13 Dec 2008

5 things I learnt from the mumbai terror attack

They came. They attacked. We (the police and NSG, not us) fought back. The ICON was reclaimed. I felt humbled. Lots of candles came out. And I learnt some things along the way.

1. The camera is mightier than the gun
The man with the gun can kill you once but the man(or woman) in front of the camera can screw your brains day after day and you will still keep paying to watch cable. For once it was not the politicians who decided what to do next but the news channels. God help us when there is a real war.

Always remember the correspondent under a hail of bullets is speaking the gospel truth. And the TV anchor is God. Very soon the government is coming up with the protocols for the correct way to address them (Your Highness etc) when you meet them (in a kneeling position).

2. Some people are more equal (or the Idea of India resides on the edge of Mumbai)
Never mind that we had transistor bombs going off in buses in Delhi twenty years back. Never mind that terrorists have attacked every town in the country (Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bangalore,Ahmedabad, Hyderabad) in the last ten years. Never mind they bombed the trains in Mumbai some time back. But if they attack the Taj we shall come down on them like a ton of bricks with a lot of NSGs and news correspondents.

3. The Taj Hotel = India's Icon
The less said about it the better. Although the VT station where many people were killed is older than the Taj and more people from Mumbai have been through VT than had coffee at the Taj.
Last heard the government was trying to replace the Taj Mahal with Taj Hotel on the Seven Wonders List.

4. Facebook can help deepen our democracy
In the last ten days we have seen many decisions taken on Facebook without involving the Parliament and our bureaucracy. This seems like a good way to save money we waste on elections and our MPs.

Also we realised that ours is a dynamic constitution that we can make up/change as we go along. The politicians cannot fool us anymore. We can not only remove you but also refuse to vote ! (We know there is no such rule but we can make it up...)

A fortnight later, after the hangover I had this thought: This is not our 9/11. It has been happening since the 80's. Only this time the rich got hit.

All I can say is this. Engage with people around you. Debate what is right and wrong. But please vote. And pay taxes.

After all how are they going to find insurance money for the Taj...

No comments: