As Mumbai heaves a sigh of relief as the hostage situation finally draws to a close after three long days, my head is abuzz with questions. Nagging questions that I don’t have answers to.
Why do people turn into terrorists? No matter what the “incentives” of becoming a terrorist may be, how can anyone convince someone to become a cold bloodied murder? Are such people completely devoid of a conscience? Don’t they ever think of the immense degree of damage they would cause to life and property? Of the people they will scar for life? Don’t they realise they are becoming pawns at the hands of religious fundamentalists and ill-intentioned governments? How can they be blinded so completely?
As a country we aren’t new to terrorism, we have had it for a number of years now. But how come we still seem unprepared, almost careless about it each time it hits us? How do such things happen? Why are we unable to prevent them? I was at the Taj exactly 5 days back for a conference and I can assure you they seem to have no security measures in place. I walked up to the main entrance and walked right through the doors- no one asked me to walk through a metal detector, no one checked my bag, no one asked me where I was headed. I had carried an identification card along with the invite thinking someone may ask me for them. No one did. I literally waltzed into the hotel. If newspaper reports are to be believed so did the terrorists. And that’s what is scary. Why aren’t we learning from past mistakes? I understand that the situations aren’t predictable- the attacks are getting worse each time and the terrorists are using new strategies and tactics but there must be something we can do. We can’t always be the helpless victim.
And what about those who lost their lives in this operation? Now that the operation has been successful, the media is full of reports about the martyrs, rightly extolling their bravery and their contribution to freeing the city. But as short lived as the public memory is, a few days from now, we would all have forgotten about them. Just like we forgot the Kargil martyrs and innumerable others. At the most their families will get some compensation from the government or a substitute job for one of the family members, but the lives of the families will never be the same again and we will all conveniently forget and move on.
Do horrific instance like this wake up our politicians from their stupor? Does it make them realise how selfish they are-mindlessly running after vote banks, caring not for the welfare of the people who they are supposed to govern? I am not sure it does. They seem to enjoy getting milage out of the situation. (Read Thought Safari’s post on this here.) A number of smses have been circulating around Mumbai, some of them aimed at Raj Thakre. “Where is Raj Thakre and his brave sena? Tel him that the 200 NSG commandos from Delhi have been sent to Mumbai to fight terrorist so that he can sleep in peacefully (all north and south Indians, no marathi manoos)Please forward this to others so that if finally reaches him” said one of the messages I received. The Indian Homemaker did a post on this. I agree to the sentiments behind that sms. How petty are our politicians that they are willing to pit their own countrymen against each other? Is this how want to govern the people- divide and rule? Should the commandos have only saved north Indians and south Indians and left all others? What comes first- religious and regional affiliations or humanity?
While I try to find answers to these questions and find none, you could extend help by answering a few for me.
PS: Have any of you seen this ad? I love the message it conveys. I wish they made more ads like this.