Mast Kalandar

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Sun, 07 Dec 2008

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A double blow

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On the 26th of November 2008, there was a double blow.

It had been raining almost all night in Chennai and we put on the TV to figure out what the weather was going to be like only to find out that there had been attacks with guns and bombs in multiple areas in Mumbai. The attacks in Mumbai and the rain in Tamil Nadu continued over the next 36 hours or so --- with disastrous effects all around.

All this was more than a week ago and so it feels as if one can write about it with a modicum of objectivity.

The cyclone that hit Tamil Nadu was not man-made, but many of its consequences were. The attacks in Mumbai were carried out by people who were human beings once upon a time, but they had their humanity stripped by those who run the camps which trained them. So to some extent it feels as if we have suffered from a natural disaster --- but one which could have been mitigated by humans.

The Indian state and people seem to be returning back to "normal" and this is said be a sign of our resilience.

On the other hand that may only be because we suffer a thousand cuts every day --- self-inflicted. Indeed, each one of us is a minor terrorist carrying out little acts of rebellion against the state; acts that also threaten the well-being of our fellow citizens. Some examples follow:

The list could go on and on ... All of these acts weaken our state and our people to the point where we cannot act swiftly in an emergency:

This is what makes us a "soft target for terror". If the Indian government were to indeed go after all those who are weakening it and terrorizing its people, then a good percentage of our citizenry and an even larger percentage of our well-off citizenry would find itself in the cross-hairs.

To paraphrase what an assistant commissioner of police once said:

If 100% of our citizens are 2% terrorists then it is very hard to catch the 2% of the citizens who are 100% terrorists.

comment bubble mycroes, Mon Dec 8 00:43:16 2008 permanent link

I think you've written a great post, but I also have some points I disagree on. The things I disagree on all relate to the government. You're saying that people evade taxes, and thus make the government miss out on money they need for their police force. Well the police force is a primary concern, so there always needs to be money for the police force. I think governments meddle too much in things they should stay out off. If all the government had to do was pay the police force, then everyone's taxes would be a lot lower, that will be the same in every country all over the world. Of course there's more that the government needs to do, but a lot of things governments do these days intersect with peoples and companies opinions, and that's where issues come up.

I wanted to post my negative comments first, so I hope you'll especially remember what follows:
I have heard very little about what happened in Mumbai, but your post seems to be one of the more enlightening posts. It's good to see someone selfreflecting on what he, or his fellow citizens, have done wrong and simply stating the facts, not mentioning too much unrelated crap. I sincerely hope the best for anyone dealing with this matter and I hope people will also think about what they can do themselves to prevent this in the future.


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