So my friend who joined the army had just got his first leave. The family was happy and had a get-together party for him. All his family members from those with white hair, no hair to those with innocent eyes (toddlers) were present. His family extended an invite to his friends too, so I was a part of the celebration. While we were chatting, an uncle holding his 2-3 year old boy came and introduced him to his dada. With great pride he told that dada was in the army and was very brave and strong. The innocent eyed asked, “Why are you calling him brave papa?”. His dad replied, “Because he goes in the harshest and most dangerous of environment, with bombs exploding all around and yet he never fears it. Isn’t that brave?” “But papa, are bombs not going about here as well. It happened in that place that we always passed while going home and yesterday too, when mommy made me go to bed because they were showing bloodied bodies?”
The innocent eyed was talking about German Bakery, the place they passed while going home, to their Lane no. 4 society in Koregaon Park, and just a few days before, while dad was watching news and he was playing in the hall, his mom had abruptly made him go to bed before bedtime for the news channels were showing the horrific site at the Hyderabad blasts which he happened to see. What the innocent eyed doesn’t know is that there are many cases of bomb blasts happening all around. From bombings, Pakistani militants attacking the Taj making 26/11 a date we all get emotional, 7/11 Mumbai train bombings to the bombings on the German Bakery and small ones on JM Road, terrorism in India has made a country that prides itself in being “Peaceful” into a battlefield, literally. Why his dad mentioned only bombs exploding when he could have mentioned constant firings, army tanks, missiles, cold Himalayan weather, etc. is unknown, but the innocent eyed made an observation that was apt and true.
I won’t exaggerate by saying an Indian today is afraid to even step out of the house. That’s not the case. Punekars can roam around in the city without fear, even after sunset. There are more chances of thugs accosting you than terrorists killing or bombing, but terrorism is a menace that has to be curbed. Yes, statistically, more people are killed in road accidents than in terror incidents, it’s actually not even half or 10% of it. But does this number of incidents really speak about India being ruthless to terrorists? Just see the number of times we have had terror attacks:
The question here is what strong action is required for India to take? How do we learn from the United States or UK, who sprang into action and made sure there were no such incidents after 9/11 and London bombings of 7 July simultaneously. It is not the army capabilities that are to question, neither that of the Police (many valiant policemen fought during 26/11 and their capabilities are unquestionable) but that of the System and the Centre. And what’s worse, is that everyone seems to have forgotten about it for the focus is now on the Budget Session of the parliament. It is not our “never say die attitude” but “forget and move on” thought process that’s to blame.
And what’s worse is that while terrorists have no colour, religious tensions have sprung up once again, in West Bengal town of Canning. Strange a child could make a startling observation we so-called youths (the future of the nation), adults (the backbone of the nation) and elderly (the most experienced and respected people of the nation) failed to. Are we really brave or are we just plain ignorant that is the question.