If there is one outlook or opinion that unites India apart from cricketing victories… and which we would not want to accept, though deep inside our hearts we know its true, is the “chalta hai” outlook. And this shows in the way we go about with our lives; we are just too gullible. I should say majority of the Indians since there are a few among us who have started raising their heads and voices and acted on their convictions.
Tell me one thing. Over the past 20 years, how many times have we gone through terrorists attacks? Kashmir tourism has become synonymous with terrorism. We have terrorist attacks and threats in the North East. A series of bomb blasts in 1993 rocked Mumbai. Rajiv Gandhi killed by a human bomb in Tamil Nadu. Multiple blasts in the Mumbai local trains in the last few years. And of-late a string of bomb blasts from Delhi to Bangalore to Ahmadabad. Not to forget Askhardham and the Parliament. Well, by the look of affairs in the country, I guess there would be many who would be sad that the Parliament attack was a failure for the terrorists. Anyways.
And I don’t think it would be prudent on my part to place the blame on the politicians alone… afterall even they are Indians.
India and Indians have not been attacked for the first time. And we are suffering all the time, rather the “aam aadmi” the common man is suffering.
A bomb blasts today and the city is back on track tomorrow as if nothing out of the usual had happened. We write blogs, read the newspapers, follow CNN IBN, discuss and condemn the attacks, but mind you, we do not let these things impact our daily lives, unless we are directly impacted due to the terrorist attacks. We show concern and at times are genuinely concerned. But it does not last for long. Our memory is short and vision near. We care only and only about our immediate near and dear ones, sometimes not even that. So you see, we were anyways gullible and now we are too self-centered as well.
We condemn the attacks. We blame the police. We blame the politicians. We blame the municipality, the electricity board, the water board, our boss, our company where we work and the list is never ending. We blame each and every entity which does not belong to us… because along with being gullible and self centered we are not ready to take any ownership.
It’s always the other person who is wrong and it’s the same other person who does not do his duty. And when it comes to us, we focus on our rights… and duties? Let’s talk about the rights; we’ll tackle the duties later. Like it or not, but I have seen very less people who think otherwise.
Another interesting aspect that arises from our willingness to not take ownership is that we believe and strongly follow this formula:
“Work not done + existence of reasons for work not being done = Work done.”
This means that if a work is not done by us and if we have reasons for not doing it, then its as good as it being done. Like I said, this can be very comfortably attributed to lack of ownership. You might be wondering as to where I am leading? No-where. I just wanted us to see where we are, where we have come with this “chalta hai” attitude.
Something goes wrong.. Chalta hai.
There is a traffic jam… Chalta hai... Kya kar sakte hai?
Increased electricity cuts… Chalta hai. Kya kar sakte hai?
Incompetent leadership at the top of the Indian political circle… Chalta to nahin hai. Lekin kya kar sakte hai?
Is it the question –What can we do? [Kya kar sakte hai] Or is it the answer “I do not want to do anything”
As I write this now, it’s around 55 hours and the operation at Hotel Taj is still going on. You make like to admit it or not, but the endurance of these terrorists are remarkable. And what does it certify? That these are not run-of-the-mill terrorists but highly trained militants specifically for such purposes.
This time since the police has lost important lives we are not blaming the police, so we blame our intelligence –RAW, our home ministry, our defense ministry or the ruling party. We have to pin the blame of someone… someone but us. Yes there has been laxity at the sea borders. This time its the sea borders, rest of the time it was the land. And we discuss this with a cup of hot tea and samosa.
About 15 years back when Mumbai was bombed in 1993 the RDX made its way through the waters. 15 years hence and things have not changed much. Our coast lines are still open. We paid a huge price then and we are paying a huge price now… and if we do not act, we will keep paying the price. Coming back to the recent killings a few things stuck me hard.
Point One: I felt a complete lack of leadership in tackling this situation. For those of us who had seen Dr Manmohan Singh make the broadcast, they would agree that it was a lackluster performance by the most powerful man in India. Our PM lacked all emotions, lacked conviction. He did not speak as if his own house is attacked. Lack of passion for the nation, lack of sentiments –a robot might have done a similar job. Dear PM, I have no doubts that you are one of the most educated guys in the Parliament but you surely lacked the vigor, passion and anger that a young nation like ours expected from the PM.
I somehow left that he did it because he had to do it… without conviction and a poor body language.
Point Two: Our home ministry led by Shivraj Patil. One look at him and I was asking myself –what motivation would the security personals get by looking at him. He just lacked the persona to tackle the crisis.
Point Three: Our dadu [grandpa] Pranab Mukherjee just followed the PM with the speech delivery. All that he said was that he and his ministry condemn the acts of terrorism and this is the worst attacks we have seen. Arre dadu, merely condemning might not be enough. You need to tighten up your dhoti and shake up the Pakistani External Affairs ministry and use you powers, to ensure Shivraj Patil does not slip and Dr. Manmohan Singh does not forget his lackluster and unconvincing resolution to take this issue to an acceptable result.
Of course our Navy, Army, RPF, NSG and the police have done a superb job and are still firing and on the other hand our political leaders are in a mess. They should keep out of places were they are not needed…I would also ban them from entering the Parliament. We can and will have varied views on this subject… but the bottom-line is, we as citizens have to say that enough is enough; we need to get into the thick of action. We need to take ownership and responsibilities. We need to perform our duties, ask for our rights, voice our concerns, question the administration. “Aab aur nahin chalta hai.”
How many more Hemant Karkares’ should sacrifice their lives to open our eyes? How many more Kamtes’? How many more Saluskars’? And as they died on the line of duty, what answer will we give when their kids come and ask us as to what improvements have we done to make their dad’s lives worth it?