The terror train stopped at Bangalore yesterday. Since only one person got killed and the blasts were low intensity, it is almost life as usual. But pray tell me, what if the same bombs had killed a hundred or a thousand and were high intensity?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
There would be no difference. Instead of the sigh of relief that the media, polity and the public is heaving today, we would thump our chests for our resilience to terror. But that resilience is nothing more than helplessness. As we have seen time and again.
The blasts have travelled, like a sinister caravan from city to city in India over the last few years. We saluted Mumbai for its spirit, then Hyderabad, then Delhi, then Varanasi and Jaipur and now it is Bangalores turn. Nothing else. Right now, the IT companies have tightened their security, as have the malls and many other establishments. But, not everybody can do so. Well, of course, they can, but the government needs to protect the lives of politicians and their children and dogs, you see. But yes, you are still in luck, if your company takes enough security measures to protect you (and itself). If you are a small business owner or anything else, well, you are just a statistic waiting to be counted, present or future.
And what would you do when the next attack happened? Nothing, you would check if your loved ones are safe, hope that they have been spared and continue with life as if nothing had happened. Yet, really, as a citizey, thats the only thing you can do. Believe it or not.
Because, for you, the tax paying citizen, it is a matter of when terror will strike you, not if. And between you dear citizen and dear life, is a matter of probability. The next time you are in a mall, it might well be your last visit. The next cinema that you see might well be your last. The train ride you take could end in a ball of fire and depending on your luck, you could be fried or toasted or grilled or just mildly injured. No, you cannot chose the time or method. In any case, your life is cooked. Today it is seven degrees of separation from someone affected by terror, tomorrow it will be you. And me. But never the politicians.
Templated assurances notwithstanding, there is only a paper and media war on terror. While the government worries about being politically correct and incorrect and wonder if the Kanchi seer should be arrested atleast so that the law appears equal to all, there is no war on terror.
There is still no means, at all, to close the taps of those who fund terror. Also, there are still no means, no method to close the taps of hate on those who create these terror zombies. There is no real war. By pretending that it does not exist, like the proverbial ostrich, our heads are forcibly buried in sand. Nothing, absolutely nothing is being done to catch those who spread hate in our midst. Even those who hear it, do nothing. Organized rioting and mob power are scary, you see. The media mantra is see no terror, hear no terror, speak no terror. By pretending that it does not exist, we will solve the problem.
So if you are a terror perpetrator, you are in luck. By virtue of the fact that you are important for votes, nobody will ever catch you. The only way you will die is of old age. The one law we had has been defanged into a toothless tiger. We also have the laughable spectacle of an accused in the Bombay blasts challenging the validity of a law to prosecute him. We have another accused firmly ensconced in jail enjoying the governments on taxpayers money while the government thinks if it is a good idea to execute him.
Do you see the supreme irony here? A convict, caught, proven guilty despite the many claims of well greased intentions cannot be sent to the gallows because the government thinks it will lose votes.
But you, dear citizen, even as you await death with only probability separating you from it, does not give sleepless nights to the government even as you get cooked, maimed or disabled in yet another terror attack that could be in planning even as we speak. Cynical as it may sound, thats all there is to it.
Update: As I checked the web, I realized that the even as I speak part was ominously true. A for Ahmedabad, B for Bangalore. But of course, this one can be forgiven, since it, is really about the Gujarat riots, so please dont bother. In the meantime, another bomb was discovered in Bangalore. Tomorrow is Sunday. Will it be a hattrick? Which city will it be?