None of the Above

By Ninad Pundalik

It’s been a long time since I last posted something on this blog.  And lots of things have happened since then.  One thing that is on everyone’s mind these days is the Terrorist Attack on Mumbai that happened last week. Here are a few brilliant pictures of the attack.  Everyone across India watched in awe as media broadcasted live images of one of the worst terrorist attacks that Mumbai has faced in recent times.  That this entire event was a tragedy of the largest scale is beyond dispute.  But what is even worse, is the aftermath of the attacks that have happened in Indian Politics.  Here are a few news reports on the internet after the attack (sources: NDTV.com and IBNLive.com alerts):

Until a few days back, I was an optimist.  Though the rot in the politicical system of India was clearly visible, there was a small amount of hope that the few good people in the Parliament, who have an iota of common sense could, over time, weed out this menace of using each and every event to play divisive, regional and communal politics. When I read the above news articles however, I was amazed at the levels our ‘LEADERS’ could reach, for personal and extremely short term gains. The Opposisition Leader does not attend the All Party Meet organised by the Prime Minister. The UPA and NDA leaders play the blame game. The Cheif Minister of Maharashtra turns up at the scene of attack in a ‘tourist’ mood. And then, the Ruling Party puts out a report through the Home Ministry, clearly pointing out the ‘efficiency’ with which the UPA Government has prevented terrorist attacks, as against the NDA Government. The timing of the report surely raises doubts about the intentions. However, the sickening fact is that they still take glory in the fact that ‘7000’ people have died. The political leaders need to be shown that they’d better start taking their job seriously, or that they too can be kicked out of their positions, just like everyone else. I so hope that our voting machines had an option, ‘None of the Above’. That, I think, is the only option that can keep politicians, both in the ruling party and the opposition, on their toes.

If our politicians realise that this is a time for a concerted effort from everyone, and stop bicekring about futile issues, I would say that the people who have died in these attacks did not die in vain. Another solution to the incessant attacks that we have faced, I beleive is, Vigilance by All. The Police, the Army, and all the other Security forces, who did a very good job of battling the obviously well prepared terrorists, are seriously understaffed. We should complement their efforts in keeping our country safe. After all, even though they are primarily responsible for keeping India safe, it is also up to us to keep India safe, as it’s our own country.

The tragic reality has hit everyone in the country, thanks to the constant glare of television media. Whether the Indian media played a role in shaping the attacks, is a debatable issue. But it surely has made everyone realise the sadness and the inhuman nature of these attacks. I hope that we do not have to face any such attacks in the future, and that due efforts will be taken by all of us in preventing such an incident from repeating.

Please read the following posts as well, on the Mumbai blasts:

  1. A Young India,  A Rising India – Pratik Maheshwari
  2. What Are You Going to do – (Anti-)Bond
  3. Apoorv’s Post
  4. And yes, The Sunday Times of India (30-Nov-08) had a few exceptional articles on the Editorial page.