Unbelievable but true. It’s not even a week since some semblance of normalcy has returned to our battered city…. and the wretched ‘tu tu main main’ game is on in full swing. The worst offender is the side- lined politico Narayan Rane, who is showing his asli colours by frothing at the mouth and talking big about ‘toppling’ the government if he is further ‘provoked’. Himmat hai….. to karke dikhao.The fact that he was considered at all is nothing short of shocking. But we all know how these equations are made – in Bollywood parlance, it is referred to as ‘setting’. Which involves moral compromises galore, at all levels, and to hell with what is in the state’s interest. The fact that we had a headless government during our worst crisis, with no state home minister, a chief minister behaving more like a tourism minister, a sulking cabinet minister, Shivraj Patil, a puppet-like prime minister, and a reluctant finance minister who bluntly said he was ‘disinclined’ to take the job thrust on him (Home). In the midst of this mayhem, we were being made complete asses of by well briefed Pakistani ministers who brazenly appeared on our tv channels and blew the smug\agitated anchors away with their sharp retorts and factually correct responses. In other words, they, unlike our netas, had done their homework, did not suffer from a foot in the mouth disease, nor blab on incoherently about nothing of consequence. So much for that…
The Gateway Protest March got diluted completely when immature loudmouths took the mike and yapped away irresponsibly, making zero sense. Apart from silly teenspeak (“Let’s @#*@ the Paki b@$@&*#@!”), they could as well have been at a rock concert. Even though the rage was genuine, it lacked focus…. and there was an absence of any cogent thought - no agenda nor even a simple charter of demands defining what it is that citizens expect under these extraordinary circumstances. But, talking to regular people (not colour co-ordinated celebrities holding candles), one got the actual sense of how scarred the city is. And these are the people with basic common sense who are working on a plan of action within their immediate neighbourhood. Building societies are holding emergency meetings to tighten security and demand better identity proofs before hiring domestics. But the single most important shift has been in the way the aam janata has started to view politicians. For sixty years, the public thought of our netas as
‘Mai baap’ – or worse – our ‘rulers’. When in fact, the correct description is ‘public servants’. Meaning, we have voted them into power to serve our interests – not the other way around. This one thought has brought about a revolution in the common man’s thinking and freed him from some abstract fear about being targeted by politicians for voicing frustration\annoyance Today, for the first time in Independent India, it is the politicians who are running for cover, realizing that if they expose themselves to the public, they may be spat upon or beaten up.
Students, teachers and others who kept calling all of last week had just one question to ask, “What should we do…. we feel so helpless.” This is not the time to surrender to feelings of helplessness. Citizens have woken up to the fact that the most potent weapon each one of us possesses is a voice. There are 16 million voices in Mumbai – enough to form a mighty roar that can be heard loud and clear, not just in New Delhi, but around the world. Use that voice. And do not depend on others to solve the problem. It is ours. We have to find the answers – calmly and intelligently. Don’t kid yourself that the international press and world leaders are here because they’ve suddenly fallen in love with India…. They are there to protect their own people and interests. Had so many foreigners not been taken hostage, had the Jews in Nariman House not been killed, I doubt Condi Rice would have turned up in Delhi, or Obama used such strong language to condemn Pakistan. International news coverage focused almost exclusively on the foreigners who were killed\trapped. Why blame them?? How much coverage do we give to terrorist attacks in say, Tokyo \ Tel Aviv?
Our war in India has to be fought against corruption . Period.
Let us win that war first and almost everything else will then automatically be taken care of….
What a pathetic state of affairs - while Mumbai burned, all that our leaders did was plot each other’s downfall and worry about hanging on to their kursis! Thugs. And worse – desh drohis, who sell the country for a few pieces of gold…. and priceless real estate, of course.