the benign tumour turned into cancer. With decades that followed, it grew, spread and finally metatesised to it's current state.
Today news spells sensationalism, many have complained of the live telecast of the holocaust claiming it aided the terrorists to battle on. Yet, if we step back, can we actually honestly claim that we were unhappy with the second by second updates? It was like PS 300, adventure but with little or no risks.
We all say we need answers, for the politicians callousness, the NSGs delay, the inadequately armed police, the dated bullet-proof jackets. But do we know about the Instrument of Accession? Does the geography lessons in school maps the true geographical boundaries of Kashmir, differentiating the Indi-Pak-China occupation within the state? We all know about the Cargill war, but do we know of its coordinates? Do we know whether the Babri Masjid is in Ayodhya or Lucknow? The water disputes of the Indus River Basin between India and Pakistan?
Frankly we dont care. We care only as long as we are TOLD to care. As long as it is in the news, we read, talk, debate. Once it ceases to be there, we forget, and distract ourselves with the next Friday release giving Raj and Bal Thackareys a playing ground.
With the information available at the click of a button, this is a very do-able task,yet when Barkha and Prannoy stop talking about it so shall we.
Terrorism is a religion, a very strong one. For every Partition there will be a 1947 war, 1971 and a Cargill. For every Cargill there will be plenty of Babri Masjid and Mumbai riots and blasts, and for each such there will be a Godhra and a 26/11. Each giving rise to thousands of Qasabs.
To talk of India being a super power, due to its market potential and nuclear capability is as laughable as imagining Ritchie Rich as the next IMF chief. Unless the emotional maturity of the nation is nurtured we will continue to live amidst todays times. Only perhaps, India would become a Terror-Tourism state, after being declared amongst the top 20 most dangerous countries to visit.
It is a small step to sanity when the collective asks for accountability, and the Central and State Ministry takes blame.
But, are we not to be accountable at all? If we stop flouting laws a little less, care a little more then we can make a difference.
If we dont, the Rang- De Basanti movement is not too far away, when democracy after 6 decades of molestation would give way to vigilante and finally anarchy.
Let us remember 26/11, with shame and failure, and not as a faraway memory of the time when we were glued to the television for 60 hours.If you care, reject sensation, be sensible and proffer accountability and awareness. The passing of the buck clearly does not work here, we have done this for 60 years and it did not serve us well
A last word, remember we did not need a fully declared war, just a few well armed men to bring the nation to its knees.
Remember this, and remember this well.