26/11 – Hope against hope

26/11. The day which shocked us all like never before. Far, far away from India, I sat transfixed, watching the horror unfold in front of me.

Millions across the world did the same, felt the same outrage, came out in different ways to express how they felt…

Outpourings of grief, anger and outrage everywhere..

So many brave people of India, scarificed their lives, saved lives without thinking twice about their own safety..

But did it change anything? Has 26/11 changed anything in reality or are we just waiting for another, more shocking. more horrifying version of 26/11 to happen before we get pushed into action. Have we all gone back to our cozy lives after the initial shock wore off? Have we, in reality forgotten what happened a year back.. Apparently, South Mumbai where most of the attacks took place, had a really low voter turnout – have we as voters forgotten our responsibility too?

Just when I thought it could get no worse, I saw that our govt had spent 31 crores to keep Kasab alive! What a monumental waste of money.We have seen all kinds of tamashas in this trial.  What should have been an open and shut case, has dragged on for a year. What with the Shiv sena threatening the lawyers who were to represent him and all that. Surely, why do these political parties forget that justice is simply being denied by all these unnecessary political dramas? What did it all achieve? Yes, am sure they got some political mileage – but the real cost is the 31 crores and justice that has been delayed for so many victims and their families. Makes you wonder if all the valour with which our forces fought the terrorists were wasted. Makes you wonder if the Ajmal Kasab trial will go the Lieberhaan way and take 17 years  before it is completed?

For a country to be a position to ensure it’s security, from both internal and external elements, one of the key things is to make an effort to reduce the corruption levels. With reports of how Hemant Karkare’s bullet proof vest is missing – it just reinforces the fact that we have corruption at the highest levels. If our government officers and those in the government are not accountable and responsible – what hope do we have to ensuring that our country is safe from terrorists?

While I do understand that countries like America have an intrinsic advantage of geography, but surely, given that we are more vulnerable and our neighbourhood more troubled, we have to go that extra mile. I guess, all we can do is hope (against hope?) that we never see a 26/11 attack again..

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40 thoughts on “26/11 – Hope against hope

  1. First of all, it feels nice blogging as a medium has given us all a chance to voice our opinions on any subject. Nice to c so many of us stand united for a cause! All I wish is it turns into action 😦

    That is true.. Blogging certainily gives us a medium of expression – but does our blogging help in a larger way -until we are ready to do something beyond blogging.. You know, it makes me feel helpless that there seems to be nothing much that we can do..

  2. I sincerely hope that we don’t have to see such a day again! One such day is so difficult .. I cud not get myself to sleep peacefully without the scenes splashing in front of my eyes! It sends shivers down my spine to even think of it!

    Me too, Swaram! Those three days were the most horrifying.. Even though personally, I was untouched.. Lets just hope that it never happens again..

    I feel really bad or rather so angry for having kept Kasav alive for so long! How many times have we seen people have been pronounced criminals and punishments awarded so soon. And in this case, they are on the lookout for witnesses? How many more do they want? I can’t believe it can be so dumb! Shouldn’t there be a different law for this? The entire nation has witnessed the crime! Esp. the amount they have spent on him .. how many ppl would have got food and shelter! I seriously think all of us should join hands and stop paying taxes!!!!!!

    ‘I seriously think all of us should join hands and stop paying taxes!!!!!! ‘ – I wish! I just wish that our administration and political parties had more accountability and responsibility. If we could speed up our justice system and ensure that it is not hijacked by political parties to meet their own ends- it would be such a positive step..

    Abt the voter turnout, when we look @ it from another angle, I feel people are just fed up with all of it Smithu .. which party has done justice to them and which one will they choose now? Each one thinks abt its own growth or how they can take their revenge against another party. They only know to point fingers at episodes which took place long back and not solve the problem @ hand. They just give a chance to yet another party which succeeds them to do the same later 😦 As much as I complain that the people are not being responsible by refusing to vote, I also feel they are just plain confused! Aren’t we too?

    I agree that we are all confused. Political parties seem to be interested only in scoring points against each other. They certainly do not seem to care beyond their vote banks.. As for people, I think by not voting, we are just ensuring that the same thugs and hooligans. I do think that if all of us do vote, it will make a difference -if not today, atleast 10 years down the line.. Middle class apathy has led to political parties taking advantage of it..

    • Hmm u r rt .. absence of voters will assure they take things for granted! Wish everyone realizes that 😦 People were probably too shocked .. they had not found any answers 😦

  3. Oh wait… don’t you know that we believe in ‘Athiti Devo bhava’ – Guest is god? He is our guest and we have to treat him with all possible pleasures in the world including chicken/mutton biryani once a day, movies of madhuri dixit on a private TV set with high security… all at the cost of tax payers money. Liberhan commission took 17 years to come up with a report that was known to people one the day 1, still we spent 8 crores for that special report…

    Seriously! It is disgusting to say the least… When we read all this, don’t know whether to laugh or cry..

    this is India! Incredible India!
    Incredible, indeed!

    • They needed to get it out now rt .. parda jo daalna tha on other issues which they could not tackle!!! They think we all are fools to forget what is @ hand and that our attention will be diverted 😦

      I know! They certainly think we are fools! That we will be taken in by all the rhetoric!

  4. I ll repeat what I wrote in Blog Adda :

    On the first anniversary my thoughts are as cynical as they can get…

    Nothing has changed !

    No one cares !

    No matter what happens we (our government & ourselves too) will never ever react, our thinking and our reactions will always remain clouded trying to worry about no innocents being dragged in our quest for the villains.

    While burning dry leaves a few green leaves tend to burn, but are we willing to pay the price??

    If we cant hang Qasab yet after 1 year of interrogation how the heck can we ever do anything to the terrorists that exist outside our custody.

    We also have Afzal surviving after attacking the parliament !

    Tell me why would any terrorist fear attacking India ?? huh ??

    He can simply fire shots merrily till his ammunition runs out and surrender.. !!!

    We will give him more security than the aam aadmi.. !!!

    Today if I say Mumbai is part of India I m under threat… never mind the terrorists !

    sounds bitter but its the truth !

    Hitchy, I have to say, that I wish I could disagree – but everything you have said is true!

  5. “…are we just waiting for another, more shocking. more horrifying version of 26/11 to happen before we get pushed into action.”

    There have been many other terror attacks, too- and many Jawans are killed in Kashmir, but because this attack affected upper class people from an affluent area of Mumbai, it has got so much publicity.

    You are so right! Daily attacks in Kashmir, are no longer even considered an attack these days. Yes, Mumbai attack did get a lot more publicity because it was in a posh area – but even that seems to make no difference, in terms of actual action..

    And what action are we talking about? We do not even consider diplomatic measures against Pakistan. Our so-called intellectuals say that Pakistan itself is a victim of terror!

    Oh yes! Calling Pakistan aa innocent victim of terror is the biggest joke of all times!

  6. i have been raging in anger since I read that news, now I might agree (atleast in imagination) that we have reasons strong enough to keep him alive but keeping him a in solitary cell would have done the job… God knows when when will be learn…

    I know! It makes one mad, doesn’t it? A case like this should have been an open and shut case!

  7. Well, nothing’s really changed. Execept that we’re poorer by 31 crores!

    31 crores that we know of.. Who knows what else!

    About the ‘intrinsic advantage of geography’ that America has: I aggree to an extent, but isn’t it also true that this argument has also been overused by us to justify every kind of lapse? For example, I would like to know whether China keeps its borders tight, and if it does, how does it manange? What about Iran?

    Absolutely! Every politician comes up with this arguement about America’s geography! We just want to look for excuses..

    Cheers,

    Quirky Indian

  8. I just dont know what to say,Smitha. You know after the 26/11 carnage last year I had seriously thought that things were going to change. We were all really really angry with the whole system and the vulnerability of our country. The phrases like ‘be the change you want to see’ were being voiced in every sense of the word. I though we were genuinely going to bring about a change by our outpourings.

    I thought so too, Deeps! I actually felt that things would change.. Mainly because people seemed to be mobilised.. Only to see after a year that nothing has really changed..

    But one year on,its a shame that our country is as vulnerable as it was yesterday and we all are back in our demoralized shell. The low voter turnout in Mumbai is an example of that. I understand its only natural to feel let down by our leaders,but its also important that if we want to see a positive change ,we need to have the right person at the helm. And its entirely in our hands to make that happen.

    ‘I understand its only natural to feel let down by our leaders,but its also important that if we want to see a positive change ,we need to have the right person at the helm. And its entirely in our hands to make that happen.’ – Absolutely! As far as we get involved in the electoral process, I think change will happen.. And small things like being aware and alert. Trying to ensure that we don’t cut corners and aid corruption – it all helps.. It is when we as a people become apathetic that things refuse to change..

    • “Trying to ensure that we don’t cut corners and aid corruption – it all helps..” Exactly! Like Swar mentioned in her post its sad how women are not even checked in malls. We can stop that from happening by either insisting on being checked right then and there or just complain to the higher authorities,write a letter to the leader of our constituency. If we choose to stay mum and let them remain casual in their attitude,we are being a party to the malfunctioning of the system!

  9. It is sickening fact that we are surrounded with psychos like jihadi’s,maoists,LTTT etc.I believe government is trying there best to ensure safety of civilians and lets hope our intelligent agency will be more alerted and will never let another 26\11 happen. Only thing we can do is pray and hope everything is alright

    Yes, it is scary, isn’t it..

    @ Kasab : we can’t blame it.There is a procedure for all things.I believe he will get the deserved punishment asap

    Obviously, there is a procedure.. But I still feel for cases like this there should be an expedited process so that such terrorists are dealt with faster – simply because of the increased security risks. What if we have another attack in which they hold innocents ransom just to get Kasab released..

  10. On this Thanksgiving day, we have a lot to be thankful for esp. our govt.’s lack of action and assertiveness in ‘taking care of things’…But some of this expenditure is unavoidable…I believe in the concept of fair trial and however much I may hate Kasab, I believe he deserves his day in court…Having said that, there no reason why the authorities should make his life easy by giving in to his demands…

    Was going to reply – when I saw your second comment 🙂 I do agree that he deserves his day in court – just wish it weren’t so many wasted days in court !

    • Sraboney I left a comment after yours on Monu’s too !! dont know if u read it..

      he deserves his day in court… but what is the court doing ???

      and what info do we still need out of him ??

      if we cant hang him… never mind any other criminals in this country ! seriously !

      • Sorry, I didn’t read your previous comment…

        What is the court doing? That’s a good question…Speedy trial would have been better…

        I am also against capital punishment so I don’t think Kasab should be hung…

        • ya, you are right! He doesnt deserve capital punishment. He has to be slaughtered in public so that any of those psychopaths on the loose will think hundred times the next time they think of terrorising the nation.

  11. I have absolutely nothing to say!!!!

    If we could not hang Kasab in a year then we are capable of nothing. All we can do is celebrate the anniversaries, hold peace march, candle vigilance, police can show their strength but having a march & live demo!!! But ultimately achieve nothing out of it!!!

    I know! I fail to understand the need for such marches and vigils – do they really amount to something when half of us don’t really do the things that might help.. Like refusing to giving into corruption..

    I have absolutely nothing to say!!!!

  12. Actually I m not surprised….life is so under valued in India ..maybe due to sheer population that I didn’t think anything will change after 26/11 last year and yes nothing did sadly 😦

    That is true.. Life is undervalued in India.. We realised the difference after coming abroad how every life is valued.. Population is certainly one of the key factors. and so is education – and I think it all is interlinked as well..

  13. I wonder when our nature will change and when we will realize that it doesn’t make any sense spending that amount on people like Kasab.

    I wonder too.

  14. Last year when we had all those protests throughout the country, I felt really proud to be a part of this country. Not any more !! We are living in a crazy country ! One year, and Qasab is still alive. The whole world knows what he has done, then whats the use of a trial and to top it all a defense lawyer for him. I wonder what wouldve been the statements to defend his memorable action on that day! According to me, he shouldve been slaughtered publicly ! To hell with the human right activists !! They dont cry fowl when a jawan dies when saving the country; but those idiots have a problem when an international terrorist is being prosecuted.

    I agree about the human rights activists.. They seem to emerge out only in support of criminals.. It is depressing.

    All efforts, protests, tears for this country; all wasted !! I just cant feel proud of myself to be an Indian anymore !

  15. Kasab is more safe in jail then the common man in india.He is getting his biryani and he is eating at a cost of all the lives which we lost in that attack.

    a disgrace!

    I cried again today recollecting those 3 horrible days.I cried even more when i saw the scenes in the parliament,when all the people in india are remembering people who lost lives in the attack but our politicians are same as yesterday shouting,arguing etc…… because they didn’t loose their loved ones.

    I know, Saritha.. Makes one feel so sad and helpless and angry at the same time..

    When i recollect last year the one thing which is not going out of my mind is the treatment we gave to the brave commandos of NSG,they are taken in BEST buses where as our cricketers are taken in a A/C buses.Cricketers gave us entertainment and commandos saved the life of people.

    So true! Our real heros are never treated like heros! Such a sad state!

    Had kasab been in US or Israel or gulf countries he would have been hanged,we still giving him time.

    I agree totally!

  16. Actually i feel really tired to write about our politicians Smitha… People in the higher ranks are corrupt… Else we wouldn’t Have such corruption in lower levels…

    That is so true and so sad, Kanagu..

    Somewhere i Have read this… When a terrorist blasts a bombs by taking it around his waists, our security guards check there only… I Have no hard feeling on that statement… It sums up the situation here…

    I agree.

  17. It is very difficult to say anything, Smitha! Our politicians have spread their wings everywhere like a cancerous growth, including Karkare’s Bullet proof jacket, which should have protected him, when he tried to protect others. When I read Shashi Throor’s tweets about his visits to Karkare’s and other affected families’ homes, I just felt dejected.

    I know.. It was depressing to read..

    Like Saritha says, Kasab is secure here and enjoying life then outside. I don’t think he will have any type of security if he goes back to Pakistan.

    Exactly! That makes it so sad, that a person like Kasab is getting all these privileges..

    It was disgusting to watch yesterday’s parliamentary proceedings. All the parties were hurling complaints at each other and their job is over. I doubt if anybody talked about the ordinary people who died at the railway platform bomb attack on that day. Everyone will get attention if they talk about the attacks on the famous hotels. Our people will never change, Smitha.

    Oh yes! So many attacks have happened – and we forget about them – because it was only the common man who was impacted.. As soon as the rich and the fanous get impacted – the media attention is all on them..

    As you said, ‘all we can do is hope (against hope?) that we never see a 26/11 attack again..’

    This post was not visible in my blog, till late last evening, Smitha. I wanted to read properly and then comment…we can do only that.

    Oh dear! I wonder why.. It happens sometimes with me too – some blog posts don’t come up until very late..

  18. We have spent a few crores in preserving the dead bodies of the other 9 terrorists also! We are indeed incredible with our hospitality. No wonder we are a favorite with the terrorists!

    I know!

    Compensation (as if this loss can be ever compensated) as been doled out to only 1/4th of the claimants.

    Absolutely!

    As for change-we are still hoping against hope!

    That’s all we can do..I guess..

  19. 😐 😐 😐

    its just like the comment i gave for hitchy’s post…
    what really changed since 26/11 last year?
    nothing. we are still sitting ducks.
    kasab is still awaiting trial … and yes as u said, with 31 crores wasted on him…
    and the politicians who seemed to have been ousted from power immediately after 26/11 are now back in different places….
    when did our country reach such a low? 😦 or was it always the same?

    Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? I guess all we can do is hope.. and do our bit..

  20. Very good post, Smiths. We can only hope and pray that this sort of massacre does not happen ever again. I do think Kasab ought to be hanged. He doesn’t deserve to be kept alive. I mean, with 31 crores, how many poor people could have been given a livelihood? Where are our priorities??? Someone ought to hang the court too!

    I agree.. 31 crores is way too much to be spent on him.. There is so much that can be done with it.. I just hope that the whole trial gets over with quickly..

  21. It just feels all so wrong is it not? 31 crores??? Its is super duper outrageous, that is all I can say, esp to take care of the man who killed so many…… just unacceptable.

    I know.. It does feel all wrong.. I just hope that the trial ends soon and justice is delivered soon.. Thats all I can hope for…

  22. 26/11 will remain with us for longest time…

    i am not sure disgust towards our govenment etc will also help…

    I agree, we have to do our bit.. Being aware and alert, voting.. it will all help in the long run..

    its depressing…

    I know..

  23. We dont lack in anything except the political will. Ijust hope that this awareness of people may bring a change in the attitude of govt.

    ‘We dont lack in anything except the political will’ – Absolutely!

  24. I have hope.
    I am trying to see the changes…
    there have been few, but not enough.

    I agree, Pixie. Back from your break 🙂 Hope you had fun at home!

    We need to be more responsible and try to elect better leaders…
    Absolutely! This is something we can do – if all of us understand the need to participate in the democratic process.

    Our attitude towards security and the check that goes along with it needs to change.
    This is our duty. To protect our nation.
    Also, few things like excess security to our politicians, bribery and corruption needs to be tackled and addressed seriously.

    I agree with all the points you raised.. All these things, seemingly simple, would go a long way..
    And we need a better legal system in place… the action needs to be taken much faster.

  25. Smita, I don’t think it is a waste of money to keep kasab alive. I think I am proud of the fact that we managed to keep him alive. It shows our democratic institutions and humane justice system. I am not saying Kasab doesn’t deserve the most stringiest punishment, I am just saying that I think we did good, if we prevented Kasab from killing himself and his cronies rescuing him. In India trials are slow, and this one is of monumental importance, its best its slow. I really doubt that kasab is going to walk away a free man.

    I agree that it is a good thing that we managed to keep him alive.. the time the trial is taking still worries me.. Surely, it is better to get it over with faster than slower.. I agree with you that Kasab is unlikely to walk away a free man. I just wish trials were not slow in India..

  26. Smi, read this sometime back. http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/column_indian-lessons-for-obama_1318489

    “Do you know how they spent Rs 31 crore on a terrorist of 26/11?” she asked – referring to the state expenditure on keeping Ajmal Kasab alive – and then answered it herself. “By not paying the victims of 26/11!”She informed Obama that smart people in India manage money by denying those who deserve it to spend it on those who don’t. “They do it everywhere in India – in politics, business, sports, movies!”

    Sad but true.

    That article just about sums it up! So true and so very sad!

  27. nd now Kazab’s lawyer has been sacked..

    I know! I mean, it is just unbelievable!

    nd this could be another excuse to drag this case longer…in the first place I was aghast when I read that this fellow was even allowed a trial.. the whole world watched him live and what more evidence does one need to punish him.. but then I forced myself to listen to voices saying that this is democracy and that he needs to be tried etc etc.. but then the way our democracy is moving, I fear we may end up creating Kasab’s of a differnt kind..

    I agree.. It just does not seem right.. I was fine with the idea of a fair trial -but am more and more convinced that it is becoming a mockery of justice rather than a fair trial..

  28. in the above comment I meant to say justification instead of excuse..

    Got it 🙂

    nd if this is a fast track court then can one imagine the plight of the rest of our deserving, true citizens of India..

    Exactly! If this is fast track – I can’t imagine how the normal courts function!

    I think it is time to say enough….

    I agree..

  29. nd Smitha let me also add that it is only the ordinary citizens who are still vulnerable.. the corporate world has learnt their lessons and did not wait for the Govt. to take any action… they have protected themselves or has made the govt protect them…

    The ordinary citizens will continue to be vulnerable.. until something drastic happens to make our govts sit up and take action..

  30. we had an opportunity..to vote..and we didnt..and what do we have here..the same govt. the same ministers at surprisingly the same posts (see RR Patil)..the country needs more people who want to bring a change

    Sad, isn’t it?

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