Friday, July 22, 2011

The Faces of Terror

Last Wednesday, when terror took over Mumbai yet again, the blasts did not just shake Mumbai, it shook and sent its tremors across the world. But, the question is: did it shake the world enough to take notice? Terror attacks, blasts, shootings and many such violent acts have become so common these days, that humanity has become numb to the pain of these terrible blows.

When the powerful earthquake and tsunami hit Japan this March, one thing kept coming to my mind all the time. Is it not enough that we are helpless in front of Nature's wrath? Innocent lives being taken by natural disasters cannot be helped. Why, then do we inflict more hurt and pain brought upon by man-made attacks? Any life is not worth being ended by some meaningless act of terror. And it should hurt us to see fellow human beings being treated like some actors in a play, whose roles have come to an end. Nobody has the right to play God and decide which character leaves the act when.

When we heard about the blasts last week, a friend of mine came up to me and said in a very concerned voice "Did you hear about the blasts, nobody has claimed responsibility for it yet". And my reply was "Does it really matter?". It really doesn't matter if it was an Al-Qaeda or a Jaish-e-Mohamed or a Lashkar-e-Toiba or  some other new branch of these terror groups. The fact of the matter is that they kill innocent people and wield weapons as though they were essential commodities. Ask the relatives of those dead in these blasts whether they really care who carried out this atrocious act. For them, their family member is gone, is never coming back and that pain can never go away. Knowing who did it and why they did it is a futile attempt to bring back happiness to them. No amount of investigations will help them come to terms with reality and it is definitely not going to bring back their loved one. So does this mean, we just look at it like an accident and move on? No, it just means: bring justice to these people by preventing such incidents. I know, it is not easy to keep such a big country secure all the time, but trying is all we can do.

It shouldn't take a 9/11 for the world to sit up and take notice of the dangers of terrorism. Why did the world suddenly become aware of this pre-eminent threat in 2001? Was it because of the scale of the attack or the big numbers? But loss of life is no different whether it was 1 or 1000. A terror victim is a terror victim. There is nothing fair or just about someone's life being put to a stop by gory acts. A victim dies an anonymous, painful, pointless, unnecessary death and nobody deserves that. You know, people can only take so much. Once they are done, they either give up, feeling helpless or rise to the occasion and take back what is theirs: justice. We are feeling helpless now, and are being exploited because of that. We have to find a way to stand up and stop this, we have to make the corridors of power take notice and do something!!!

It has only been 2 years since the last dreadful day in Mumbai, when the whole city was under attack. The wounds are still fresh from then and here they are back again to scrape the scab. It is sad that here in America, people know Mumbai because of that attack. That is not something, I would like my country to be known for. And the ironic part is, half the world does not even know about the supposedly smaller and more frequently occurring terror attacks. It is just a week from the recent blasts and this news has disappeared from the news bulletins. What is happening to our society? Why does a blow against human life become insignificant enough to disappear in the ever-changing news world? Have we made this a part of life?

The truth is "Yes, we have". People talk about the spirit of Mumbai. Mumbai does not stop for anything, it keeps going on. Is it something we should be proud of or should we be looking into the devious reality behind that? Mumbai does not stop because there is no option. No offices are closed because of a blast. Everybody goes to work because their bosses don't give them vacation for some unknown lives lost. The President of India does not declare a National Holiday, the CM does not shut down the state, so what do you expect normal people to do? It is not their choice, but their helplessness that Mumbaiites keep going on. And I am not proud of it for sure. It just shows that we as a society have become so used to these occurrences, that our minds have stopped taking notice. Mumbaikars keep leading their regular day, just hoping and praying that today will not be their unlucky day. And the day is not far, when most of us will live with that very same fear in our minds. Because terror does not see boundaries or religions, it is just pointless and irrational and if it is Mumbai today, it will be something else tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. An article on terror and humanity is way too old and over written, but this has something new. I like that your article does not deals with humanity and punishing terrorist, neither it tell us the ways to stop terrorism it simply gives a view of a frustrated common man. That he wants to live life peacefully. My favorite line is "Any life is not worth being ended by some meaningless act of terror". Also I like the last part where you've stated the Spirit of Mumbai. Even I think that people here have just got used to attacks. India is an overly over populous country. Unlike USA or European country People here dont have money/material to buy daily bread and butter; its just about surviving day by day; competing with 1000s others for same job. Hence people here dont stop due to bomb blast. "They simply cant afford to stop". Being critical I would state that your article again has same old matter. One can again find more than glimpses of same old question of why people are killing. You started by calling terror attacks as inhumane, continue with asking question on validity of attacks. Then You correctly question the helpless nature of people and at the same time answering. So the para 3 and 4 dont add much value while I would like you to add some more light on reason for helpless attitude of people. In the end its a good article raising points missed by most. Cheers !!!


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