It has been barely over 15 hours and everyone has turned into an expert.
I live in Mumbai. I know each one of these places.
This is the list:
Cama Hospital, GT hospital, CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; Taj Hotel at the Gateway, Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point, Nariman House Colaba, the domestic airport at Santa Cruz, the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazagaon Dockyard, Vile Parle.
Already, theories are being thrown around. It is disconcerting but unavoidable that the newspapers that came in late, naturally to front page this story, carried on its second page information about the Malegaon blasts in which there was this news item:
“Interrogation of Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey, who is in police custody till December 1, has revealed that the group was working to create an ‘Aryavarta Rashtra’ in India,’’ an ATS official said. talked about creating a Hindu Rashtra.
It is easy to put two and two together. After all, the ATS chief who was investigating that case has been killed, so have two other officers. And 14 policemen.
It is easy to say a lot of things. How could a boat filled with arms and grenades manage to get in? They are now insinuating the role of the underworld (something I mentioned during the attacks in other cities), but what does it say about our intelligence agencies? That arms can come in as easily by the underworld as narcotics?
What do the news channels mean when they say two terrorists were chased out of GT Hospital? Were they flies that they were chased out? Should not the security personnel have run after them and caught them or even shot at them and extracted information?
And then people want me to condemn the attack.
I won’t. I won’t because I will not dismiss off a tragedy, and the sick face of society, in one sentence. I won’t because every leader from the ruling party does it and means shit. I won’t because Opposition parties do it and mean shit. I won’t because groups as diverse as media gods and maulanas gather to condemn it and mean shit. I won’t because even those who we suspect as the outside hand condemn it and mean shit. I won’t because terrorist organisations rush to take responsibility for such acts and the ones who don’t condemn it and mean shit.
I won’t because I am not upto shit.
But I will make a few suggestions:
- Blog groups have sprung up; in the past some have been helpful in providing information. Let them not become another source of sensationalism. They have limited information because most areas are under curfew. Yes, they might be helpful for helplines and blood donation requests etc.
- The media is being kept at a distance, so what you watch on television is a distant image. Their job is to report based on flimsy facts. Why the hell are their giving their opinion? Someone said it looks like what has been happening in Jammu and Kashmir. What has been happening? AK-47 rifles? Grenades? No one heard of this before? They say these are the Fidayeen because they are willing to die. Every terrorist is. From every country and with any affiliation. Not everyone is smart enough to plan a whole operation and get members of another community to plant bombs.
- Do not let rumours run havoc and reach conclusions. Mobile phones are working.
- Politicians please stay out of this until things are a bit under control. We do not have the resources to take care of your security. There is no need for Advani to rush from Delhi; the BJP government is not in power here.
- Do not pay any attention to expats. They know zilch. They resort to half-baked truths if not outright lies. They are trying to connect with their roots and feel a part of the action. They are a sorry group of disgruntled people who create more fissures; they sponsor religious organisations; they start the blame game. Mumbai and India are not yours. Get that in your heads. Right now.
Your two-bit donations to some organisations do not make you Indian. Your stupid nostalgia for films and streets does not make you Indian.
And your analysis of the ground realities do not count, so shut up and stay out of this.
I can comment on the police, the army, the law enforcement authorities, the government because I am paying for their upkeep. I can comment on the citizens of my country, wherever they are and whoever they are and whatever I feel about them, because they are mine.
I can question them, but not judge them.
I have not asked any Hindu to condemn the role of sadhus and sadhvis. I have not asked the armymen to condemn the role of some armyman. I have not asked anyone to condemn Narendra Modi or Bal Thackeray.
Because I know that anyone can do that. I also know that most people want to go about their lives in peace and are being brainwashed.
I have not talked about the beautiful dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel. Why do these idiots not condemn those who have been weeping over it? Do you know that the hotel sent out a message that it is doing everything to protect its guests and staff and will bring the Taj back “to its former glory”? What kind if statement is this at such a time?
Who wants to see the fucking dome? Who? Some NRIs? Foreigners?
Yes, I go to that hotel. Yes, I visit the Sea Lounge. Yes. Yes. I am not their only patron. They make money because several Indians eat there, have coffee there. I am not asking the Government of India to sponsor my coffee. I am not asking some foreign agency to sponsor my coffee. I am not sponging on anyone. I am paying for my own coffee.
And don’t give me that crap about how India allows me to do so. India gains as much to benefit from my being its citizen as I do from being an Indian.
The day I renege on my tax payments or commit a default or crime, then the Indian courts can take action against me. No one has the right to question my nationality or my motives or of any members of any community only because you think the terrorists owe allegiance to a certain religion.
Certainly not those who stood in line to get their special visas to run away from my country.
Mumbai will survive and I am glad that the NRIs are not here. They do not deserve India.
India, good and bad, will be questioned by me. I will not turn a blind eye to its flaws. Because unlike you who come here for your annual vacation and take pictures of debris, I talk about cleaning it. I know I don’t live close to it, but the people I care about do. People who earn an honest living do.
Our helper took the local train and came to work this morning. She watched a bit of TV with me. She did not want to know whether I have condemned the act. That thought did not even strike her. I won’t mention her religion. For neither of us is that detail important.