india has been victim to a blast roughly every 2 months for the last 2 years. the blasts are happening more frequently now, and more blasts have being threatened by those who have done it. in 2008 alone: rampur, u.p. – terrorist attack. jaipur, rajastan – 8 blasts in 12 minutes. bangalore, karnataka – 9 blasts in 14 minutes. ahmedabad, gujarat – 17 blasts. the word ‘blasts’ seems innocuous now.
as i write this post i keep checking the news sites as i write, dreading another news item. greatbong pretty much summarized it. we live in india with terror as a way of life. people praise the ‘spirit’. the ‘resilience’. the ability for people to get up after an explosion and keep moving. live life as though nothing has happened. is it really worthy of praise? we talk over dinner, mention the fact that [city] is already back on its feet. we make statements with a quiet pride about how quickly people were back to work, back to running around their daily routine, back to life.
we talk about how nothing has been done. how the system has not managed to get anything done for any of the victims. how none of the criminals have been caught. that this is why people have learnt to keep moving on from one blast to the next. we deride the lack of effort taken by the police, the politicians, the press, anyone. we say that we in india have no spine, we do not care enough, that we are not fit to do anything about anything. and then we continue eating and start discussing ‘the dark knight’. i do this all time, and every time i finish it hits me like a body blow.
does india no longer care? does india believe that things blowing up is a way of life? terrorists email their threats, pose open challenges to the indian government. they threaten retaliation for real and imagined incidents. incidents that have already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands. affected millions, scarring them beyond recognition. what does the blast achieve? further retaliation by another extremist politico-religious party so that they can take power and ensure that all retaliation is forgiven?
we decry the fact that the western world is so paranoid. that america took the excuse of a WTC to blow up countries. that the UK check-in is insanely security conscious. that the swiss are stupid in their immigration procedures. that they are finally tasting what india goes through every day. india is reaping the fruits of what? trying to be democratic and secular? trying to exist as a country that actually respects religion, caste, creed and race?
but, given the reaction to the attacks, there is a vague sense of security in these countries today. yes, the danger is still there – i don’t think that can go away until terrorists are annihilated (which they never can be because there’s always someone who disagrees with what is going on and is willing to kill to fight for it. its called revolution, and is not the subject of this post). i digress. india maintains its sense of security by getting through each day as ‘another day survived’.
we discuss solutions: a military state. throwing people out. educating people. nuking pakistan. and eventually reach the conclusion that the problems are way too many to be surmounted. dinner then continues. this probably happens at every level of government in india. problems are attempted to be solved, and eventually are put aside for later. every solution brings with it a fresh set of problems that need to be solved. solutions end up bordering on the extreme (e.g. throw them all out, kill anyone who doesn’t want them to be thrown out. ensure that all new threats result in death). a beginning is never made for fear of the eventual ending.
like so many other things we end up getting apathetic to what happens in the country. reservation quotas were set up, people protested, ‘inquilab’ supposedly came back, and eventually it all died a natural death. currently reservation quotas are being rolled out. people get agitated about anything, and eventually give up on everything.
meanwhile india keeps getting blown up. though every blow doesn’t stop her moving, there will come the day she can move no more.
at that point, there will be nothing left to blow up. or blow over.