December 06, 2008

Condemnation on the house

The Hindustan Times today (December 6 2008) carries this essay I wrote.

Comments welcome.

6 comments:

t said...

among the many discussions we're hearing today, there are a few voices saying we must not let this be forgotten. even when these headlines move and make space for others. the question everyone seems to be asking and ignoring is what now? what next? are we going to vent out the anger and then sit back and watch what happens with red eyes and faces? everyone wants to do something. but no one seems to know what that something is. after the anger and sadness, i'm ashamed and frustrated.

Sriram said...

I am Sriram.

Pareshaan said...

Dilip Sahib,
it seems that the thing to do is to broadcast the need for introspection. I guess more people need to start thinking about everything. I know you have been urging people to do that for a long time. I hope other people start doing that too. The way things are headed there seems to be no other way. People in India, Pakistan and the world over need to think how they want their life to be, how they define humanity, what kind of a world would they like to leave behind.
There is too much poison and confusion in the world.
The thing with this terror attack is that it seems to be the most confusing yet. Nobody's taken responsibility, though there were hostages no demands were made, people were slaughtered for no reason, conspiracy theories abound, especially unnerving is the one doing rounds in Pakistan which blames the Hindu right for having generated this as a diversion to take the pressure off Saffron Militancy and get rid of Hemant Karkare - we also have the theory that this was another effort to destabilize South Asia and help prop up the Taliban and others in Afghanistan.
It's all too much, the news, the theories, the cries of anger, shame, frustration, vengeance - fear.
South Asia remains one of the most backward places in the world - in many ways it is said to be worse off than sub-Saharan Africa.
Can we really afford the terrorists. It took the Pakistanis and their media to make me realize what a bloody fool I had been for hating them.
When you see they hate us as much, that they are as scared as we are, that they are doing the same posturing we are. You realize how worthless and self-destructing this hate is.
It seems idiotic when they do it. Think about it a bit and we do exactly the same things. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why don't we use our energies to better ourselves and our crippled societies. Why don't we help ourselves? Why don't we help each other?
We are going to finish whatever little remains of our shared history, our heritage, our presence unless we realize this.
We need to understand that we need to do a lot of work before we can be proud of ourselves. We cannot go on like this. We are extremely attenuated as a people with very little to be proud of, and what little we have we continue to squander. We are a very sorry race.
That's what we need to recognize - that's what we need to change. India, Pakistan, Muslims, Hindus, we are the laughing stock of the world. We are nothing and we do nothing to change it.
We should be ashamed of ourselves as a people and vow to change as a people. What the hell is wrong with us?

Anonymous said...

The answer is "acceptance", that we will repeatedly get bombed by islamic fundamentalists. The earlier we accept it the better.

Few will resign, One minister will be replaced by another, how does that change anything.

T

I don't think the government will do anything, we just have to accept it as a way of life.

We do not have the guts of Israel to take action, plain and simple. Hence, acceptance is the answer.

The value of an Indian life is lesser than an American or Israeli life, like it or not.

Jai_Choorakkot said...

Great piece by Tom Friedman: Calling all Pakistanis

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/opinion/03friedman.html?_r=1

".... I am still hoping — just once — for that mass demonstration of “ordinary people” against the Mumbai bombers, not for my sake, not for India’s sake, but for Pakistan’s sake. ...."

Dilip, or anybody else,
if you have friends in Pakistan could you possibly urge them to make this happen?

An actual street demonstration by Pakistanis that shows other Pakistanis there is a constituency for this. Give Zardari some cover for any tough action against the militants (or force him to take action against them, it unfortunately never is clear with Pakistani govt. sadly seems to include "they killed the mother of my kids" Zardari).

We have lots of personal anecdotes about warm and friendly Pakistanis, the people-2-people is supposed to be good if not great.

Can we call some of that credit, now? And its for their own benefit too.

regards,
Jai

Jai_Choorakkot said...

Another good article, by Patrick French: via Acorn, further via Mohib Ahmed.

regards,
Jai

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/opinion/08french.html


"they hate us and India is us"

...When officials said that the killers came from the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, it was taken as proof that India’s misdeeds in the Kashmir Valley were the cause.

These misdeeds are real, as are India’s other social and political failings (I recently met a Kashmiri man whose father and sister had died at the hands of the Indian security forces). But there is no sane reason to think Lashkar-e-Taiba would shut down if the situation in Kashmir improved. Its literature is much concerned with establishing a caliphate in Central Asia, and murdering those who insult the Prophet. Its leader, Hafiz Saeed, who lives on a large estate outside Lahore bought with Saudi Money, goes about his business with minimal interference from the Pakistani government....