Before I begin, I’d like to send up a prayer for those who have lost their lives & loved ones in the ghastly & condemnable acts of violence perpetrated in Delhi today.
May God grant their souls peace & strength to the ones they were snatched from. Amen.
Every time there is a bomb blast in India, it leaves me a little more scarred. My worry & fear grow each time this happens. By God’ grace, thankfully it hasn’t interfered with normal life yet & may it never, but the aftermath of the blasts for me is consternation, worry & a growing fear.
Fear that every Indian living in a city feels; but there is another fear that I face – one that snehal joshi in the shame on you bal-t thread encouraged – the fear of a backlash.
So I live with two fears. I am now the proverbial dhobi ka kutta, na ghar ka na ghat ka!
Isn’t that the intent of the terrorists?
Make Indians feel insecure.
Make them mistrust each other.
Make them fight each other.
Weaken our country.
My wife asks, “What do these terrorist get from exploding bombs & killing innocents of all religions? How does Muslims being mistrusted more & more by the less enlightened masses help their cause?”
I tell her that up the entire line, there is money being made. Someone is financing these terrorist activities. It’s absurd to imagine that the financing comes from within India. It has to be from someone who is India’s strategic, commercial or ideological enemy. And that there could be many.
So why is the needle of suspicion deliberately pointed in one direction?
Can’t there be others whose humanity & patriotism is up for sale?
There are examples where bomb factories were found in Nagpur under the auspices of the sangh parivar.
There was a blast engineered by them in Kerala & the people apprehended were workers from one of their affiliates.
The authorities have been saying for quite some time that they know that the Indian Mujahideen who is claiming to have engineered all these blasts is merely a front for some other organization. They don’t know for a fact which organization. Is it possible that anyone from Naxals to Maoists to Mujahideens to the Hindutvis sitting in the Opposition are behind all of this? After all, there has to be a vested interest here; and there is no guarantee of anyone’s patriotism. Traitors & terrorists can be from any community. Is it possible that this entire exercise is an elaborate plan to create disharmony & mistrust, and is beginning to succeed? I don’t know for sure.
What I do know is this: I don’t want the terrorists & their backers to succeed. I don’t want to be scared & I don’t want anyone to scare me.
Another personal story to share:
I had a friend over for dinner the other night. She is a Gujarati, one who was in Baroda, fresh out of college, during the 2002 riots. Her family sheltered their neighbours & close friends of many years, a Muslim family (for which they drew a lot of flak from their other neighbours) for which her father had to stand outside & single-handedly argue down the hindutvis who had come for the fugitive Muslim family. Thankfully he succeeded.
She talked of the changed nature of Baroda. She talked of how modi was seen as the unifier of Hindu forces in Gujarat. She talked about how her father voted for modi because of that, not because of the so-called development that he has been taking credit for.
She is a fairly disillusioned Indian today, one who takes pride in her apathy.
She went so far as to suggest that since my Muslim name will never allow me to prove my patriotism to most people in this country, I too should develop apathy towards what is happening in my country.
I’m trying but not succeeding…