Mumbai 2008

by sunil on December 1, 2008


Sad, but could have been easily prevented, if only Indians – from Jai the politician ( as popularly alleged ) to Jai the editor to Jai the plumber to Jai the blogger ( of movie and booker reviews) was a bit more serious about terrorism when people were serving warning after warning which was dismissed with a self-serving-liberal-pseudo-secular-laughter. Where the fuck is Tejpal- Arundhati-Azmi brigade now?

It’s all going to be quiet for a while before they all start barking again; it’s going to be a different bark, but bark nevertheless, not thought. The worst pain of such events is the new avalanche of page 3 mediocrity that shall be unleashed upon the world by Indian media in the next few months. Like for instance –
1. ATS chief was brave! I hadn’t seen him before but he looks like someone who couldn’t run a hundred yards without having to stop for his breath. Please, there is nothing brave in getting shot sitting in a van not knowing who shot him. Not half as brave as those terrorists and not quarter as brave as NSG commandos. But tragic yes. Driving to a hospital is the least you would expect of crisis command head during a crisis. And his bullet proof vest was penetrable? Dude, they shot at him because they wanted the van – else they would have wrecked them all into Egyptian mummies. Check out the photographs of the Taxi they traveled in. But he died in line of duty- immensely respectable.

2. Spirit of Mumbai? what is it ? As far as I know it’s Bombay Sapphire. Is it a cliche? or is it not? How much enough is really enough?….I have walked the streets of Mumbai- and yes it does exude a devil -may-care-attitude but talks of resilience , spirit etc was to me always a myth. I’ve never believed it has something exceptional than any other cosmopolitan city in the world. Resilience was not there when it was gravely needed- last week. But also in a way I am thankful it was Mumbai ; any other Indian city would have shat royally, choked and died forever. ( Imagine Calcutta!!)

3. Not me, The Politician is responsible for it all. As if they are a totally different species. How much more Indian can it get? I mean no one questioned the need when they launched a satellite to moon, when city after city was being bombed?

so on so forth….

Further there are some indignant suggestions from lyricists, directors to choreographers who all turned security experts overnight because their favourite restaurant or bar was attacked ( ‘It is like my home’ or ‘I literally grew up here’) on how to tackle terrorism. God save you all. The truth is Indians are doing what they are good at – to react – and to react emotionally without ever being able to sit down, think on their own and understand. Blaming Pakistan is easy especially when you cant understand whether the Pakistani president himself cant be sure if he shall be alive around new year’s eve.

For all the talking over each other , it is simple. The one and only way to tackle crossborder terrorism, if at all you really really want to tackle, is to launch a Wrath of God / Bayonet sort of covert operation to eliminate the top brass of terrorist organisations within Pakistani soil. In fact it is a perfect moment – with both Obama and Zardari having to establish themselves politically. Of course all the while carrying on with the regular rituals like running cricket matches, inter-country trains and bilateral talks etc. Note- I do not mean a military offense but a covert offensive operation, which may take up to 2 years to kick off with – thanks to Gujral for dismantling RAW in Pakistan. Still all of it only weakens and dilutes the Islamic fundamentalist movement but is not going to eliminate it. At least you can be sure you can have your dinner in peace. But, but, with the recession and the elections round the corner Congress wouldn’t dare to order such an operation, and far more crucially Sonia Gandhi isnt Golda Meir. So tough luck. Vent it all out.

And Welcome to Jihad.

PS – My love for Indian armed forces is not new, and it was absolutely marvellous to see in that one moment how they raised India above its perpetual mediocrity when they took charge of the situation the following morning of the attack. Except for that one glorious moment when India was what it was capable of -(before and after which) India remained mediocre with its politics, media and general anarchy of thoughtlessness. (Contrast the Marcos press conference versus the rest of press conferences).

PS2- For those of you who do not know about swiss cheese model of critical incident.

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