Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai November 2008

I am unable to come to an understanding of what and how I feel about the “War on Mumbai”.

Maybe I'm just intellectualising things without giving way to basic emotions, instinctual reactions. Maybe I'm trying to find meaning in an obvious and apparent situation.

I'm wondering whether my grief in collective public display with its many innovations in this digital networking age will be of benefit to anyone other to stroke my ego.

Should the energy that goes into my grief be perhaps better directed to individual and collective action? What is it that I can do? How do I support and bolster the security of my country without going up and shaking a policeman's hand, without lighting candles at the Gateway, without giving vent to communal hatred, without taking vigilante action, without getting overcome by the base feelings that television awakens in us, without cynicism, without being partisan, or indifferent?

I'm sure the last thing our security forces need right now are interfering, meddling, and bumbling citizens with a panicked zeal. Nor do they need our criticism, armed with our imperfect wisdom and solutions. They just need the space to do their job. If they need us, they'll ask us.

So where then is our power? Our power is in our hands as citizens. As tax-payers, as voters, as proud of being Indian as the folks who we voted to represent us and govern on our behalf. We have the collective power and authority to generate a widely spread and momentous pressure on all politicians regardless of the colour of their persuasion.

We need to get together as citizens and put united public pressure on them to take many different actions, enact laws, and work at strengthening the defenses of our country. There can be no one solution. We need many to work in synergy. Our pressure has to be exerted through collective and united opinions and voices in popular mass media, the digital ways, through awareness campaigns in public spaces, and to make sure the joint political entity of India do what we want.

That's all I have to say.


Gordon-M said...

I'll tell you what...
Yesterday, I took the initiative of calling a candlelight condolence meeting amongst 60 families from my Society for all the valiant and ordinary souls lost in the 3-day tragedy. The response was magnanimous, to say the least. I never imagined I could summon a group of around 100 individuals at such short notice.
Maybe it was the black-bordered invitation; maybe not. Maybe it was their inner yearning to share their profound grief but restrained by their timidity...
That's more like it. Their TIMIDITY! That's what's cost the Mumbaikar dear. Like all average citizens we all WANT to do something but know not where to start.
However, as a concerned individual living in big, mad Mumbai for the last 10 years and more, I took it upon myself to generate a few voices. Voices not lamenting the deeds of the culprits but voices pointing fingers at ourselves!!
Yes, OURSELVES! It is WE who have let ourselves be taken for one massive ride by our inanity into believing that all will be well hereafter. Our idiocy at believing that our politicians would take care. Take care they did and still do. Not of us, but their pockets. And so, after much thought, which really need not have us wracking our jelly brains, it was concluded that if WE the people did not do something urgently WE would be consumed altogether.
And I presume such thoughts have started working. We can see the response of the government at the centre. We will, no doubt see many heads roll. We will see changes in the State ministry and above all, we will see the common man change!
Something tells me a mass movement has begun albeit a trifle late. But the wheels have ben put in motion. And I, for one, have enrolled myself to be an EYES & EARS denizen with the DNA Group. The concept was started this morning and I vow to play a pivotal role in whichever manner I can. I MUST...! for the sake of Mumbai and for our children. I must become an Ajmal Kasab in a role reversal.

p@tr!(k said...'s what I was writing about. Grassroot movements like yours with the help of the mass media will hopefully cause radical changes of governance and policy through a kind of domino effect. We can only do what we must so that it adds to the growing awareness and the will to make it a better world to live in. Thanks for commenting.