Sunday, November 30, 2008

Treat the disease and not the symptoms

Terrorist attacks seem to have become cyclical events. Let's live with the reality and face it boldly. I tell myself. Is the worst yet to come? I wonder. Another dangerous trend is our acceptance of these events and our inbuilt resilience to carry on with life, albeit with symbolic protests - lighting candles, holding peace marches and so on. Even more dangerous is the emerging stoicism of people as if nothing ever happened. Business is as usual. But is it really? The inability to question and reflect on one's predicament is one of the signs of a people that is myopic and missing the big picture.

Today, the television was filled with 'postmortem' on 26/11/08. Views, analysis, discussions - mostly bringing to the fore the inevitable blame games, bickerings - so sickening to watch it all!! Is this what we should be talking? Is this how a chief minister, acccompanied by family and friends visit the affected site as if it were some 'ordinary' object of curiosity seen during that post-dinner stroll? I simply fail to understand the presence of Ramgopal Varma in his entourage!! Perhaps he wanted to get first hand 'inspiration' for another blockbuster, from the charred remains of the hotel, apparently tired of copying Hollywood flicks! What was Sagarika Ghosh upto on CNN-IBN? Yelling at that top of her voice in her interaction with two senior retired IPS officers... trying to prove, defend, analyse and what not. Is this the way to address the issues? Why do we always react and never believe in being proactive? Why do we always treat the symptoms and not the disease? A disease that is deeply rooted in the way we are evolving, internally as a nation. Being vulnerable to terrorist attacks is one of the symptoms. The disease is more serious.

Confronting terrorism demands us to be a nation, a nation that can proudly face these destructive elements. A nation that puts the collective consciousness before its individual motives. A nation that does not stay content and complacent with sacrifices of policemen and commandos but thinks beyond. A nation that examines its hypocrisies and illusions. Is it really possible to achieve such lofty ideals in today's India? India - where politics is getting more parochial than ever, where state are getting further divided into smaller regions motivated by vested interests of some sections. Factional politicians should remember - when Mumbai was burning and bleeding it was not merely the local leaders who came to the forefront to save her, but people speaking different languages and representing different cultures. Then why do we put up with people who still believe in dividing and ruling ...religion, region, caste, socio-economic name it we have all in India, innumerable ways to break the people.

Now that we are into an era of coalition governments where it's a pure game of numbers each party vying for power, risking stability and sustained administration. Frequent elections drain our exchequer, frequent elections are a sign of decaying democracy. Do we need a basic constitutional reform from the perspective of coalitions? How can we present ourselves as a strong and unified country to the rest of the world?

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