Bloody Hell – Mumbai held for no ransom

36 hrs and the drama is not ending. A bunch of young guys holding this entire nation for no ransom. There is a hostage situation but no negotiations. Even in war, there is some demand, some people want to capture a piece of land, fighting for their rights. Here there is nothing plane simple destruction. What a waste of life I say. If this is the purpose for which these gunmen are dying, then what are they dying for?

I used to laugh at all the action movies of the Deols and Devgans of bollywood. It is simply not possible to load a person with so much of ammunition I would think. I do not feel so now. To fight a battle so long, these terrorist have so much of ammunition with them. Where do they get it from? Who is paying for it? Why are they paying for it?

I wrote sometime back that terrorism is simply ineffective in India. I still stand by my views. Although the number of injured is quite high in this shootout, these guys have still not been able to cross the number of deaths in the stampedes we had. And these terrorist are surely going to die. But the nation is in real shock because it has taken lesser number of men to kill so many of them. I have been fortunate (or unfortunate) to see the live coverage of this incidence almost since the beginning. I was late from office and waiting to see the 11:00 PM show of Asambhav on Zee Marathi. My wife was channel surfing and she watched this news. She almost instantaneously shouted. Most of my in-laws are in Mumbai and she always gets upset with such news for obvious reasons. I could not stop watching the news and finally succumbed to sleep only at 4:00 AM as news came pouring in every few minutes.

For long time I was wondering when will I see Ratan Tata’s comments on this. Being part of the Tata group, I have tremendous respect for his (I would have had it even otherwise, but it feels like we are part of a family). What touched me most is that he asked all agencies not to forget this incidence. We as a nation have really left our bloody past behind. Had we remembered that, we would have taken all necessary steps to stop this from happening. If you look at the number of attacks on our nation and compare with US and UK, it would be easily understood that we have not learnt from the past. We take pride in saying how the life has come to normal in a day or two. But then did we really prevent the future instances of the terror attacks? Non-violence is an ornament of the mighty. We just have resilience to stand up when someone slaps us. That is not good enough. We should be strong enough to make that someone think 10,000 times before they take a look at us.

I was also wondering how much more coverage we are seeing for this event than the similar situations in Kashmir or other parts of the country. Deservedly VP Singh did not get much attention of the media due to this. But was this because it was in Mumbai and convenient for all channels to cover it? Media’s role in this case will always be questioned. All across the world, this has become a nuisance. I personally could not detach myself from the live coverage and I could not sleep well. But then live coverage is not complete without news paper report. You still need words to create a greater impact. I had to read the next day news paper.

I am sure that in some part of the world, these guys are going to be heroes. This means that we are likely to have similar attacks in future. How are we prepared for this? There is a contrasting environment in today’s urban and rural areas. For the smaller cities of India, this difference is not that wide. But compare Mumbai with some small village in Maharashtra, specially in backward areas and we will notice that the requirements of the police force are quite different in these places. Same is the case with general discipline. So when the person from rural area comes to Mumbai, he first has to learn the discipline of the city. Mumbaikars have learned it hard way and every now and then when someone creates a chaos, their lives, daily calculations of means of living go for a toss. Everything in Mumbai is so calculated today. We can make it more easier to live in Mumbai only if we teach this discipline to all our rural citizens. But that is not on our agenda.  In fact the Mumbai way of life can make life much easier in villages as well. What is will also do is to bring effectiveness in our ways to handle such crisis situations. One of the biggest task for the rescue teams and police is to cut their way through hoard of onlookers. They have no business in such situations but then they are there. In my opinion, this social discipline is the only one lesson we need to learn as a nation to go to the top. Be it in the commerce or be it in fighting the terrorism. Discipline reduces waste and brings efficiencies. It is as simple as that.

Bomb Hoax in Pune

India has no doubt one of the most craziest people in the world. Just a few days back one person walking on Pune roads saw two young men riding on a bike dropping a packet on the sides of the road. The bike apparently did not have a license plate. Cautious due to recent bomb blast modus operandi of the terrorist, he alerted the police. They in turn called the anti-terrorist squad(ATS). The story is normal till this point.

In most of the Hollywood movies we have seen this hundred times that one of the bad fellas or a cop fires gun and the crowd in the public place starts running around, scared to get killed. We never thought this is wrong. This is normal human reaction.

But here is what sets India apart from the rest of the world. When the Bomb Difusal guys arrived at the scene in Pune, instead of running away from the place to save their lives, there was a huge crowd to see how they guys defuse the bomb. Really… this is not a fantasy. People actually did not think twice before gathering at that place. Have you ever seen such people elsewhere?

However, as the mob expected the so called bomb turned out to be leftovers from some student’s kitchen.

Terrorism is plane ineffective in India

I just came across the chronological list of bomb blasts in India on NDTV. I am just summarizing this table here adding columns for people killed and injured.

Now if you see the other news that hit us from Jodhpur was about the stampede in the temple. This whole messy management killed 147 people and 55 injured. The one before that was the Naina Devi Temple Stampede. In this a total of 162 people were killed.

This was not restricted to Temples. The infamous Sari Stampede in Lucknow killed 22 women.

Compare all this with the terrorist attacks and you will find that all that labor and intelligence, secrecy, funds behind the blasts are simply ineffective. Except for the Mumbai train blasts, none of the other instances have been close to the temple stampedes. Such is the state of discipline, crowd management in this country. Despite all this, people will still flock the temples on specific days putting huge pressure on administration.

So when such incidents marginalize the impact of terrorism in this country, I do not understand why these guys are spending so much of their energy in such useless stuff.

Date Incident Killed Injured
September 27, 2008 Blast in Delhi’s Mehrauli flower market killed 1 and injured 23. 1 23
September 13, 2008 Serial blasts in Delhi killed at least 24 people and injured more than 100. 24 100+
July 26, 2008 Serial blasts in Ahmedabad killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 100. 30 100+
July 25, 2008 Nine explosions in Bangalore create terror killing two people and injuring twelve. 2 12
May-08 Eight serial blasts rock Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes leaving 65 dead and over 150 injured. 65 150
Jan-08 Terrorist attack on CRPF camp in Rampur kills 8. 8  
Oct-07 2 killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine during Ramadan. 2  
Aug-07 30 dead, 60 hurt in Hyderabad ‘terror’ strike. 30 60
May-07 A bomb at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people. 11  
February 19, 2007 Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis. 66  
Sep-06 30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon. 30 100
Jul-06 Seven bombs on Mumbai’s trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others. 200 700
Mar-06 Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people. 20  

Congratulations Sakal

This week when every news channel in India is busy covering Sanjay Dutt as hero and trying to portray him at par with Gandhiji, there is one exception. Sakal Papers from Pune has published that they treat Sanjay Dutt as criminal and like other criminals his news will be published on inside pages and he will not be given any special status nor will they try to glorify him.

Though Sanjay Dutt has acted well in the Munnabhai movies and some other like Vastav, he has committed a crime and he is getting punished for his wrong deeds. All good deeds never cancel out the wrong deeds. This is not arithmetic. You stack up both good and bad deeds and they never cancel each other. What can happen at the most is that the good deeds will help you face the bad times but you can not avoid bad time. So let the criminal Sanjay Dutt face the punishment. The good guy in him should make other criminals around him better human beings and not the other way round. Else we are likely to get an actor trained by criminals like Telgi et al. And that will be even worse that what it was some 14 years back.