Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apathy or resilience?

As another set of bombs went off in India killing 25 people one is left wondering if it is apathy or resilience that makes India tick. This is one in a long series of blasts and frankly I don’t see Indians either being scared or caring.

Reams have been written about Mumbai’s train blasts and the subsequent revival of the system and the great Mumbikar spirit. That the Mumbikar’s were riding the same trains less than 24 hours later has been hailed as a great victory over terrorism. But I think it has nothing to do with courage. Over the years everybody has got so used to attacks and other such tragedies that they are dismissed as non issues. ‘As long as I and mine aren’t directly affected it is okay’ attitude is more the way of life.

We have gotten so used to seeing home minister after home minister making the same promises on TV that by now we don’t even need to hear them to know what they are saying. Basically the poor sod is on mute in real life and no one is listening. The cops whose duty it is to keep tabs on terrorists, crooks and other such are doing such a fine job that people have zero faith in their abilities to either investigate or intercept the terrorists. We don’t expect to be safe at all. In fact we expect to be bombed and attacked all the time. When we get home in one piece it is a blessing.

In all of this there is a great lesson for the terrorist. Surely by now they must realize that all their best efforts are futile. The very purpose of bomb blasts is defeated if we don’t care. The idea is to scare a society, but this society doesn’t care enough to be scared. I have a suggestion for Osama and his like. Do something that will shock us like say building a hospital. Do something out of the script. I am sure everyone will stop what they are doing and take notice.

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