[This is the second post in a series on Mumbai 26/11]
With the siege on Mumbai finally coming to an end after over 60 hours of constant conflict, telecasted live much to the glee of a melodramatic media that has gained immensely (in terms of money and TRPs, of course) from this attack. Oh, how they would be discussing Operation Successful-Live-Reporting of the Mumbai attacks and giving each other high-fives. CNN-IBN audaciously challenged people trying to maintain calm and vigil and attempting to drive the media away, by stating that power in the Oberoi had been cut off and hence there was no reason “not to report live”.
Enough has been said. Too much time has been wasted over petty and utterly pointless debates. Too much energy and blood has been lost in our much-maligned attempts to fight terror. We, as the people, need to step up and start making a difference. The Next Tryst with a New Destiny is upon us and if we fail to stand up and learn from history, we can never forgive ourselves or the country. As individuals, there is a lot than can be done. You do not necessarily have to be a power broker to make a difference.
End the cynicism
As Indian citizens it is our prime and foremost duty to end a cynical outlook of everything that has unfolded around us. Stop enforcing pessimistic views around you. End the “Government bekaar hai”s and “India kuch nahi kar sakti”s. Take a serious stance, be calm and spread word about the heroic acts of the bravest of us, like ATS chief Hemant Karkare and Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. Take pride in their deeds as we hardly acknowledge or credit the true heroes of our everyday lives.
Do away with “My two minutes of fame”
As responsible citizens, it is now a matter of exigency that we at least maintain silence if we can’t laud the efforts of the NSG and the Army and even the Police. Stop seeking “two minutes of fame” with churlish comments about terror in India, stop giving heed to a so-called “funny side” of this entire ordeal as most will be tempted to get back to our national pastime – ridicule authorities, the Government, politicians and everyone else from a position of no self-sacrifice. It is not a joke. It never was. If you are yet tempted to deride someone, please openly scoff at Raj Thackeray and his bunch of MNS cowards. Like chickens, they hid away in their comfortable complexes and showed their true colours to the nation in times of dire need.
Pledge to Vote
It has become more imperative than ever to realize that voting makes a difference. An individual makes a difference. YOU can bring about change. Take a pledge to vote in the Assembly polls next year and play your role in making this democracy more accountable and rewarding to its people. There are sites to help you with this, the most remarkable being the Jaagore campaign. It is time the change in us awakes and comes out in the open. Make a difference – Vote.
These are some of the things an ordinary Indian can do best. And they take up no time or energy of ours. And even if we have excuses to offer, we know deep inside that we have enough time and vigor to devote at least some part of our lives in honour of those dead protecting the country. If we choose to remain as sleepy and dull as we have been since the terror trail began almost two decades ago, we will never do justice to ourselves or our fellow Indians.
They say it’s wise to return to normalcy. If being normal means being part of a soft democracy, if being normal means coming to terms with Mumbai 26/11 as soon as possible, if being normal means returning to focus on everyday work as if nothing ever happened, if being normal means being silent and ignorant, then it’s time we forget about “being normal”.
Wake up. It’s now or never.
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