The worst terror strike has hit Mumbai where official figures say that the casualty is up to 200 while actual figures could be much higher. On Sunday, I went to Nariman Point where a candle light vigil was being organized to offer condolences to the dead and show an obvious anger against the government. As the procession started, the people that had gathered there said that they will be moving to Taj. I was surprised when I came to know that they didn’t have any plans to go to CST. Then I realized that it was because the firing at CST left over 50 “common people” dead. (Official figures)
There was difference in the treatment meted to the people rescued from Trident and other places. While people rescued from Trident were taken to Breach Candy Hospital, common people were taken to Government Hospitals. I don’t have any problem with that because had the elite been shifted to government hospitals, that would have created more pressure on the doctors. But the contrast in “services” to the relatives of deceased was something very sad. A friend of mine who was at a hospital where a post mortem was being conducted said that,
“Humko pata hai saab humne achche kapde nahi pehne hain, angrezi nahi bol rahe hain isiliye hamare ko body nahi de rahe hain.”
The one thing that this terror strike has done is that it has shaken the elite class of the city and country to believe that even they are not safe anymore. Elite India has for the first time been shaken out of its slumber as terror has attacked what were so far its impenetrable citadels. For the first time, the talk of terror has come out of the dinner tables for the elite. A man who was in Oberoi that fateful night was in middle of a conversation with his colleague when all of sudden sound of bullets were heard. His colleague said that it might be a terrorist strike but that man could not believe and said “These things do not happen here”; unfortunately, that night it did happened. And all of sudden, they are feeling vulnerable. So no wonder the elite are enraged.
Shobha De in a TV show screamed on top of her voice that enough is enough. But I feel enough was long before this attack in Mumbai. The enough was when series of bombs exploded in Ahmedabad, enough was when busy markets in Delhi were blown a day before Diwali, enough was when Jaipur was attacked, enough was when series of blasts left hundreds dead in local trains in 2006. Did any one remember that a series of explosions rocked Assam barely a couple of months back. The news of those blasts found little mention in our newspapers. The “enough” my dear friends, was already “much more than enough” long long back.
So what is the difference this time?
The difference this time is the target. The target has moved from the rickshaw pullers, the daily wage earners, the commuter on a local train; even the middle class executives to the elitest in the city. Those deaths didn’t matter to most of the politicians, didn’t force the Home Minister to resign or the need to step up the security, reforms in police, special forces, etc, never grabbed so much attention. Not even ONE of the rigorous actions or similar ones that have now been taken now were taken post any of these past attacks. The voices of the common man were repeatedly ignored and even the people discussing the terror matter on the dinner table and then leaving for dance party didn’t support those voices whole heartedly. But now they are direct targets and this has forced the government to prove at least, that it is acting this time around.
But you still observe the difference, we are having candle light processions at Taj and Trident but no one has bothered to go to CST and pay homage to the victims of the same terror attack that has changed the face of Mumbai. It is a bit ironic but I feel much safe now because I am virtually irrelevant in this war. The blood and death of the common man is just a “common phenomenon” which takes place every other day in some part of the country. The new targets are the hypocrites who have felt the pain of the common man for the first time and that has made them throw their toys out of the cot because now their own cot is rattling.
Whatever be the case, the good news is that for the first time we have felt that we need to do something to ensure safety and protect the “common citizen”. Probably, we were waiting for something like this to happen before we could show a will to combat the bloody terrorism. I don’t have any problem even if the government is acting under the pressure of the elite, because for me, my country comes first. Nation is above everything and I am there to support everyone who wants to fight this terror menace but yes my heart does weep for all the victims, be it at CST and Wadi Bunder or at Taj and Trident.
In all of this, let’s not forget our security forces and those brave unsung heroes who risked their lives to save others.