Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do you think England will go ahead with the Test match in Mumbai?

"What did they tell you?" screamed the woman.
"they told us to stay inside and lock the door and not make too much noise".
"What did you hear?" she of the screaming voice, still screaming.
"My neighbour told me he heard gunshots".
"What did they tell you exactly?"...scream was turning into a shriek.
"You see, in the interview I gave to your Hindi channel, NDTV Hindi, I had mentioned..."

This is 'live' reporting during the standoff between the perpetrators of yet another attack in the country. The screaming voice was some bitch on NDTV talking to someone holed up in the interiors of the Taj...while the other voice is someone who is giving interviews even while he is hiding in one of the rooms. This is the Indian news media during what is one of the worst attacks of terrorism on the State.

Enough has been said and written about what is happening now and yes it is sad. But what do we take out of this?

It is not as if terrorism is new to India. The ATS chief, who was among the tragically killed, had in fact met various security agencies in the past couple of months to ensure that security was beefed up in all offices and establishments across Mumbai, but beyond the cursory checking of baggages at the entrance...was there any seriousness involved. Even major hotels like The Taj, The Trident or the ITC group of hotels, which are the the places foreign delegates and dignitaries usually stay was sadly lacking in even basic security measures. The major railway stations in most cities are soft targets even now.

It took more than nine hours for the NSG to be deployed when for all intents and purposes it is said they can be ready in a few minutes. The army was on the scene within a few hours, but there definitely seems to have been a lack of authority. Not withstanding the number of attacks in the country this year, there has been a marked lack of policies, and protocols defined or factored to handle emergencies like these. Rather than proactively assuage security consideration across major cities we are, as usual, reacting to the emergency situation.

As usual, with the media in the forefront, we are going to start the blame game over who started it and who trained these misguided group. As usual, we are going to start talking about Pakistan's involvement. As usual, we are going to go to town about how politicians are goin to use this incident to further their own interests. As usual, the spirit of Mumbaikars, or any other city unlucky to be targeted, is going to be bandied about. As usual, the media is going to shove the mikes on the faces of armchair critics and non-entities like bollywood celebs, the Shoba Des and the Alyque Padamsees and allow them to voice their incredulous anger about how the country is being fucked up by politicians. As usual, we will have to listen to the santimonious screamings from the Barkha Dutts and the Arnab Goswamis who spltter words from their mouths that barely hides their glee in the rise of the TRP should hear Arnab Goswami utter a million times, "...another hostage has been killed. You heard it first on your news channel...Times Now." FUCK.

I agree, the politicians cannot be absolved of the crime in not being prepared. There has been knee-jerk reactions to incidents like these and yet nothing concrete is being done to have a plan to deal with it. We can't stop terrorism. It will be there as long as there is socio-economical or socio-political divide existing in this world...what we can do is to try and be prepared, so that the next time something like this happens...there will be a semblence of sanity in how it is being managed.

"Do you think England will go ahead with the Test match in Mumbai?"
This one was a gem from CNN-IBN a few hours into the attack.

Where was a stray bullet when we really need one?


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