01 December, 2008

The Circling Vultures- cross posted from my blog

Actually there is nothing that can or will ever shake the somnolence of the “system” in India. I have felt this for a while, but now I am only more than sure of it. Of course I am referring to the Bombay bomb blasts ( hell, yes the city was named Mumbai in 1995, after another set of bomb blasts in 1993- somehow renaming and re-claiming city pride was more important that ensuring a more secure city- but I am an ordinary person , what do I know of political strategy). Well Bombay or whatever they will call it now had a spate of bomb blasts in 2002, then 2003 January, March, July, August, 2006 and finally a three day hostage drama that unfolded over a million television sets.

But of course these are always terrorist activities, unleashed to dampen the spirit of the Mumbaikars who set about rebuilding, as soon as one is over. And lately they have been joined by the Delhiites, the Hyderabadis, the citizens of Jaipur and wherever else. And in between when things have been peaceful for too long, the resilience is exercised by the communal and regional tensions that are incited in the name of an identity (which I would assume only someone very mediocre would want to associate with). And of course the outright “terrorist” activity, that of the hand grenades and bombs is put on Islamic terror, on Pakistan, on the foreign hand.

And it becomes an excellent photo-op for politicians. Because that is what they do. Attend photo-ops. Accompanied by relatives, sons, producers- after making embarrassing gaffes (though the statement, this is a ”minor” thing is not such a gaffe- considering the magnitude of what India is subject to- but I digress). With an incompetent (token woman) President- not that her predecessors have been particularly competent. And strangely shameless (what else can you call them) Home Ministers who resign probably because the foreign media starts to criticize them. And still the photo-ops continue. With regret expressing and “deepest condolences” to the families. It is an amazing tableau. And of late it has become more evident what a sham it really is.

Because the “citizen” reactions are of a very scary kind. “Those (insert religion/ region/ country here)”. “We are not buying anything from (insert country/ community/ region) because my husband said we should not support any of their business.” And so on. Just an excuse for everyone to vent out their ugliest prejudices and stereotypes in the guise of mourning the tragedy. And blame the “system”. Because Big Brother like it is omnipresent and yet, as anonymous. Also it is always “someone else’s fault” someone else’s problem- well maybe not.

What did we do to become thus. India shining, India growing, but India all the same? Why do we allow the circling vultures get closer, ever closer even as we struggle in the death throes of everything that modernity, sanity, normalcy would have us hold on to? And what did we do to deserve this?


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Please be patient - an admin will be along soon to check on the pending list.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home