Monday, December 15, 2008

We are the world.......

We are the world….

The strangest thing has happened post 26\11 – not only has Mumbai united in some weird way, but so has India. Stranger still…. we have rudely woken up to the tragic fact that the whole world is under attack and we are all sailing in the same damn boat. Name one big international city that can claim to be safe from terrorist attacks. The only two countries I can think of which have been miraculously saved so far are Australia and Singapore – both with exceedingly stringent anti-terrorist laws in place. In that sense, everyone on earth is under threat at any given point. Small consolation, but there it is. So, what does one do – stop living? No. One gets smarter. Tougher. Stronger. I received countless calls from distraught Mumbaikars wondering how we could possibly protect ourselves since clearly there was no government machinery in place to that for us. At the most critical period, when the city desperately required direction, the state government was headless! While the battle for the c.m.’s post was being fought in distant Delhi, there was no state home minister around either. The top cops were being hounded, and the mayor had done the disappearing act. Technically, Maharashtra…. and Mumbai in particular, was on auto pilot, pretty much running itself!! And nobody noticed!!
But one thing did change – and it is a huge change. Citizens discovered their own strength. They also discovered people power – the most potent power in the world. When students called to naively suggest I should ‘do something’ ( meaning - lead a morcha, raise slogans, light candles, hold hands, sign petitions etc. etc), my response was just one. I told them to google the 1968 student revolt in Paris, which brought down the French government and led to radical reforms. Most of my callers were not born in ’68, and entirely unaware of that historic occasion. I do hope they took the trouble to check out just how effective the voices of those impassioned students were. It can be the same scenario right here in Mumbai, if students themselves join forces and challenge the system. To do so , they must keep politicians out. The entire exercise will go down the tube if they allow the slightest interference from political parties looking to capitalize on the current situation. Student unions in Delhi and elsewhere are snakepits controlled by political mafias. They are flush with funds and fight college elections with more ferociousness than national elections. The people who win are no better than goondas, who bully and browbeat any opposition. Fortunately, Mumbai colleges are free of such hooliganism. The youth in the city can be accused of many things, but not of dirty politics. There are some exceptionally bright , motivated students with pragmatic solutions to offer, starting with better awareness of security issues\lapses. In one way or the other, each one of us has been directly affected by the blasts – whether it was the victims at CST or those trapped in the two hotels. The internet is on fire at present with first person accounts of foreigners who were rescued by the commandos. Every story heaps generous praise on the impeccably trained hotel personnel who did not forget their training or calling for even a second and saved countless lives. There can be no greater example of that than Mr. Karambir Kang , General Manager of the Taj Mahal Hotel, who continued to determinedly fight on, knowing all along that his wife and two children had been taken away from him in the fire that swept the sixth floor where they were stuck. I hope and pray, Mr. Kang’s superhuman service to duty gets due recognition from the government, along with the recognition we owe to every single martyr who died in the carnage, and every single cop, fireman, commando and citizen who risked it all….. for us.Yes. Mumbai is a great city. Which is precisely why our enemies want to destroy us. But you know what? They are wasting their time. Mumbai was and remains indestructible….. as do the magnificent Mumbaikars. We shall overcome….. and live to fight another day. Because we are worth it!

22 comments:

Bhavisha Joshi said...

hi mam,

That's good a idea. I am will definitely share this to my friends. our country needs transformation..

Thanks for giving us this wonderful solution.

:)

hitch writer said...

It just shows how thick skinned we Indians have become... Some one asked me if the terrorists brought so many guns, why wouldnt they bring RDX and blow up everything... I told him so many bomb blasts in Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Delhi, Guwahati and no one batted even an eyelid.

So they tried some thing else..!! but it went horribly wrong... Now whole India is united !!! Pity that we needed such a shock to awaken .

I said...

My thoughts exactly! First time in a really long time I see unity among us Indians. Better late than never.

*Aham* said...

loved this article.

Yes, WE ARE WORTH IT.

(ash included)

Zlaek said...

'we are the world...'
the whole post was touching, in an inexplicable way.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yes, India is waking up and our leaders too are slowly falling in line. I read this heartening news on page six of Times of India, of 13th December that Haryana has withdrawn 150 strong commando force from the VIP security. In my blog posts i have repeatedly suggested to the immediate withdrawal of commandos looking after the VIP security and sending them for training to keep them fighting fit for meeting any eventuality, similar to the one happened in Mumbai last month. Reading the public mood all over the country, Haryana Government has done a small beginning, whereas, a lot more needs to be done in that direction. Today only i read another news in TOI that there are one thousand police fellows looking after the security of CM of Punjab. Our country does not have dearth of resources, except that they are wrongly placed. One of the MLAs of Haryana has agreed as quoted by the news paper that there is no need of commandos looking after the security of the politicians and other bureaucrats which has become a mere status symbol. Well done Haryana, I hope the others will follow.

deartush said...

hello... u r absolutely right while saying that youngsters must join politics to flush out corrupt and inept politicians. However, most of youngsters today want a decent job in some MNC, a car and a good partner... Nobody wants to dirty their hands for cleaning up the system ! and that is why hoolgans and uneducated people make their way into political system...

Hobo ........ ........ said...

:)

Nischal S said...

A famous comment from the movie "V for Vendatta"-inspired by Guy Gawkes , said "Government is not a government,if it's not looking after it's own people". Why does it take taxes from working class people, if it's wasting those for paying oversease trip,VIP security,Party advertisement,parliament session(25lac for each session) and their transportation(yatras) of the very members whom we elected. With great roles like ministers, comes the great responsibility towards the people. They need the sense of responsibility and fear of people. There should be law,check or threshold on those financial spending and during these financial crisis, it needs a way of cut shorting them eventually.


Sathyanarayana

K said...

Dear Shobhaa,

You just echoed my thoughts. In one of your previous blogposts, I had referenced the '68 student protests starting in France and then gradually spreading to different parts of the world. I think, this is an opportuned moment to revisit, recreate and appropriate the intensity and spirit of that historic event.

I myself was not born then. But thanks to my education in architecture and urbanism, I have always been drawn toward the French intellectuals for their radical ideas.

I am sitting in on Design Studio Reviews tomorrow, the title of which is "VOICES" - Redefining Protest.

Cheers!

Dinesh said...

you re a stupid bi*** ...not worth anybody's time.

- Dinesh

Aastha Gill said...

Hi Shobha,

Your words are very true.We should fight back together.

But such a shame we Indians needed such a tragic jolt to awake!

romulus said...

"K" = Robespierre, lafayette etc

romulus said...

one more thing - shobhaa your pretty brilliant, but i do recall you criticising shahrukh khan for calling upon the youth to act. yet, here you offer the same solution. i'm glad the power of the youth in political circumstances is not being devalued.

K said...

Romulus.

Sorry. Robespierre is passé. That's a completely different generation. I am drawn toward examining the more contemporary and civil nature of protests. And '68 student protests in Nantes, Paris and all the way to Chicago are my points of reference.

Anonymous said...

SHobhaee..!! Njan Oru Vikaara Jeeviyaanu..!!! :)p

Anonymous said...

wr are just a confused society..we r grappling with a fucking identity crisis..trying ever so fucking hard to project an image of strength to the outside world..and let s face it we r about as sure as a child who's been blinded as to what happened...and on top of that unity????...trust me its fucking insecurity..when the shit hits the fan everybody is a friend cos u don't know who's gonna help you....hahahaha..im happy u guys can still convince urselves to see the silver lining...our country was never ever united except under some sort of monarchy..where the tyrants beat our asses up the walls...and hold on...this must be about mumbaaiites coming together as INDIA....there are places in the north east where ppl have nt heard the news yet..bettr still..they don care..SO MUCH FOR THE NEW INDIA..wake up

NAT said...

NAT

Dear Shobha,
The first lesson all Indians should learn, Be Patriotic.
Treat all as Indian First.
There is a Cancer in our blood. Money is everything. This should be cured. Every Indian is aiming to come on the Forbes lists of Richest people in the world. So sell the Country. The Politicians have done that. They even kill their own in the name of Religion, Region, Caste & Creed. Get rid of them, especially the old ones who have no right to let the present generation suffer for their greed.
The enemy is within. If reports are true, one can infiltrate the country with Rs.200/ from Bangladesh, and just US$400/ from the sea. Our forces, border and coastal guards, even local police should be motivated and to refrain from such activities to gain small change. They should be told sternly that if caught severe action will be taken. That one day he or his Family member may be a victim of his folly. NAT

Anonymous said...

NAT,

The Malaise afflicting our society is far deeper.Incompetancy & Corruption is legitimized from the breasts which feeds us also.It begins in our school where cheating in tests, Public exams are rampant.When you work in a company projects are led by incompetant people who perpetuate mediocrity & set the agenda for what needs to be done, when you go out to wage that war you are tossed between lies & corruptions. Though i am not a racist but i do think Politics runs very deep amongst every North Indian & Muslims. It is better you give freedom to south indians from India so we can save ourself from the rut of rest of this country. We don't see anything in common with rest of India in terms of integrity, political representation, language, fairness & equity and worse of all your cowardice which we hate the most.

dr.kumar said...

HI MAM,U R ABSOLUTELY CORRECT AND I ALSO FEEL THE SAME.THERE MUST BE A "PEOPLE'S REVOLUTION"WHICH WILL "TRANSFORM-EVERYTHING".I'M A PROFESSIONAL WRITER TOO AND HAVE BEEN WRITTING SUCCESSFULLY IN ENGLISH AND RUSSIAN WHILE LIVING IN ST.PETERSBURG AND "CHECHNAYA".I'VE LIVED,FELT AND ANALYZED "TERRORISM",MOREOVER I WAS "VERY-FORTUNATE" TO "WATCH" THE "POSITIVE-CHANGES" WITH MY OWN-EYES ALONG WITH THOUSANDS OF "NATIVES" AND I STRONGLY SAY "IF RUSSIA COULD DO THIS,WHY CAN'T INDIA MAKE IT HAPPEN".WELL,PRECISELY SPEAKING "WE[THE CITIZENS] MAKE THE NATION AND IT'S US WHO HAVE TO GET UNITED THEREBY INITIATING A REVOLUTION-TO FORCE THE POLICY-MAKERS AND THE SYSTEMS TO MAKE REAL-CHANGES".BEFORE GOING FOR THAT "WE MUST CHANGE OURSELVES FIRST" AND ABOVE ALL "THE FIRE MUST GO-ON.........."
I STILL HOLD THE INDIAN PASSPORT AND AM EXTREMELY PROUD TO BE A HINDUSTANI,I LOVE TO BE CALLED "DILLI KA CHORA" AND I'LL PUT MY BEST FOR OUR "GREAT-MOTHERLAND".
I CAME TO DELHI FROM MOSCOW IN SEPTEMBER AFTER MY LONG STAY ABROAD AND CONTINOUSLY ANALYSING THE "COUNTRY'S SITUATION"-IT'S "PATHETIC" AND "GETTING CHRONIC".......BHARAT MATA IS SERIOUSLY ILL AND SHE'S GOING TO-DIE!!!
BEING A PATRIOT AND AN ANALYTICAL-FICTION WRITER I THOUGHT "WHY NOT TO WRITE SOMETHING TRUE,SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY,SOMETHING HIGHLY-INSPIRING,SOMETHING WHICH COULD MAKE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS FEEL AND REALIZE THE SERIOUSNESS AND THE DANGERS OF THE PRESENT CONDITIONS AND SOMETHING WHICH COULD BE DIL SE HINDUSTANI".SO,I WENT INTO A GREEN GURUKUL AND STARTED MEDITATING WITH MY FINGERS ON THE LAPTOP AND WHEN I CAME OUT OF THE TRANCE I WAS WITH A "BOMB"-A "BOOK" WHICH WILL BLOW-OUT EVERY-DARK INDUICING FIRE IN THE "BRAINS,HEARTS AND SOULS" OF MILLIONS OF HINDUSTANIS-MOTIVATING THEM TO REALIZE THEIR "POWERS" AND TO COME-FORWARD JOINING HAND WITH-EACH OTHER FOR A "NEW-SATYAGRAH" WHICH I NAMED "NAVA-BHARAT"[THE NEW INDIA].I'VE WRITTEN THE BOOK IN THE SIMPLEST FORM OF HINUSTANI-ENGLISH AND IS GOING TO BE RELEASED ON THE 1st DAY OF THE NEW-YEAR.
MAM I'M SENDING SOME SEGMENTS OF MY BOOK"THE VOICE OF INDIA-ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" AS ATTACHED FILES ON UR E-M@IL.I'LL BE VERY GREATFULL AND HAPPY TO GET AN POSITIVE REPLY.FOR ANY FURTHER DETAILS,ENQUIRIES AND SUGGESTIONS-PLEASE CONTACT ME:
Dr.KUMAR +91-99536-25736.;doktorkumar666@mail.ru

Vashi said...

A Sincere Meaningful Wish, A Sincere Meaningful Hope, A Sincere Meaningful Manifestation;  
Eradication & Resourcefully Effective Management of Global Hunger and Malnutrition
 
Are you Aware
 
Hunger and malnutrition kill a child every 4 seconds
 
I was very much shocked and still shocked whilst compiling these few words very sadly and with extreme concern when I came to know of this a short while ago
 
(A lot can be spoken, but what is done meaningfully is what matters and although a lot of meaningful actions are being taken, these very much need the continual and effective participation of Millions of People World Wide since this is an critical aspect of alarming proportions that needs to be effectively and resourcefully managed / very carefully controlled)

Continued (Please visit the following hyperlink)

http://hungerandmalnutrition.wordpress.com/
 
With Sincere Hopes and Thoughts for an Effective Resolution to resourcefully counteract and enable an effective management of this Critical Challenge Globally,

Vashi Ram Chandi

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