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”

September 14, 2008

White… Bloody white…

Serial blasts in Delhi.

Serial blasts in Ahmedabad.

Serial Blasts in Hyderabad…

It has been a long time since I have started seeing these headlines. Com’on, it’s got boring. Can’t you have more creative headlines? What happened to the creative barons of the media? Believe me, as a viewer, whenever you keep seeing these headlines, my first instinct is to switch channels.

Sadist… some people would say. What about the loss? what about those killed? How can you think of TRP’s and stuff in the face of such crisis?

Right, I am sadist.

I got used to it. As every other common man has.

What has the common man done after each of these blasts?

He avoided going to these places after the blasts for the first 2 days. He thought, what else will happen? We have seen this happening every now and then. This is not something new. It was just sheer luck that he wasn’t there at the place.

The common man is not terrorised any more. We have become resilient. We now expect something more creative from the terrorists now. Even flying planes into crowded streets is old fashioned now.

A billion strong common man. Someone has to do something really very creative to get our attention now. And you should look at the different things we have done, to take the cue.

  • We have a home minister responsible for internal security, who hasn’t been elected by popular vote. We let him be there, because he was in the coterie of you-know-who.
  • We have elected “representatives of the people”, when they were spending time behind bars accused of homicide.
  • We dote on politicians who still follow the colonial policy of ‘Divide and Rule’. For us, division (on the basis of race, caste, ethnicity and so on) gives us a sense of identity.
  • We pay our taxes diligently – the money which is used to feed a bloated bureaucracy. For us, red-tape is a way of life – a part and parcel of “the system”.
  • People can plant bombs, but don’t worry. If they get caught, they will enjoy a decade of plush hospitality, till our judiciary decides. And then, there is still a chance of being acquitted.
  • We argue over a cup of tea, whether capital punishment is the need of the hour. We debate on human rights, when psychotic killers go on a rampage. Civilized society, as some would say.
  • We continue to patronise a security system, which is next to non-existent. For us, police is a word we should avoid, police station is a place we should avoid going to, a policeman is a person we should avoid any contact with. They are ‘the untouchables’.

So do you get the point?

You need to change to entertain us. You need to change to terrorise us.

Believe me, we have got bored with the crimson red colour of blood too. We have been seeing that everywhere. We have even changed our sense of colour.

Blood is no more red.

It is WHITE – anyone can add any colour to it.

Haa… It even brings a smirk on my face, when I see a politician dressed in spotless white… White, bloody white…

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