There are some things beyond human understanding. Terrorism is not one of them. Anyone who claims to walk on two legs and breathe oxygen should be able to get the hang of it. Yes this includes the allied forces fighting the 'war on terror', strange though it may appear. Even for a fleeting moment I don't buy the allied bluff. I don't think anyone else does. Fighting for the free world, they say. Go figure.

George Bernard Shaw, or someone like him, once said something to the effect that patriotism is the blind faith that one's own country is right simply because one happens to be born in it. Entire wars have been fought upon this flimsy premise. Although this post is not about the futility of war, I should definitely like to mention that in the history of the human race only two wars have ever been justified - the great war of the Mahabharata, and the 1971 Bangladesh war. Every other war has been the result of man's greed for more.

I digress. The thing is events around me hardly ever shake me up. I am one of those cynics or realists or idealists or whatever other labels you can choose to come up with who believes that the world has always been the same. Almost two millennia ago there were the crusades. Today you have jihad. When colonialism became politically incorrect, it was merely replaced with words like globalisation or intellectual property rights - anything that ensured the wealthy remain that way by sucking dry the old colonial world. Remarkable that Nehru had made this prophecy during a NAM convention, eons before these terms became fashionable.

In my 9 years of adulthood, I have never voted. Not once. Yes, I have never let up on an opportunity to complain about the system but when it came my turn to do something about changing it I remained inactive. I assumed I was insignificant. Forgotten I had that it was that one nail that undid the horseshoe that resulted in a battle being lost.

This time something inside me stirred. It did not stir before. Not when the WTC came down. Not when the Parliament was bombed. Not when Akshardham was attacked. Not when the Mumbai train bombings happened. Not even when tragedy struck closer home in Hyderabad. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Had I been completely desensitised? I don't think so. People not using a condom during sex completely riled me. Then why this apathy towards terrorism?

It was possibly because I realised that the brilliance of democracy is that a country gets the governance it deserves. I realised that with someone who has never once won a Lok Sabha election heading the government, things could not possibly be any better than they are. I realised that all this mindlessness was our own doing. We never tried to change things. All we did is scream off the rooftops.

But what was different this time around? I guess being away from India gives you a very cushy perspective. No, I am not in what is considered to be a developed nation. I am in Nigeria, a country known more for its disorder. Yet, I feel safer here than I did back home. But that is not it. It is a little hard to explain. Let me give it my best shot.

I caught most of the Mumbai news stories on CNN / BBC. I was very touched by the empathetic manner in which they handled this story. They gave the tragedy the dignity it deserved. Indian news channels, on the other hand, turned it into a TRP gimmick. It was appalling. It was even more appalling that reporting news in such a barbaric manner increases TRP. This is a reflection of the kind of people we have become. Deep down, we revel in others' tragedy. And this is saddening. What stirred inside me was a sense of loss. We have possibly lost India to our inner demons. That gives me the goose flesh.

Current Mood: Gloomy
Current Music: None