Dear Mr Terrorist,
So you think you have succeeded again. In July, you rattled Mumbaikars with your triple blasts in crowded areas. On Wednesday, you did it again outside the Delhi High
Let me first congratulate you. After all, it takes enormous “courage” to decide to kill so many people you don’t know from Adam. It is a selfless, secular act – for you will never know whether you killed
But we also need to offer you our condolences. Your cause, Sir, has not benefited from that loud bang. Not only do we not know what your cause is, even if we did, it can only lose you public support.
We understand that there is an email from the Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) claiming “credit” for the Delhi blast. Did you send it? I am sure the email has a long list of grievances – and was possibly timed to coincide with Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh, which has of late been helpful on tackling terror.
But how do we know if this is your cause or an effort by someone else to hijack it?
In short, till we can be sure you are you, we can only speculate about your real motives. Maybe you just like scaring people and driving relatives and friends to tears. Maybe you just like to have a good laugh when our leaders mouth the same clichés after every terror attack, and our TV anchors work up a frenzy over how we are sitting ducks – and start speculating over whodunit.
But let me tell you, if these are your only motives, we can offer you better options for free – without going through the ammonium nitrate stuff you seem to be so fond of.
India is a huge country. Some part of us is always facing a tragedy, and so blood and tears are never far from us. We have become so inured to it. Do your worst, and it still doesn’t stop us for more than a few hours, or at best a few days.
You can have as much tragedy, grief, comedy or stupidity as you can handle on any given day. Why, just the other day we had politicians in mortal combat over who is more corrupt. The show was a riot.
But, let me ask you a question. Whatever your cause, aren’t you yourself getting tired of it? Blast after blast, we have gone through the same motions as a country and we have got back to living life. Not because we are a fatalistic lot, or unusually optimistic, but because that is the only option we have as a people. The sheer incompetence of our leaders makes us self-reliant.
So what do you get out of it?
So please emerge from your foxhole and tell us about your cause, and we will help you find enough candlelight-wallahs to take it up. If nothing else, we will send your message to Arundhati Roy – and she will take up your cause, no questions asked. You will also get an eloquent defence in purple prose (she won a Booker for it)you’re your dastardly act. (If Maoists are Gandhi with a gun, maybe you will be declared Nelson Mandela with RDX).
We don’t know if you are an Indian or someone from outside. If you are the former, tell us your grievances (anything, in fact, for we can collect a crowd for any cause – from Gujarat to Kashmir to anti-corruption). Maybe you are just a poor, hungry Indian who wants to hit out at people who are more prosperous). But do tell us. At least some of us will listen.
If you aren’t a citizen of this country, please treat this as your own and tell us your cause anyway. Whether it is Palestine or Sri Lankan Tamils or Myanmar or globalisation, we have intellectuals at the India International Centre—just a few kilometres from where you set off the blast—who are always willing. They are agnostic to what kind of cause they take up. They are the causerati. Give them a cause and they will organise a full-day seminar on it – and even some kind of disturbance to get it covered on TV.
Our worst fear is that you don’t have a cause at all. You may be just one among millions of frustrated people suffering for personal reasons—a spurned love, a lost court case—and want to show the world that your feelings cannot be trifled with.
But let me tell you one more frustrating thing about India: terrorism does not work here. Not because we have great resilience or innate strength. But because we have no other option but to pick ourselves up and get on with life.
There are simply too many of us living in India trying to make a living here—and we are too diverse or too callous or too careless or too preoccupied with our own problems—to be rattled by a blast here or a terror attack there. Today, even as Delhi is aflutter over its blast, every other part of India is continuing with its life as before. But don’t think you can achieve more by having blasts in many more cities. We have even more cities that you can handle on a decent day.
A week is the most we give to panic and anger. After that, we get back to our normal lives.
9/11 rattled America so much that it went to war with two nations and spent $4 trillion and bankrupted itself enough to earn an S&P downgrade. But it has still not learnt a simple lesson: that you can’t ultimately fight determined terrorists beyond a point. As for handling freelance terrorists and franchisees—you could be one of them—forget about it.
It is time you too learned a lesson: your terror does not work – at least in India. We are unable and incapable of taking it seriously as a nation.
But do tell us your cause, Mr Terrorist. We have people who listen – even if they can’t ultimately do much about it.
With best regards
I think a year or so back there was a movie released named " Wednesday" and I saw it and it was a wonderful movie where Nasirrudin Shah an excellent actor was the centre stage of the movie.It is worth seeing.....