Monday, December 08, 2008

Another unnecessary post on another unnecessary attack

Well, I don't really need to write anything about 26/11. Much of what we are all feeling as a nation has already been captured by the media, various columnists, conscious citizens et all. I am yet again saddened, shocked and numbed by the events that unfolded over those three fateful days. But not so much at the loss of life and the general destruction. No sir. Let me not kid myself. As someone from this violent generation of extremism and religious fundamentalism (and that includes all religions), I am more than used to seeing gory pictures of death and violence on sensationalist national television and reading more of the same in the headlines of news hungry newspapers. No...this is not what I am really upset about. What got my goat was the fact it takes us an attack on 2 five star hotels, 6o hours of soap operatic carnage and 180 deaths to get us to react the way we did. If there would have been a routine blast (routine blast??!?) in say, a remote part of a tier 2 town, then all we would have done is shake our heads, sigh and change channels with a wise ass comment about how that's all we see on television these days. Now that the attacks have been on a scale and range that have shaken us, we are reacting differently and with purpose (hopefully). Things hurt when they hit closer to home I guess...the middle class/upper middle class is used to visiting the places that were hit in Mumbai and hence the fear and helplessness. India has been hit by more than a thousand terrorist attacks since 2004, killing thousands of people, but such a reaction was not deemed worthy on any of the earlier occasions. What happened then? Were those lives not as important as the ones lost in the 26/11 carnage? Apparently not.
As a nation we need to reflect on how insensitive we have become and how a certain insularity has crept in...It can therefore almost be inferred that there is no value accorded to human life in this country. Oh sorry, its worse than that...the higher up you are in the human food chain, the more value your life has. We are happy to shut up and turn a blind eye and even continue happily with the IPL when a blasts kills innocents in Jaipur, but will make a hue and cry when an iconic hotel is turned into a battle zone and the people who are killed this time are rich and famous. I'd rather we not care about anybody at all... at least its fair.
I weep not for the many who died or who were injured, I weep for their fellow countrymen who have forgotten how to feel.