Thursday, November 26, 2009

26/11 - Just another Chapter?

Picture this –Two things… One is amongst country’s favourite monuments…. another is a group of brave uniformed men, amongst country’s esteemed soldiers.

You might wonder “So, what about them?”. Well, read on to understand their relationship.

What would you think of people, who drive nails into our national monument… hang their clothes on it, enjoy their supper sitting in the monument and stretch themselves while snoring away to glory under the most coveted landmark of aamchi Mumbai ??? Callous…. Annihilator… Anti-social….

Today, it is exactly one year after the fateful day of 26/11 last year, when the tragic attack on the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai took place…an attack which shook the spirit of the country and it’s defense mechanism and left many lives broken and shattered forever.

Indian police officers and jawans who are posted to protect the Taj Mahal hotel, a gracious landmark of the city of Mumbai, are offered no home, no shelter and no support to motivate them to risk their lives for the safety of the hotel and millions of thankless citizen of their own country. A monument, which has been the crown of the commercial capital of India for decades, is now serving as the home for these brave but homeless police officers – The Gateway of India. Now would you still call them Callous and Annihilator? Think again!

Our heart moves with wrenching pain when we see pictures of the carnage, which was driven, by Ajmal Kasab and his accomplices. But why are we not moved by the plights of those who are ensuring that history does not gets re-lived by their city, our city?

Nails driven in walls to hang clothes (Counrtesy: IBNLive)

No resting place for these cops (Courtesy: IBNLive)

Lunch Time (Courtesy: IBNLive)

Of course we are doing our part by tagging them as heroes, thanking them verbally, but what next? Is that sufficient to assuage the everyday discomfort, which is lived by these brave men of India? These are just few of the questions, which would haunt the humanity of this nation. Like it is said about our nation, India needs an attack, a blast to wake up… and it looks like we have become so heavily dependent on these attacks and blasts that we need few doses of violence and bloodshed each time to realize our own responsibilities!

Just yesterday, the television channels and newspapers in India were replete with the news headlines like “26/11 anniversary….”, “Pay your tribute to the martyrs…”, “Saluting Mumbai…” and what not. We have always lived in the glory of the past and the agonies gone by. Little do we think about those who live in present. A tribute to those, who laid their lives on that tragic day, is a way to show our homage and solidarity as a nation. However their souls would be happy only when they see that the cause, for which they died, is taken care of.

Nothing in our country stays untouched by politics and bureaucracy. While one lot of politicians is busy in mud slinging over the compensation payments to the martyrs of 26/11, the other lot has turned a deaf ear towards the needs of those who are alive and surviving in the lap of Gateway of India. What a shame!

Maybe, we need another blast to wake our government from its Rip Van Winkle slumber!
I hope it’s not too late by then…

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wake Up.....!

And yet another blow to the pride of our secular nation! …. while previous wounds have still not healed, the nation is bleeding and weeping, afresh. However, this time the pain is not over the wounds of the past, but over the hot-off-the fire debasement which has lacerated the soul of the nation yet again. This outrage came in wake of a recent statement made by Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, "Mumbai belongs to India. That is how I look at it. And I am a Maharashtrian and I am extremely proud of that but I am an Indian first". Mr. Thackeray saw this as an attempt to attenuate the image of Marathi “manoos”, which he had created some years ago to bulk up his vote bank. It sure has worked well for him, but in the bargain has created a rift between people of the same nation! A rift, created to satiate the false ego of a power hunger political sycophant.

Amitabh Bachchan to Sachin Tendulkar, all have borne the tongue-lashings of this man, who is a self-proclaimed protagonist of the interests of the Marathi “manoos”. Little does he realize that his whims and fancies are not only costing lives of hundreds of people but also creating bitterness amongst the various sections of people of this country.

Who on earth would interpret, that praises for India first and Maharashtra second would demean Maharashtra’s stature in the country? Only Bal Thackeray has such acumen and its quite unfortunate that he shares his acumen with the rest of the country garbed in his venomous speeches!

People of such mental make-up take undue liberty of being in a democratic country. Freedom of speech gets mocked at royally! With ageing body, Mr. Thackeray (Bal and Raj, both) seems to have forgotten that Maharashtra is a part of India and Indian citizens do not require a passport or a visa to live and work there. Contrary to the general sentiments of the Indians, the duo of Thackerays think that expression of love is ruining our culture; they believe that loyalty towards Maharashtra comes before loyalty towards India. Hold on! This isn’t it. They also firmly believe that every person in Maharashtra should carry out his/her business in Marathi language. Good Lord! Then why am I able to see his very own site ( displaying the usage of English language? May be, this is what is defined as “Hypocrisy” in the dictionaries.

It’s high time when such people put their head on shoulders and refrain from creating divide of any kind in India. Our country has had enough of hair-brained political games played on the behest of religion and caste. If we, the common man of India, do not rise and wake up to this call, then we would have no one to blame for the innumerable sufferings in the future. Of course media has to work hand-in-glove with the common man, by not giving extra mileage to inflammatory opinions of such people.

The time has come and the time is now! Either we shut our ears towards the strategic “divide and rule” sermons of such power hungry goondas (calling them politicians would be a misnomer) or we gear ourselves for ripping our country into 28 smaller pieces. The choice is ours.