The last 30 hours have been overwhelming. Sitting in Navi Mumbai, I feel safe at having escaped this dastardly attack. It soon struck me that I am safe but only until the next attack. I was wondering whether we have got so indifferent to pain that we might end up saying “Oh, the terrorists have only entered my front room, my bedroom is safe?
• I was a kilometer away when the bomb blast shook the BSE. I got calls from all over the world asking about my safety. Yes I was safe, but I lost 20 friends – some who had just married and some whose wives were pregnant. Some with 3 year old kids.
• I can still vividly remember the picture (captured by Indian Express photographer) of fear on the face of a man escaping the blast at Nariman Point.
• Many of you reading this may have been in school when this dastardly attack happened.
• I do not remember the numbers, but I think there were 70+ funerals in Ghatkopar alone. And I would have known most of them – some only faces some only name.
As my thoughts go back to these incidents, and I browse through the list of areas attacked this time around, it struck me that It could have easily been one of us stuck, having gone to VT to catch a train home.
After all, Hemant Karkare was one of us, was he not? When a friend got called to a police station, eons back, it was Hemant Karkare whose sane voice at the other end of the telephone kept the over enthusiastic station inspector’s hand in check.
Yes, it could easily have been one of us who perished in the attack.
The question is this: is there something that we can do about it? Is there something that we can do to ensure that there is no more terror. Whatever we do may not result in immediate overnight results but even for a trip to the coffee machine, you need to take the first step.
Or are we going to say that it is somebody else’s problem to fix? I hope not.
The media will analyse this till they have nothing left to say, there will be references to Hindu fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism. Each of us will nod our heads in agreement, depending on which group we belong to.
I ask you to pause reading this mail for a moment, put yourself in that position in one of the locations where the attack happened and imagine it for a couple of minutes. What if you were stuck there, watching the gunmen spray bullets indiscriminately. Will he spare you if you are a Hindu? Or a Muslim? Or will the bullet stop to ask you. In the recent “anti-Bihari” riots in Mumbai, a bus driver was killed. He was a blue blooded Maharashtrian. Unfortunately we forget the Bhagwat Gita. You can control only the action, not the reaction. I should not throw stones – I cannot control whether the stone will hit or not. Breaking heads is the stones dharma. Being nice to fellow human beings is my dharma. I cannot leave my dharma.
We are expecting too much from our infrastructure support – to quote we are expecting a first world reaction from a third world police force. It will stun you to see the infrastructure support with which our police men have to work. They have to look after the traffic, the VIP bandobast, search for missing people, patrol the streets, settle family squabbles, and control terrorism. Toughest of all they have to handle the media. And what they get is being ridiculed by the Hindi movies. This scares me.
If Leadership is leading from the front, let us pay a tribute to Mr. Hemant Karkare, Mr. Vijay Salaskar, and Mr. Ashok Kamte. They were very well qualified – they could have chosen to lead lives of comfort. They chose action. One saw Mr. Karkare walk into the place where he knew he could die. He took precautions – he wore a bullet proof jacket, he wore a helmet – he surely loved his life. But he gave it up. Let us take 2 minutes of our time to thank them, pray for their families, and realise that the police is out there protecting us. They are giving us first world service with third world infrastructure. Salutations Gentlemen.
Let us get out and do something for the police before we talk ill of them.
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