I love Mumbai. It has seeped into my bones. I have driven over its potholes, walked through its dirty streets, jumped over sewers.
There are queues of people waiting everyday – for water, for rations, even for using toilets. They wait till the water taps run dry and they are left holding the bucket with no bath water; they wait till the grocer decides to sell the rations allotted to them in the black-market that some of us can afford to buy; they wait till the toilets get clogged and they have to find bushes and railway tracks, and the women wait for dark near gutters.
I love Mumbai because I have the luxury. There are thousands who do not have the time to love. They are looking for food in garbage bins and some empty space to sleep in; they are looking for work, for a daily wage, for something. Anything.
Mumbai pays the highest amount in taxes to the country. A lot can be done, needs to be done. These are issues too.
What we get instead is ‘The roar of the tiger’, an 80-year-old man who has no idea about the number of infants that die only because health services are so poor.
No one gives a damn. Water, rations, toilets don’t count. They don’t have emotional appeal; they do not have the potential for rhetoric.
It is sad that one has to listen to such crap from this man again and again:
"Unless and until Hindus come together we cannot defeat terrorism."
Okay, come together. Defeat terrorism. Which terrorism? The one in the North East? In Kashmir? Or the one unleashed by your goons?
"The network of Islam is spreading and Mumbai has become the capital. But Mumbai or Maharashtrians, Gujarat or Punjab alone will not be enough. All of us need to combine forces, as ‘Hindus’…If Hindus come together, not only can we fight them, we will defeat them”.
Who is 'them'? Since when has Mumbai become the capital of Islam? Has this man really gone crazy? Hinduism has existed in India for centuries. What does it want to defeat? And why?
Isn’t it possible for Hindus – and Muslims, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, atheists – to come together and tell this man to get lost? Why is it not being done? Why can we not see that terrorism is also about the terror of not knowing where the next meal comes from and when a home will be turned to rubble?
Wake up, please...