Saturday

Mumbai, Maximum city - What next?

I have been alone at home for the last 59 hrs and have been weeping
by myself. I feel outraged, sad, brutalized, shocked, gutted deeply with wounds and have many questions unanswered.

The Taj in so many ways signified my growing years in Bombay - was and is, a symbol of grace, dignity, magnificence which will rise from the ashes and will be rebuilt am sure!

Taj Mahal Colaba and the grand old lady VT station are our pride, beauty spots of global recognition. They have undeniably stood the test of time , weather, mal- usage, and reached heritage status today. Both these structures are set in the minds of everyone who belongs to the city, irrespective of whether you were born here or came to build a life here. When a heritage structure is showered with gun fire then it feels like an attack on the person! I felt like that.

Will we find a way to resolve this- - that is what is scaring me. Will we soon suffer from short memories and move ahead in life with this being, yet another chapter forgotten in the past?

Remember how outraged we were when we got to know that our soldiers did not have proper shoes when they went to fight Kargil? I have felt for them then, even got mentally disturbed and outraged then, but soon forgot about Kargil because it didn’t impact my life directly. Bombay is where we grew up, we breathe freely here, have seen childhood to adulthood here, seen happiness here and today mayhem

Today - I am enraged that how dare these dirty politicians question our soldiers getting 24eggs in a month! The same soldiers who come to Bombay as NSG & Marine Naval Commandos. To save us and protect us. And these politicians dare question that they get 24 eggs a month?! Why don’t we question these politicians and ask them why does NSG have to be based in Delhi? Don’t the Government have a moral task of safeguarding lives everywhere in the country? Is the Home Ministers life more important than the ordinary citizens life in Bombay? Should the NSG not be spread across the country for safeguarding and for security and God forbid never again for swift action too?

I am hopeful we will do something and not forget this time, the cruel hand of terror played in our city. I just know it in my guts we will not forget this lesson soon.
Just don't know what we will do to not forget, yet, though…

Maybe like all strategies the answer is staring us between the eyes and its not complicated a thought at all ! Maybe the answer is the most obvious – citizen vote bank! If we as citizens don’t have a citizen representation in the vote bank of governance in the country – through politics — then we absolutely don’t stand a chance to make anything correct! Then public memory will indeed live to be short...

If we want this crap to end, if we want terror to be finished, crisis management to be well handled, Intelligence systems to be well in place then we need to have a citizen’s vote bank! This once I want this terror crap to be the last.
I will personally persuade, direct, beg, plead, make reason and ensure everybody within my world votes! And makes sure their voice is heard!

Its now time for action – enough of words
I am totally for POTA to be revived right now! We need to move that machinery soon. How come no more terrorist acts have happened after 9/11 in USA? So can it be here too - provided we know what it takes to make it happen

Let's ensure we have a good acting responsible govt that knows
how to lead, govern & look after the nations interests

My heart will continue to bleed seeing Taj burn as long as the TV keeps flashing those images:(

For what it's worth, we need to speak up and now. Elections are round the corner lets be prepared to be heard. We need to rally in support of a War on Terror. We need to mobilize our world of family and friends to support the right leaders (am sure there are good young leaders there) by electing them resoundingly through our votes. And they in turn have to promise to flush out the terror training camps, irrespective of the soil they are on. If that leads to war, let us be mentally prepared- are the happenings in Bombay any short of war?

Lets nomore be called a city of tenacious people who jump back to normalcy all too quickly. Lets not be told how spirited we are. Let me tell you its not spirited at all, it is a desperate need to make money to feed those mouths at home that makes us go to work the next day. Its to earn a living! We are deeply indifferent as long as terror doesn’t touch our lives directly!

My friend Summerflower said, seeing things in her office, the branch head is singing songs out loud and a colleague thinks it's amusing to crack jokes with reference to the tragedy – so can this be spirited? Resilience? Or indifference?

Over the last 15 years we as a city have witnessed too much maybe therefore it leaves us cold if a few 100 die its just another day! Let it be the riots of 1992 or bomb blasts of '93, or the flash floods or the train blasts or the Gateway of India blasts and now this...any other city would by now would have torn itself apart and rebuilt a protection wall around itself. But we continue to break down even the thin walls that are barely surviving no thanks to us, and marvel at politics of the words and politicians make merry on politics for the vote bank! And the moron public like Mee cannot tell that we’ve been had not once, not twice, but so many many times!

Despite the 13 serial blasts in 1993 our city remained united. The
citizens could have easily relived the '92 riots, going at each others
throats in the name of religion. But no matter what these terror
elements tried to do, they could not break this city's unity. People
went out of their way to help others at times of crisis...never
did they ask "which region/caste/religion/country do you belong
to?" So who is creating the frisson here I ask you? The Politicians.

Incidentally for those who may not know there is an interesting story about how the Taj came into existence. The founder was not let into a plush south Bombay hotel because he was an Indian! So he went on to build India's first 5 star. Reason for each of us to be proud of our heritage.

I don't mean to offend anyone, it's just that I'm tired of calling our
coping mechanisms "resilience" when it is nothing but just truckloads
of sheer helplessness at being held at ransom every time...

I am sick of hearing abt our resilience n spirit n crap like tat
it is bull shit at it's best Part of it is sheer necessity n part of it is the need to move ahead It is all forced!! how can it ever be resilience?!

Lets wake up and ACT. Let this not be forgotten, because if we do, then we deserve the future we get. But we want a future which is prosperous, bright, economically powerful, and most importantly we want to be part of a harmonious peaceful community.


Lets all vote, lets get others around us to vote, register online if you are not a voter yet! http://www.jaagore.com/

I hope and pray now our leaders will not fail us in rooting out this terror
My sincere gratitude to the brave hearts of our forces. Sincere homage to those who lost lives in this senseless battle over the last 3 days. The war has come down to the street we live on. And it would be a crime to hold our silence. This was the last straw that broke our backs!

In grief and hope we must act and vote. That is the only way we can bring sanity to our country and make sure we have a government that knows what effective leadership must do. Protect the country at all costs!

22 comments:

ashish said...

Yes, enough is enough and we got to make those people scrambling for vote banks pay for this dastardly act - it wasn't just an attack on Bombay, it was an attack n the integrity of our country!I promise to vote!

melinda said...

Karkare, Salaskar, Unnikrsihnan, and how many more armed forces of ours will we lose to senseless terror!?! These terrorists were determined to destroy our city. Will we allow them? Shld we let them off? what shld we be doing? Yes sure vote, yea- but where are the good leaders? ! Who do u vote for? Congress? BJP? These are not accountable parties at all!

mathatheist said...

A big hug. My view on http://bystanderdiaries.blogspot.com

sheila said...

Pressure on govt is increasing. The impotent home minister has quit, the nsa chief has quit, vilasroa must quit. Rr patil shld be sacked unceremoniously!! And time for some clean up and good leadership!!

Anon said...

As citizens we need to definitely make our voices heard. This terrorism reigns here because we ignore the warnings and then forget the aftermath. This once let's definitely keep the anguish alive and most definitely vote to create a movement that this country desrves better!! Yes we do!! Terror will not have the final word!!Runa

Raj said...

Personal agendas of politicians must stop! Intelligence system cannot collapse. The sanctity of our country is under threat?! When wuill we address these systemic problems? When will politicians own up and deliver their promises to us citizens? Time this damn politicians were held accountable. And yes lest we forget this outrage. We all need to make an oath and vote to have the best leaders at the helm!!

Shvetal said...

Yes, enough is enough. But the sad part is that we keep saying this after each such event. We get emotional and give these long lectures to one and all, start bashing our politicians and after a few days, a Ramu or a Dutta will make a very emotional film glorifying the men in olive and we will fill great about this. To the extent that the reason behind the incident is forgotten.

Today if Shivraj Patil has quit and may be Deshmukh and RR Patil may get the boot too, what will we get? A replacement that is as bad as the first? What are Chidu's credentials in the home and security department that makes him the choice of today? So we have someone who by sheer glib of gab could fool everyone to say that the economy was doing good and he has been doing a good job even when the stock market was crashing and jobs were dissappearing, will now make us believe that we are all safe and we will believe him?

The fact is that we need reforms at the constitutional level. Let people contest for positions only and not for a mere seat in the loksabha. So Chidu can contest for Finance minister and nothing else. If the country feels he is the right FM, he will get voted else booted. Let Advani stand for post of PM. If the country feels he is the right PM, he will get voted else he should be out. And most important, there should be a non-of-th-above option on the ballot card and if this option gets the max votes, all those contesting are disqualified and fresh candidates are found. Parties are redundant in politics.

Most important, we must take more active part in the process than mere bashing.

RavneetSingh said...

I am uto my eyeballs tired of hearing that there is not enough money to buy modern equipment for armed forces.

Politicians declare crores of assets in election times, just a fraction of that wealth should do the trick....

How come none of us wonder, where all the riches have come from? Nobody started off rich- for sure!

Any answers?

sanjiv said...

How do we fight such hate? How do we inject humanity into such monstrosity? How do we convince those who think they kill in god's name that no God would condone such barbarity? How do we maintain our own values and humanity when faced with such hate and provocation?
We should not allow anybody to divide us as a Nation! Think togetherness, think solidarity.

Neelu said...

I always vote, but at this point, I can't see a single beacon of hope among the bunch of incompetent, self serving buffoons who govern our state and our country.

to whom do we turn?

Sonu said...

agree with all you say. and more...

gita said...

I have never seen such positive energy generated out of any previous such attacks. Maybe this is the final straw that broke the camels back indeed! But all will be reduced to naught if we each dont act and just talk. I agree we need to vote and elect the right leaders. But I think in addition we need to ensure these wounds caused by this hienious dastardly terrorist attack does not heal soon! We need to feel the wounds deep an we need to hurt more, because with that grief we will be able to as a nation make a difference. Lets unite and make that difference. Lets create a redevolution of new age India..an India that defies all terror and an India that stands tall and dignified in the name of conniving elements trying to divide our country on the basis of religion and sex and what not.

Can we vote?
Can we educate more people on the value of voting?
Can we see reasons behind the politics in our country?
Can we be better read and better informed?
Can we stop bribing the policeman ?
Can we not buy cinema tickets in black?
Can we conduct business with transparency and ethics?
Can we pay respect to our elderly?

Lets start small , each of these steps will lead to a new India of power and dignity minus the ills and corruption and dirty politics!

Anon said...

We could not control those who came on a boat, but can control those who come through vote. Please Vote to elect your leadership this Elections!!ADITI

Shweta said...

I read this somewhr on the net yday!" No matter how corrupt your moral sense, how contorted your view of the world, how vapid and inarticulate your ideas, how talentless you are and how exaggerated your grievance, an obsessive audience will watch your every move and turn you into what you most want to be, just before your death"- isn't that what we did? Yes we did right!I do not have an opinion on that nor do I know what we must do next, all I know is our guts have been wounded, we have been attacked, we need to find a way to retaliate. With brain power. Not brawn. Yea so maybe the solution is voting. But vote who? Is BJP any btr or worse than Congress?! One worser party thsn the other. We do not have aprty whose first interests are the countrys interest. Does India have hope any hope? The terrorists probably are within the country and not outside- isn;t that an irony!?!

Anon said...

Hey has anybody thought of this- am sure you guys have. We can move ahead with some action I think - lets get professional! We know we cannot deal with terror so lets invite the SAS, or the Commandos from USA or ISreal or wherever. Let those specialists take charge of the anti-terror wing of the nation for a couple of years. They lead, they take decisions, we follow and learn, as simple as that. Sounds ballistic crazy? Not really. Dont we have many MNC's being run by such CEOs? So why shy away from having them run our Intelligence or whatever? Hurts to think like that doesn't it:( - so whr is the solution:( - RK

john said...

I am indeed very sorry for what happened in Mumbai Mee. My heart goes out to all that you have said. Unpardonable indeed! I wish and hope and pray that normalcy will soon return for you guys and that youll will find good solutions soon. Wish you and your nation all the very best

Mee said...

For those who have not registered to vote (like Mee), you can now register online -
www.jaagore.com

and where you can find more info on electoral candidates
http://www.adrindia.org/home/index.asp

the right to go to the polling booth and reject all candidates
http://eci.gov.in/PROPOSED_ELECTORAL_REFORMS.pdf

Para 7 thereof is dedicated to Negative/ Neutral voting which could be an incisive weapon in rejecting all the candidates, if a voter so chooses. The right to vote remains protected and at the same time, the right to reject by voting would gain legality.


As the said para says, Rule 49 O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 provides that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he doesn't want to vote anyone!



There are quite a few sites which discuss this ( they wrongly refer to Section instead of Rule and some provision in the Constitution which is apparently not the case )



This is what comes out of them.



" Why should you go and say "I VOTE NOBODY"... because, in a ward, if a

candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received

"49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will

have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the Candidature of the

contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since

people had already expressed their decision on them.



This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates

for their parties for election. This would change the way, of our whole

political system.... it is seemingly surprising why the election commission

has not revealed such a feature to the public...."

Mike said...

Mee, my heart goes out to all of you...The NSG, Marcos, Black Cats, SRPF, Army and the Police are done with their work. It's time for you'll as a Nation to start yours. Wish all of you lots of strength and courage.

Jim said...

Mee- indeed a sad situation. One of the worst attacks seen in modern times. I hear Indians are furious only today and that is good. I just hope people dont take this too personally (ofcourse its personal) - am cautioning that sometimes it's not the terrorist's motives we need to question, but our very own whether the politicians, local hoodlums, or our selves. I wish and pray every success to your nation- one of the finest democratic countries living in harmony despite many inside hurdles.

Anon said...

The paradigms under which we live and operate in our country is dramatically different than most other nations.
Our porous borders- are so wide and long.
Our long coastlines- and seperated by small maritime boundaries;(
Our elected official's social priorities- which leaves little for the prime-attention security deserves....

The list can go on and on. But yes, you and I can agree that Enough is Enough, we should all invoke the citizen within us
and rise to ask questions and seek answers!Faisa

ALLEX said...

u r so very true....it was such a heinous scene to be forgotten..... in these instances you get to understand the actual situation.... at time si feel non violence is not the step to violence.... these moments require one to be violent

Sailaja said...

I must say that the reaction was overwhelming even here
Strangers would come up to say how sorry they were and hoped everybody i knew were safe....that was touching!
Infact the media coverage of the incident was detailled if not indepth.Maybe becos the crisis started as a hostage situation involving Americans and Brits