(originally posted on November 29, 2008 to Facebook)
26th November 2008, a day every Indian will remember for the rest of their lives. When terrorists brought the city of Mumbai to an absolute stand still. Highly trained men armed with AK-47s & grenades stormed the Taj Hotel, The Oberoi & The Narimaan house taking hostages & firing randomly, killing few & injuring many. Some of them also hijacked a police van & went berserk firing at innocent civilians before they were gunned down by the cops. After almost 62 hours of combat & evacuation operations by the military, NSG, commandos & the Mumbai police, the terrorists occupying these places were neutralized. Many innocent lives were lost which included, some top businessmen, foreign nationals, superior police officers & numerous civilians. Some were left injured, whose physical injuries may heal over time, but the horrifying & painful memories of this debacle will be etched in their hearts forever. Media from across the world covered this terror attack; some of the pictures that came out will forever last in the minds of every Indian. Bodies covered in blood being carried out; fire fighters trying to dowse the bellowing fire in one of Mumbai’s prided landmark, the Taj hotel; ATS chief, Hemanth Karkare gearing up to fight the terrorists who later became a martyr at the hands of these spiritual wild animals; Mumbaikars cheering for the brave soldiers who risked their lives attempting to save many others. Politicians didn’t come off their devious habits even in this crisis situation; they didn’t let the opportunity slip. They did what they are best at doing, playing the blame game. One can’t help but wonder, who is worse, the terrorist or our politicians. The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh blamed Pakistan of master minding this terror attack. Let me ask you, Is it right to generalize & blame an entire nation of this crime on the basis of some flimsy evidence? India has been under terrors siege over the past decade & even more in the past few years. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Jammu, Madhya Pradesh, all caught unaware in the past few months. India has proved to be a soft target for acts of terrorism & the disappointing fact is that we still haven’t been able to lay down proper systems in place to combat these acts of violence. Every time, an Indian city comes under terrors grips, we make light of the situation by condoling each other saying things like, “We’re a strong nation & we won’t succumb to any threats.” or “It’s the spirit of the city that keeps it going.” The truth is we are sitting ducks to this kind of human brutality. The media sparks off a debate, the politicians abuse each other, and the media milks the situation for its benefits & then kills the matter when they get bored of it. The media instills a false sense of security in us by comforting us using highly thespian words. It’s about time the government takes stock of the situation & improvises proper strategies & implements them to prevent or curb further attempts to terrorize our nation. These ‘Nethas’ aren’t going to get off their asses just like that & we now know that making promises are like using toilet paper for them. Us, citizens must remind them constantly of their duties, chose our leaders wisely & be proactive in the nation’s economic progress & fundamental matters. The media definitely does play a major role in any such efforts. They need to understand that they are blessed with an influential tool & they need to use it wisely for not just their benefits but for that of the entire nation. Let’s join hands & this time around, really do something for the betterment of our country. Remember, someone’s sorrow today might be your misery tomorrow. JAI HIND.