By Pravda

Like most people who had an off for Thanksgiving, I was looking forward to enjoying 4 days of lazing about with the family and getting a refreshing break. But as fate would have it I woke up to the shocking news of Mumbai and indeed the whole of India being held to ransom by a bunch of audacious young men. And like most of my countrymen, I was glued to the television watching shots of one of the most memorable images of my childhood being dented by grenades and gunshots. At the end of it all, I feel relief, shock, fear a certain sense of numbness but above all of it, I am angry.

I am angry at the people who brainwash such intelligent, motivated young men into psychopaths who have no remorse whatsoever at carrying out such violent attacks on innocent men, women and children. What a waste of potential and to what purpose?

I am angry at the media for carrying sound bites of politicians like Modi, who without understanding that he is actually being a nuisance decides to visit the Oberoi when the encounter was on and makes absolutely unbelievable statements like “hum to car mein andar jaake bhi dekhna chahte the par in logon ne jaane nahin diya.” What did he think was going on there? Shooting for a Bollywood block buster. And to add salt to injury, he announces awards for martyrs like Hemant Karkare – the person whom Modi and his party had labeled anti national because he had implicated a “sadvi” in the Malegaon case. How hypocritical can they get? The media even went a little further. In one of the channels there was a discussion on whether Mr. Hemant Karkare had made a mistake in exposing himself to the terrorists even before the embers of his pyre had died down.

The politicians of our country have showed themselves in poor light throughout this incident. Vilasrao Deshmukh decides to invite Ram Gopal Verma and his son Ritesh for a guided tour of the now destructed Taj. Home Minister makes statements to the effect “Itne bade shahar mein ekhad hadsa ho jaaata hain.” Advani and company constantly saying that “PM should resign” as if that is going to help us solve terrorism. Not one of them seem to be in control of the situation. All are holding on to their pet lines. The government defending themselves and the opposition baying for their blood. Even the reaction from the Government is on predictable lines. They probably think that if they ask a few people to take “moral responsibility” and resign, we would be appeased. But I don’t think so. One think which is different here is that it is not the common, nameless dispensable people who have been victims or who have suffered damages. This time around there have been prominent faces and I am hoping that the hit that the top industrialists have taken will atleast force the government to take some concrete action. Our political class has been so hopeless, that I actually found the Pakistani foreign minister’s statements more attractive. Atleast he was defending his country with logic, clarity and passion and not just parroting lines.

Above all, I am angry with myself. I am not happy with the political system but what do I do. I stay indoors on election day and choose not to use the most powerful weapon I have, “My vote”. I know that many of my fellow citizens are stuck in the same situation. What is there to choose between a “bunch of losers?” But I think it’s time we found out whether there are other options available to us because as recent elections have shown even if there is a turn out of 15% someone will get elected. I think there is a provision where a citizen can tell the election officers that he wants to cast a blank vote or a protest vote to send a message that he doesn’t want any of the candidates who are contesting. I am not sure of the provisions, but am trying to find out the details. If any of my fellow citizens know about this, please let us know. I think the time has come for us to use this and show to all political parties that we want leaders who are a part of us and not act as if they have fallen straight from the skies!

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