The War on Terror May Finally Have Just Begun!

Posted: December 3, 2008 in Uncategorized

APTOPIX India Shooting

The War on Terror May Finally Have Just Begun



 I have never been a big supporter of aggressive activism; yet this time round the cause and emotion were so overwhelming that I could not, not be a part of it. And what I saw there has made me feel prouder of being an Indian.


Hordes and hordes of people (some estimates say there were 1.5-2lakh people) walked the stretch from the Regal cinema in Colaba to the Gateway of India shouting “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” and ripping apart politicians and Pakistan in equal measure.  Seldom has the country looked more livid and seldom has it seemed so united: people of every religion, caste and region were there, all proud to be Indians and ashamed of the political class. Some of the slogans were quite amusing: one, exhorting our PM to be a true Sardar and act; the other asking Raj Thackery the price of his new Audi. And how can one forget the relentless sloganeering –‘Gali gali mein shor hai, Pakistan chor hai’ and ‘Pakistan murdabad’. There are few things about this movement, which make it stand apart: it is devoid of any political motive; rather a movement against the abuse of politics by politicians. Seldom has a mass movement seen the normally apathetic middle and upper middle class get so involved. The majority of those who participated in the march today were from the middle/upper middle and educated classes. Among the celebrities that I could spot were Rajeev Khandelwal, Prasoon Joshi, Narender Ahmed among others. There was my friend, actor, Rajev Paul and several others from the world of TV and films.   The display of this kind of anger by the educated class carries a power which only an incapacitated government can ignore.


One hopes that this cumulative anger will make the government realize that it stands a real danger of squandering away the gains that India has achieved economically and in world politics. It is another reminder for it to act before the anger assumes giant proportions.


The other important news of consequence today was Mr. Zardari’s refusal to hand over the 20 militants demanded by us. But why did we have such illusions in the first place?. Let us be clear: we are dealing with a rogue state, whose leadership has always carried a rich history of deception and betrayal. Mr. Zardari’s mask of civility will not bring about a change in the country’s intentions. A failed state( an ‘international migraine’ , as former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calls it) would want to export all the chaos that exists there to its prosperous neighbor. This is where we need to hit them where it hurts the most: snapping of all economic ties, till they hand over india’s most wanted. In 2002, after the Parliament attack, the mere refusal of India’s airspace to any Pakistani airplane had caused them humungous hardships. That is the language Pakistan understands and not the civil reprimands that the Indian leadership never ceases to indulge in.


If perfidy characterizes the Pakistani leadership, incompetence and passiveness characterizes the Indian one. For the last three days Maharashtra is without a Home Minister and virtually without a CM. The central leadership is in absolutely no hurry to settle the issue. That more RDX was discovered from the CST today should be of little surprise.


I’m optimistic though that a movement of the nature and magnitude we saw today will eventually force change. Maybe, we might need to have it once every month. Instead of people assembling at the Gateway, it will not be a bad idea to form a human chain across the length of the city.  It will obviously need some amount of sacrifice, which all of us ought to be prepared to make. After all, our sacrifice is negligible compared to the sacrifice of the victims of terror.


I’m optimistic that our war on terror may have finally just begun.





(pic courtesy:

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