We will never learn, Mumbai

My heart bled for me to see the serial terror strikes in Mumbai last evening on live streaming Indian TV channels online, unfolding in the commercial central of the maximum city like the diamond hub Zaveri Bazar and Lamington Road. Precious lives and livelihoods were taken away for a proxy war that Mumbai is not responsible for. Every time something happens to Mumbai like the train bombings or the Ghatkoper bus blasts, people proudly talk about the resilience of Mumbaikars to bounce back the next day, as if something has not occurred at all unfortunately. In a city that never sleeps, time is precious- no one has time even for family, leave alone bystanders. In a metropolitan hub that Mumbai, we provide (I am a Mumbaikar as well) the bulk of the central and state revenues which the other regions feed on and yet Mumbai does not get any thing; no superior healthcare, transportation or the basic security. The 26/11 attacks seem to have taught us nothing at all. The perpetrators of the attack dared the country once again. We still shamelessly talk about the Mumbai Spirit as like the ANZAC Spirit, getting molested and staying mum about it demonstrates our incompetence to protect our selves and not our Gandhian virtues.

Afzal Guru and Kasab are still enjoying the ‘Incredible India’ Atithi Devo Bhavah hospitality on taxpayer cash. The lack of strong political will and vote bank electoral politics gives us a soft image, that India cannot even persecute its traitors and terrorists.  Israel is condemned everytime, and for reasons well known; but it is a powerful tiny state who defeated many neighbors who were mightier than its size in 1967 and 1973. India is a sleeping elephant, which needs to given a jolt out of its slumber. China is encircling India with its string of pearls strategy and Pakistan is well known for its slow burn warfare tactics. Politicos now have an opportunity to turn away from the anti graft sentiment to national security rhetoric, ideal window to change public discourse very conveniently. Terrorism has destabilized the entire sub continent for a two decades and will continue to do so until, we do not take national security seriously. Over the long the term, our politics need to change and we have to elect people who can deliver in terms of ministerial leadership; strong leadership gives a strong message. Let us move beyond wishes and crocodile tears towards doing something concrete, albeit i have a strong gut feel that I will be repeating this same sentiment a few months from now.

2 thoughts on “We will never learn, Mumbai

  1. My friend, from your article I know one thing. We are thinking the same thing. Yes, this is high time that we make the system understand that there is nothing wow about the Mumbai spirit. It reminds me of a quote “We are resilient by force, not by nature”. We have our own responsibilities to worry about. And that is why government is elected. So that they would do what we cannot.

    But I guess our resilience is taken for granted and this cannot go on. It hurts when we see that criminals like Kasab are living peacefully on our hard earned money. And we are feeling insecure when we travel by bus, by train etc.

    Going to office feels like going to a battle field. Maybe even worse. In battle field we know whom to attach, whom we can count on. But here, conditions are worse. Forget about trusting any one, we can’t even offer chocolates to kids… because their parents feel we can be terrorist. I know these issues are small, but these small issues count up to a big feeling of insecurity.

  2. Thank you very much for your feedback Sir, We are all Mumbaikars; we care about the City. We are living in a culture of heightened risk, where risk is not a noun but a verb. our insecurities are our frailties, they add to our sense of hopelessness. Let us not become a Pakistan

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