15 July, 2006

Questions need to be answered

Post current bomb blast in Mumbai, I saw one of my house-mates opening his inbox and having a look at the different pictures of the bomb-blast sent to him in a forwarded mail. An activity, which in usual circumstances would have gone unnoticed by me...but this time it really got on my nerves! I mean, is that all that we are going to do about this, confirm if our family is well, and then next day send forwards about the incident...just imagine, thousands of individuals spending their time the day after the bomb-blast sending useless forwards, gaping at the pictures with shock, remarking how awful it is...and there it is over...the spirit of Mumbai it seems is in the fact that the people show no trace of reaction to what ever disturbances that have been introduced! while at some level it makes sense to get back to regular life as soon as possible, without giving the 'terrorist' the pleasure of seeing the city crumble, however some reaction, some actions need to be taken on behalf of the people, yes as a revolt against the injustice.

Media itself, makes incidents like this more of an entertainment matrial, than awareness and information spreading..and then the people go about spreading just that! I can understand the curiosity, the want for information, the empathy and the sympathy... yes all of that, but somehow I think, that is just not enough. There is got to be more than just this much that you can do.

Some questions in my head from quite some time now...

Who benefits out of all this chaos and bloodshed? The so called 'terrorists'? Terrorist is a vague term, I think we need to identify these terrorists... not just the known ones (like all those different terrorist groups) but the ones in disguise! How does one identify the terrorists? Well, that's the key question, but we need to really answer plenty of other question before getting to the root of this.

India's root problem? Population (could be poverty-so called, illiteracy rate, corruption...but since these are all in a loop, I have decided to take a starting point) Is there any course in the Indian Universities for the study of population, specialisation in population science, mathematics of population handling? There may be, but how many of the top and brilliant students of each school or univerity go for such a course?? And why would they go? When the government does not support such study, advertise their importance, or make them known to the people?After all, you can do IT Engineering and become a silly copy-paste-program-modifier and earn thrice as much as a a person struggling to study statistics with a mere Bsc. degree or political science in an even-less-sought-after-field, Arts. (With due respect to IT engineers, I know a lot of people who do interesting stuff there, but unfortunately I also know a whole bunch of them who are just wasting their time-brain-potential there, and then I feel really bad.) I mean dont we all know that engineering, medicine and now the hottest one MBA etc. are the money-making fields? Is it possible that every topper of every school or university shows an inclination for such fields only?? I dont think this is possible without any pre-bias. What sort of a balance or diversity do we achieve by this? (And then we are made to write essays in class 3 or 4 about India, Unity in Diversity! And we were made to believe stupid lies and rubbish, some time or the other! Where is the unity? what sort of diversity? Someone should explain better.)

Which effectively brings me to the point, has some one been seriously looking at the education system of the country? Has some one (who can qualify as the right person, but by whose standard, I have no clue) inspect the text books, and identify what is missing in them?
When I learnt history in school, no one ever mentioned anything about the 'chaos theory' to me. About changes in the past, affecting the future events to a much greater scale...I have learnt history as a boring story of the past and not as some meaningful input for the prediction and hence the prevention of the future calamities which could perhaps have been forseen! I am sure I would have taken more interest in the subject then. Another interesting fact, teachers. How many students willingly go for the teaching line? By the standard of most of my teachers in Engineering college, I would say only those who did not find another job...which does not make them the best teachers... in fact far from that!

There are plently of other such things, which need to be looked into in detail, like the fact that the intelligent (or the so called educated people of the city)who refrain from voting or taking any political interest, who are happily indifferent to what is happening, as long as their family is untouched, and so on...

Just like the past events have shaped up the present, our every today is shaping our future. It may be in our hands still, to make the individual difference, and hence contribute to a collective movement in the events to come. But I think it is very important to have a direction. If all of us are going to move in different random directions, there is going to be no resultant movement, hence I think the idea of coming over a platform to discuss such issues, and see what we can do 'together' is quite important. And thankyou Dan for taking the initiative. I hope this will not just be a discussion forum, but will graduate onto being a place to take descisions and acting on them.


Every question does have an answer, in fact some times more than just one, we just need to look harder for them, think harder on them. What do you think?

3 Comments:

Blogger mumbaiwallah said...

I agree completely. I live in the UK for the moment, but being a Mumbai girl, I was shocked and very upset on hearing the news. The fact that most of my family was okay was no consolation to the horror of the event. And watching NDTV and especially Star News made me want to throw up. Star News tends to sensationalise every bit of trivia and it was distressing to see people suddenly turning and pretending to talk to an injured person just when the camera was turned on. It is sad to see young boys waving at cameras when there are dead bodies lying at their feet. I couldn't bear it anymore and stuck to online news till I calmed down a bit.

It was sad to see Shivraj Patil saying that the bombs were the work of terrorists. Wasn't that obvious? If they anticipated an attack "we just didn't know where and when", why couldn't they have warned the public to be more vigilant? Surely a spate of media warnings and alerts would have made a difference?

When the London blasts happened last year, there were so many comparisons about how Mumbai was so resilient and got back on its feet etc. What I would like Mumbai to take from that lesson is the dignity in which Londoners, the police and the emergency staff handled the situation. There were mishaps, even mistakes. But the grief shared by everyone came through first - no one cared about being on TV.

Kudos to WR for getting the trains back on track, literally overnight. There are many lessons to be learnt from this. Unfortunately, much will be said about resilience and bouncing back and life will go on. Till the next time.

History does repeat itself and we seem to be caught in a movie that keeps repeating itself.

15/7/06 14:20  
Blogger mr.mobius said...

At a time like this, most people are content with chewing the fat in deliberations over communalism, politics, revenge and resilience.

It is refreshing and extremely heartening to see someone get to the core issues that need to come up when discussing terrorism - those of population and education.

Now, more than ever, these issues need to be seriously looked at.

Thank you for writing that post.

15/7/06 23:48  
Blogger Aradhita said...

Mumbaiwallah, mr.mobius, I am glad you got the point of the post.

Also, as a feedback from someone whose feedback matters to me, I was told that I have pointed the gun towards the IT industry, and shown them in bad light.

I want hence to clear this point.My wrath on the IT people was an immediate response to the incident which triggered off this article, and this definately does not mean that its only the ppl frm this field who waste their time and potential.

Secondly, I was asked why am I belittling the IT industry, and ppl who work for it, especially since every human being is after all aiming to achieve the best for himself, and if this is how he earns the best, why should he not? With this view I totally agree, but I also see a future where all the brain of the country gets automatically drawn towards the IT(bringing revenue to the country, yes which is a positive feedback)but at what cost? Some of the important positions like that in teaching etc.(which is essentially responsible for the quality of population we generate, which again drives the sort of government such a bunch of people will elect for themselves, thus leading to better law and order, less corruption) gets filled by people who are there, not for the cause but just to fill in the gap.

16/7/06 21:32  

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