Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Anger, tears and despair…

mar 22nd

thoughts from someone grieving for what has become of india.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ra

Anger, tears and despair…
By: B Shantanu
March 14, 2006
Views expressed here are author's own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.


It is now three days since the blasts in Varanasi but I still cannot control my anger and the bile rising in my stomach. 
If the whole incident was not so tragic, it would be surreal. 
As explosives rocked the temple city of Varanasi, all that the Prime Minister of a nuclear power - a country that has global aspirations, that recently became the 4 th largest economy in the world on a PPP-basis - could do was to appeal for calm [1].  
Oh, by the way, his spokesman also said that he was "constantly monitoring the situation ". 
And almost an afterthought, an insultingly banal…"He has condemned the blasts [2]" (as relayed by Sanjaya Baru, his media adviser)  
More than four months before, Swapan Dasgupta ominously wrote these lines in "The Pioneer" (" What cross-border terrorism? Let's celebrate survival"), after the Diwali blasts: "The "soft state" is not merely a helpless Prime Minister, an inept Home Minister and a compromised External Affairs Minister. It is a mindset of squeamish appeasement guaranteed to ensure the victims of last Saturday's massacre won't be the last… [3]"  
In December last year, I echoed his thoughts in my article, " Four Years, Two Attacks, One Story [4]…"  
"And so it will continue.
There may be yet another terrorist attack.
Pakistan will once again condemn it and even offer assistance in investigation.
There will be a strong "official" reaction.
A few weeks later, the police will unearth evidence that Pakistan was indeed behind the attack – and things will move on.
Nothing will change…and a few years later, we may read the same story again …"  
Alas, I didn't realise then that this would be so soon.  
Almost exactly as I had predicted and in a sickeningly familiar pattern, this is what happened, almost phrase-by-phrase:  
There may be yet another terrorist attack
Pakistan will once again condemn it…
 "The attack in a crowded market place is a criminal act of terrorism," said a statement issued by the foreign ministry in Islamabad [6]." (N.B. Use of word "market place" instead of temple courtyard)  

There will be a strong "official" reaction and promises of strong action against the "culprits"

" Stern action will be initiated against all those found involved," said Mulayam Singh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the state where Tuesday's blasts occurred [7].
…but Government will also appeal for maintaining communal harmony and peace
" People must maintain peace and calm." - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [8]
Police will claim "leads", suggest Pak role in the attacks…

"Yadav hinted at the role of a Pakistan-based terror outfit [9] "

A few LeT operatives may be arrested
A few weeks later, the police will unearth evidence that Pakistan was indeed behind the attack…and things will move on.  
Time, I would have thought, to say, "Enough is enough"? Not really.  
In this eternal land, even time stands still…in mournful silence. 
In the country of spine-less leaders, where a foreign-born is Queen, lives are cheap and rhetoric in abundance.
B Shantanu

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1 comment:

Sailesh Ganesh said...

Reminds me of the opening line from Rang de Basanti:

Ab bhi jiska khoon na khola, khoon nahi woh pani hai
Jo desh ke kaam na aye woh bekaar jawaani hai.