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Posted By Ritesh Chhajer on Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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Terror vs PeaceWith another terror attack in Mumbai taking away hundreds of innocent lives followed by the cliched rhetorics by the politicians, there is a feeling of dejavu. Is it like just another incident making headlines all over? Do I consider myself fortunate and thank Almighty that I'm alive and just get on with life? It's really difficult to digest the helplessness that mere 10 men could hold the city on ransom for 60 hours and create so much of havoc? With countless questions and utter anguish, where do we go from here?

First and foremost, the very phrase "Spirit of Mumbai" used after every such attack needs to be stopped. It's not the spirit but rather the compulsion of life that forces every person to get on with his custodian duties.

There has been lot of talk about enhancing security measures which I belive is essential indeed but that's preventive measure and not the solution to the problem. Even let us assume hypothetically if all terror camps across the world were destroyed and all terrorists shot dead, how could we ever possibly kill that core idealogy that completely psyches out even literate and educated people.

After such grave incident, emotions do run high and more so because of the callousness and total lack of empathy shown by the auhorities. We blame our politicians, our neighboring country, the bureacracy but the truth is we ourselves are equally responsible and somewhere down the line got used to this treating it like just another news or some kinda deadly reality show.

I went to a mall Friday night and was shocked to see it almost empty. Next day my flight got cancelled as there were not enough passengers. While I was staying at hotel, visitors stayed away and preferred to meet outside either at their home or at some restaurant. I can clearly see the constant fear people are living with. Even at the airport, I could sense everyone looking at each other with suspicion. In today's times, security and vigil are obviously critical but it's not a great feeling to see the human trust at it's abysmal low.

There are enough things happening in today's world that would make anybody super cynical. But ironically and strangely, all said and done I got a very idealistic and perhaps naive hope that if a person could be systematiclly brainwashed and converted to a fanatic terrorist, the reverse should be possible as well. The only terrorist caught alive when saw mutilated dead body of his accomplice said "I want to live". For a moment, somewhere deep down he would have regretted it. This small incident is what gives me a glimmer of hope.

As a child I always used to believe that there is some amount of goodness in all of us and nobody can be really bad from heart. May be wishful thinking but if we could get into the psyche of such people and change even one of them, I would say we made some progress towards ending this problem. Otherwise no matter how many wars we have, the very root problem would keep getting aggravated.

I wish, I hope that someday sanity and common sense would prevail. Had it been a software/database issue, as an engineer I would have fixed the issue with detailed root cause analysis but unforunately it's not and as an Indian citizen I'm deeply hurt, disturbed but still hopeful that someday our future generations would see a better world.



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    Sudhi Sunday, December 07, 2008 at 10:42 AM
    Re: Despite dejavu I still hope
    Well said Ritzy. I only wish that the world we live in, is as ideal as your thoughts, but unfortunately its not.

    Couldn't agree more to the point that its the compulsions that we have is what makes us say life has to go on. But on the other hand, is there any other thing to do without life going on. Its really heartening to see those images on TV. Imagine if I who is far apart from the action scene could feel like that, then what about the people who witnessed it first hand and those who lost their lives and the families who have lost those dear ones. There will different levels of the emotion "loss" faced by everybody who has been directly or indirectly affected by this incident. But eventually people move on and thats what humans do (if you think about it we are not that different from animals - who get on with their lives much faster...or thats what we have understood about them till now). We probably might keep that "emotion" for a much longer period and still try to fit in to our daily lives. But eventually things move on.

    Is there a one solution to all this. I don't think so, but what needs to be done, should be done. Sometimes a slap has to be answered with a slap. But I feel that our statesman have been too soft on these issues (Probably still trying to emulate Gandhian ways..?). Let me quote a thing from my past. While in school, I used to lie to my parents that the school was till evening on saturdays when actually it only till noon. The reason for my lie to was to go out to play gully cricket. Once my parents came to know about that and I got one solid whooping from my mom. After that never I dared to lie to them about my cricket. The "terror" feeling should be given back to the terrorists, so that they think twice before even trying to carry out another act. But its easier said that done and more so in a democratic country. As you say, I too will hope and pray that things get better.

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    Subodh Friday, December 19, 2008 at 9:57 PM
    Re: Despite dejavu I still hope
    India has a history of believing in "this too shall pass." The media forgets it, the politicians forget it, everybody forgets about it ... until it happens again. Then the whole cycle repeats.

    The common man, lives life on his own, believes in fate and luck and is ... always on his own. I've seen the terrorism days in Punjab, it was always like this. Who cared? Nobody. People would still go about their business anyway. And so would the politicians.

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