Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Please, please no backlash

I started this blog about a year ago after 7/7. There was no connection - I had been thinking about starting one for a while, but then 7/7 happened and suddenly there were lots of things I wanted to say. Now one year on, another of my favourite cities has been hit in a similar kind of attack with much more devastating consequences. There are immediate things to do - Mumbai Help seems to be an information point of sorts. These days when something like this happens, I find myself switch into what feels like a well-rehearsed routine: try calling, knowing fully well you will not get through, text but dont bother sitting around waiting for your phone to beep in reply, reach for your address book in weary resignation and write to all the people you know hoping they are ok, watch the news, read blogs, blog yourself, just sit around. The sheer banality of the event and the response is horrifying because the event itself is so horrifying. Unless of course you know someone who dies and then you're in completely different, and for me - at least till now - completely unfamiliar territory. (One of these days, am I going to know someone like this? One of these days, could it be me?) (Was the Cold War like this? If you lived on the 'frontline' (where was that?) did you just get used to crisis and nuclear brinkmanship and the possibility of sudden and certain incinerating death?)

Why Bombay? Why always Bombay? Because it's big and successful, so if you can make a splash there you're sure to hit the big time. (Why does anyone go to Bombay?) Please please let there not be a backlash. I'm incoherent. I'm not trying to write an article ok? The trains, soft spot, so horrifyingly easy. It's a miracle it hadn't happened before. And now what? How do you screen every single person who gets into a Bombay train? And what kind of inflammatory nonsense will Bal Thackeray now decide to spew? And why won't Advani just shut up instead of trying to make political capital out of this by saying the UPA has been soft on terrorists. Exactly what would he have them do?

Please, please no backlash. NDTV has one of their polls running at the moment asking "Best way to tackle terrorism is?" and giving 3 options: 'political measures, military crackdown and economic upliftment'. The last I don't buy, but the most popular response at the moment is 'military crackdown'. On whom? By whom? The last thing one needs is Shiv Sainik vigilante groups answering that question in their own way.

Please, no backlash.

Read Bombay blogs here and here.

Buchu says: 'oi. hope everyone is safe and sound. it is not a nice world, is it...i have a mega rant about the indian media after this. their coverage todaywas ridiculous. have blogged a bit about it, will do so in detail later. amcomparing it to the BBC coverage of 7/7 and i'm appalled.also, while i hate advani anyway, i honestly felt like throwing something atthe tv today. this man was part of a govt that took two terrorists tokandahar and handed them over. how DARE he ever open his moustachioed (sp?)mouth again and complain about the UPA's incompetence.on the backlash: so far it's been calm. but as with the bombs in '93 thebacklash began once the initial shock had faded. keeping all fingerscrossed.and finally, my heart almost broke when i looked at the list of the dead.there's a d'souza and a coutinho, a mohd tahir and a zuber khan and amohanlal and a desai and a patel. looking at those names on the screen madeall that death and gore much more real than the numbers that the newschannels have been throwing up.'

Comments:
Hi -

Good blog post. These incidents are very unfortunate. But what is even more unfortunate is that nothing is being done - the terrorists are at large, the politicians are making stump speeches, visiting hospitals and making it difficult for doctors to work because of their security. The media, on the other hand is over-hyping the spirit of Mumbai. My blog, http://gandhi.wordpress.com/ started similar to yours - in wake of a terror attack.
 
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