Sunday, November 30, 2008

Band Aid Covers the Bullet Hole

The title of the previous post seems half appropriate for this post about the latest terror siege that occurred in Bombay. Scars are rampant on all who experienced this first-hand and I am not sure if any souvenirs will emerge out of this, but the hope remains, this story could qualify.

The internet is aghast at the audacity of the attack, demanding action and with a scathing attack on the governance. Facebook communities have been formed and while I will not be joining any of them or vouch for the purpose they would serve, I will be wearing white tomorrow in allegiance to the country which has suffered the maximum brunt of terrorism, be it from external elements or from the in-grown factor.

It was a Wednesday morning, the day before thanksgiving and while I was browsing through TOI, I came upon the main story of a terror attack in Mumbai, I almost dismissed the story, casting it aside as yet another attack, what's new about it? Unfortunate is the situation wherein the citizens of a country can put aside news about a terror strike! I realized the enormity of the attack and the scale when news flash tweets started pouring in through my twitterfox popup.

Ever since, I've followed first hand updates on twitter, live streaming, joined the discussion on CNN (Wednesday's AC360 telecast was 2 hours long and saw a huge presence of the Indian diaspora joining in the live conversation on the 360 blog), have commented on various blog posts and have constantly been amazed at the response of emergency personnel to the disaster. When the fire was blazing at the Taj, I was almost hoping for a chopper to appear loaded with fire suppressing materials, but I guess India does not have one.

Yesterday, here in Seattle I watched while a paramedic team arrived in response to a 911 call in aid of a pregnant woman who was feeling faintish, all in under 5 minutes. The hope is for such a response time in India from any of the essential services, be it fire, paramedics or the police. India has a strong urban presence and despite the fact that a majority of the population still lives in rural areas, a service similar to 911 has to emerge. A question at this point, are roads the only projects covered by our taxes?

A few months ago, a colleague of mine was tracked down and interviewed by the federal bureau, all because he had hired a couple of boats for a ride through Lake Washington, this was his birthday bash(I could not attend due to unavoidable circumstances :)) and it seemed like someone allegedly reported the group for clicking excessive pictures. I can't say aloud or write about the nature of the allegations, however guys in a boat, clicking pictures of an important floating bridge, a vital link between two land masses, I leave it to you to piece it together. You might call it going overboard, but that is how serious security can sometimes be in this country, not always of course.

'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing', is a quote attributed to Edmund Burke, though I'm learning it may not really be his quote, anyway it does not matter who said it at this point! When Mangalore happened, there was a general complaint that very few good men (or women) took a stand to highlight the incident, it did happen eventually. Today, a number of good men and women have taken a stand, the attention of world media is on India (not so much on Nigeria, where more than 400 people have died) and it will take much more than band-aids to cover the gaping holes in our security, in our emergency response time. Has a lesson been learnt? Maybe, maybe not.

The title of this post is also the title of a Scarling song.

1 comment:

Bini said...

I hope someday we reach a "fear of attack" paranoia in our country..hope we atleast learn from 26/11 as U.S did from 9/11.