A few emotions you instantly feel when you replay the images about mumbai being 'BOMB BAYED' - anger, vulnerability, helplessness and above all a huge sense of loss and sorrow. Sorrow not just for what's happened and for people who lost their lives, but sorrow for the people who were left behind with a feeling of shock, grief and emptiness. I mean, which on of those people would have ever thought that this would be the last of what they would see of their loved ones. As much as we know that we can prepare ourselves for this finality of life, one cant help but think of what some of those voices would have said that night - "if only my son/daughter/husband/wife/friend/fiancee wouldn't have gone to the Taj/Oberoi/ or that platform on 26/11..."
So what has this exposed about us as a nation? What has this exposed about our government, our media and about us citizens. As I type I realize that I saved the best for last by typing 'citizens'.
The incident exposed the age old inefficiencies in our political system yet again. What added to the misery was the intelligence failure. The obnoxiously evident shades of insensitivity ranged from some of the leaders saying -" SMALL slip ups like these do happen sometimes" to some of the award winning lines like " the plan was to kill 7500 people, but we ensured and controlled it with just 200 odd people losing their lives". Sad and outrageous how losing lives and terror attacks are looked at from an a non-emotional and an insensitive perspective and treated like an economic equation. Do the stupid leaders realize that this is not the pay commission we are talking about over here and that just because we are a nation of a billion plus - lives cant be taken for granted or be treated so cheaply. A billion plus people is our strength, our pride and a part of who we are - not a buffer for incidents and lapses like these.
Turn channels and you see the media sensationalizing the entire episode. My heart goes out to journalists who were shot and injured during these attacks, and I also tip my hat to the ones who covered this so fearlessly. But how do you justify and 'logicalize' some of our most renowned and successful journalists using this as a platform to increase their TRP ratings. How CAN YOU, walk up to a grieving mother or an anxious wife and ask them "how do you feel?", when all that you can see is tears and all that you can hear are sounds of anger, sadness as they shout and cry, HOW???!!! How do you become so mechanical, so task oriented and so commercial about something as big as this? This after you are there in the situation, seeing people howling an dead bodies being brought out possibly every hour???? No wonder we have a forum on facebook that wants a leading journalist from NDTV to be off air!!!
As this reality stares me on my face every single day when I wake up, I know and believe that we will as a nation rise above all of this. We will conquer our fears by coming together as one. Stand as one to not just fight something like this, but come together as one to fix this at a grass root level. At a grass root level - to exercise our right to vote and chose the right leaders, be the voice and the force to unite people beyond religion, beyond economics, beyond the obviously irrational social set up (even if it means we reach out to 1 person in a day).
From the looks of it, it seems like we are getting there, be it by coming together and shouting slogans against our leaders, or be it a group of a 100+ walking silently with candles in their hands. What stands out today (over and above the fear factor and nervousness), is a feeling of being one, being united and a certain sense of awakening, that this has to end.
So while the common man seems to have woken up and become more aware, will the leaders ever listen and rise beyond the power games? Hopefully this time around time won't tell, but actions will!!