A small incident?

Nov 30, 2008

“Bade bade shehron mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain,” said Shah Rukh in DDLJ and endeared himself to the audiences. But yesterday, I was reminded of this dialogue when Maharashtra home minister R R Patil very shamelessly said, “Mumbai bahut bada shahar hai to aise ekadh hadse to hote hi rahenge. Voh 5000 logon ko maarne aaye the lekin us hisab se kam nuksaan hua hai.” Really Mr. Patil, I wonder if you would have said that had your precious Mantralaya been the site of a hostage crisis.

To say that the last four days have been an ordeal would be an understatement. I was posted at Nariman House throughout this time. And Mr. Patil believe me hearing grenades and bullet shots as close as 50 feet away is not a small thing. There were colleagues of mine who were out there at Taj lying on the ground and reporting so as to be protected from the crossfire. And all of us felt this helplessness that we were out here watching so many people getting killed. We have heard so many anguished cries, seen so much blood Mr. Patil and you are saying all that was ‘ekadha chota haadsa’? And your brilliant boss Mr. Deshmukh saw this chota haadsa as an opportunity to promote the idea of a film with Ram Gopal Varma and his son. So its a big enough incident to warrant a film, but not enough to take action is it?

We lost brilliant officers and all because they had outdated safety equipments whereas the terrorists really had new age weapons. Why? Because never in all your political decisions do you Mr. Patil or your friends discuss security concerns. You are all busy trying to prove who is a Maharashtrian and who is not. Every Mumbaikar has been wondering where the great champion of Mumbai Mr. Raj Thackeray has been all this while. Not a single statement Mr. Thackeray? Why so silent? Why are you not raising the issue of better equipment and training for all our personnel? After all some of the slain officers were even proper ‘Marathi manoos’. And all you have done is put up some lame flex banners saying Shrandhanjali. For that matter why were your drunk MNS and Shiv Sena activists creating a ruckus outside Nariman house shouting party slogans? You should have rather been helping the commandos in keeping the curious public out of harm’s way and providing the hard working commandos with water and other basic necessities, something even the residents there managed to do. But how can all of you think of such things? All of you are always busy defining regionality and religion rather than the cost of a life.

And our great ruling coalition says that its ministers have always taken ‘moral’ responsibility and resigned. My dear leaders its not moral but the total absolute responsibility of the home minister to see to it that intelligence inputs are taken seriously and security measures are stepped up accordingly. Its not a symbolic responsibility, its your very real responsibility, that is what you were supposed to do when you were given the home ministry portfolio. But instead all intelligence inputs from India and abroad were ignored. The terrorists were in Indian waters for around 72 hours. Fishermen along the coast had reported the suspicious boat. But well, who cares? Like our investigation Water Rat had exposed 2 years ago, some of our coastal security agencies do not even report to work regularly. And even if they do report such incidents there is so much of red tape and inter departmental conflict, that by the time the report is taken seriously terrorists are already on a killing spree.

Yes I am angry and outraged like most Mumbaikars. And no I don’t want to show my superior resilient spirit one more time. I don’t want to pay for your Z security when I live in the fear of being killed on my way to work. I want all of you who we elected to take decisions for us, to actually do something instead of making political statements. And I don’t want any of us to light any more candles. Let us all vote, take an active interest in politics, take the governance in our hands instead of wearing white or lighting candles or holding up banners filled with patriotic poetry. Lets all do something more concrete so that these statement makers shut their mouths and get to work.



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