14-Dec-2008

questions, answers and prayers

I haven't said anything about the Mumbai terror attacks. I have just been taking in all the information, wondering and thinking. Today, i had gone out for dinner with my sis and brother-in-law. While eating in this nice and crowded restaurant, a sudden thought struck me. we were sitting at a table in the middle and directly in front of the entrance. what if someone came in and started firing at us suddenly... where would we run? where would we hide? while all the so called important people in this country politicians, beaurocrats, cricketers and actors have enhanced security, what about us plain old ordinary folk? who will guard us? who will protect us?
this is not rheotoric. this is a genuine question that i am asking.
i have many such questions.
are our politicians really that callous? one day Hemanth Karkare is a traitor, his integrity is questioned, the next day he is hailed by the same people as a martyr who died for this country. are our politicians really this callous? i ask once again.
did our movie stars and cricketers do something when this happened? did they rush to hospitals, did they comfort people? what did they do other than issue statements?
where was the Shiv sena? where were the MNS activists? what did they do to help?
the people of every country deserve their politicians. do we deserve ours? after all we vote for them. we vote for them for various reasons. he is of my caste. he is of my religion. he belongs to this area....
one day we hate Narendra Modi. the next day, we forget his alleged mistakes and hail him as the next best thing.
did the terrorists belong to pakistan? maybe... all evidence till date points in that direction but so what? yes so what!!
so they belonged to pakistan, so they were trained there, so they came with concrete plans... what about us? what did we do???
the collective response of our gvernment machinery is a reflection of our psyche as a country.
We hate rules, don't we? we hate queues, we don't care about traffic rules, we generally don;t bother voting, we hate it when our bags are checked, when we have to carry ids...
we don't even like it when the govt asks us to wear helmets.
so we find a shortcut for everything. we pay our way out of trouble. our "chalta hai" attitude is reflected in the response of our officials, when there were intelligence reports of terrorist activities...
perhaps, we must take a long, hard look at ourselves as a nation, as a society first. then we can point fingers at our netas, at pakistan and everyone else.

i pray for peace and recovery of the city whose soul was damaged, i pray for peace for the families of the brave men who died fighting for us, for the unfortunate victims. i pray for us as a nation to heal and more importantly learn the bitter lessons that this attack has taught us. I finally hope and pray for peace and justice

10-Dec-2008

another book

I started reading what is the what, a book about a boy who runs away from the civil war in Sudan. It is such an amazing book. and the story itself is so touching... As i read the book, I realized that I know very little about Africa, its present or history. I'm hoping to change that. I've started reading up on the conflict in Sudan, Somalia and Rwanda.
The violence that has ravaged the continent is heart rending. I'm not going to get into who caused it but the one thing I realized was that wherever there is war, it is the women who pay the biggest price. rape and abduction are used as weapons and their use is very widespread. This is exactly the reason why we must have more women in governing and decision making positions.