Mumbai - 26th November 2008
I feel Numb.
I feel angry.
I feel frustrated.
Most of all I feel let down, by myself and my society.
We in India live between two poles, one of idealism and the other of crass opportunism. Very seldom if ever do those two poles ever cross each other's paths. It is as if we dream of an ideal india but have settled comfortably in this opportunistic version without much qualms (have I read that somewhere, maybe).
We accept loose standards as we expect others to accept our loose standards. We object to corruption and inefficiency till the same corruption and inefficiency is needed to get us out of trouble.
The change we want, we expect others to deliver, maybe our politicians, maybe our media, maybe our police or judiciary without realising that these are people are but reflections of our collective souls, they are us. Change if anything needs to come from within and if we ever inventory the things that need change, it is indeed a very long and depressing list.
Only in moments of anger or sadness do we voice our idealism yet we willingly shelve the idealism along with the changing winds of the media stories.
In time, we will forget the security lapses, the huge delays to get the NSG in action, the snipers who didn't even have telescopic lenses and the absolute leadership vacuum this country went through the last few days.
I would daresay we would forget even those who lost their lives and also the bravery of heroes like Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and many others. As horrible and callous as that thought sounds now, history suggests that we will do just that.
I feel angry with us the society, individually and collectively for this ability to easily forget and move on. We may be eloquant in our words, for awhile and even be moved by our own belief of what is right but let a few weeks pass and we WILL forget.
We will go back to our coccoon of our daily lives, living in the false impression that we and our near and dear are and will always be safe, not knowing that our very acceptance of the inefficiency that surrounds us and is fed by us is putting everything we cherish in danger.
If we crave change let us change ourselves first and let us for heavens sake never ever forget.