Narayan… Narayan…

November 27, 2008

The cost of life…

“Terrorists take over Mumbai” “Attacks in Mumbai” – Breaking news headlines flaring throughout the day.

Aww… tell me something new. We all got used to this. The common man is going to wake up and go to work the next day as if nothing happened.

But then something caught my eye, as I fleeted through the news. These guys attacked Taj & Oberoi hotels, and were asking for folks with American and British passports.

Now that’s something different. These guys finally found a way to get to the media, so much so that CNN & MSNBC have decided to stop guessing about Obama’s next man in the transition cabinet. Imagine pictures of Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, & Ashok Kamte (the men from the Indian Anti-terrorist Squad, who lost their lives in this attack) being flashed across American channels.

That is media attention. And how did these terrorist manage to get that – simple, Stop focusing on cheap Indian lives.

I bet this is going to get much more attention than the serial blasts that happened over the last 6 months.

Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Guwahati – These are not the list of developing Indian cities. This is just the list of cities which saw serial blasts rip through their busiest areas killing the common Indian man – bad strategy I would say. Com’on who cares for a cheap Indian life?

(A, B, D, G, H, J… see, these poor guys missed out a city that starts with C, then E, F… )

Awww… and after this, I loved the way, our ‘honorable’ politicians, dressed for the cameras, came out and said –

“This is a tragic moment for our Nation. My prayers go out to the people who have been injured and killed. We shall initiate a CBI inquiry into these attacks and the intelligence failure. The govt. will provide 5 lakh rupees to the next of kin of the deceased”

Did you happen to notice the cream colored bandhgala, and the green one a few minutes later, which the home minister, Shivraj Patil wore for the press briefing? And yeah… 5,00,000 rupees for one Indian life – see, that was indeed cheap. Who cares?

And now, the creative terrorist has done something different. Why focus on those many cheap Indian lives, when few Americans and Britons can give a better coverage? Paradigm shift, Hmmm. The news also said that around 100 people lost their lives in this attack. Now that is like collateral damage. Com’on, They will anyway get 5,00,000 rupees. Don’t worry about that.

Shocking, gruesome, horrible, carnage, massacre – these are few of the adjectives used to describe the event. Analysts are surprised at the incredible planning.

I am surprised; They don’t get the basic fact – This happened in India.

What does the Indian government do after each terror attack? Vote bank politics take over, with an eye on the next general elections. The victims and perpetrators of terror are classified based on religion, race, and ethnicity. Statements are issued accordingly. The motive – get the maximum number of votes. It is important that the future is secure – the future of the politician, the minister, the government.

After all, who cares for a few hundred cheap lives in a billion plus population with a birth rate of 22 per 1000? And yes, the common man – who cares? He is going to pay the taxes to sustain the privileges of the bureaucracy. He is going to go back to work the next day, irrespective of what happened.

Sad and depressing – that is the truth. The life of a common Indian man is cheap and dispensable. It is not me, but the politicians and government who say so…

Last heard:

Shivraj Patil – “Damn those guys, why did they have to ask for British and American passports? Now that America is watching, I need a new Armani.”

Manmohan Singh – “Thank goodness, they didn’t ask for Italian passports. Madam will be happy. Now what do I wear, blue turban, green turban, or… black, that will go well with the black suit”

LK Advani – “yaaaaay… now let them talk about Hindu terrorists. Hello… CNN … I am giving a press briefing”

RR Patil – “Female reporters at my press briefing should be wearing sarees only. Indian culture…”

Raj Thackeray – “First we have to find out if these terrorists were originally from UP and Bihar”

November 5, 2008

Yes We Can…

Tuesday November 4, 2008 – America voted.

I bet no date has ever caught the attention of a nation and the world as this date has.

Before I say anything, I will wish all the readers of this blog a belated happy Halloween. I thought of my mask for Halloween, and the first idea I get – Let me wear a Bush mask. What has been scarier than this face? In fact, show me a scarier face in the last decade.

Do I sound like a “democrat”? Well, I am neither a republican, nor a democrat, nor an independent. I am just an observer from India.

I have been watching the debates and the campaign over a period of the last 12 months. And I can say the few phrases that caught my attention “Change, we need”, & “Country First”.

But… “YES WE CAN” – No other phrase has caught the attention of the entire world.

My few cents, as the world sees the most tumultuous economic times in the 21st century. The one thing that keeps human spirits alive is Hope. It keeps us alive in the victories and tragedies of life. Hope keeps you alive to survive and succeed. I must say that this is hope that has written a new chapter in the 200 plus years of American history.

Democracy is oft defined in the words of a senator from Illinois – “By the people, of the people, and for the people”.

This was a moment in history, when another senator from Illinois gave a new slogan to democracy – “Yes, We can”.

If Martin Luther King had a dream, Barack Obama has made that dream come true.

And as Obama said: – “A new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”

Folks, this has been the most inspiring message I have ever heard.

His message to the world: – “Our stories are singular but our destiny is shared. To those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright, tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals, democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope”.

Barack Obama has officially won the 2008 Presidential Elections. This has been a defining moment in history, and I feel privileged to have witnessed this.

And my good words to the competitor – Sen. John Mc Cain. A true soldier, who accepted defeat graciously, thus saying to his supporters “the defeat is just mine, not yours”

From a citizen of the world’s largest democracy, I salute you, America.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are just my own.

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