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The bloody November

A year has passed since the bloody mayhem of 26/11 in Mumbai. Is it yet another date in our lives that we will remember with solemn grace?

mumbai Updated: Nov 23, 2009 20:53 IST
Jaydeep Ghosh

A year has passed since the bloody mayhem of 26/11 in Mumbai. Is it yet another date in our lives that we will remember with solemn grace? Or the one that is a benchmark from where you can only go up in matters of national security, intelligence gathering capabilities, anti-terrorism strategies, religious

Harmony and such issues? Well, I know that Shilpa Shetty’s wedding will keep us engaged with sillies like the size of the rock on her toe-ring and the brand of her lingerie for the suhaag raat, but I hope that in all that frivolity you don’t forget the Black Day — 26/11.

As I was typing this piece, the television showed news of ghastly bomb blasts in Assam. Acts of terrorism have become part of our lives and that’s scary. When Mumbai mayhem rocked the nation and affected the so-called intelligentsia, the upper and upper-middle class of the country, we thought action would be taken. Did it eventually?

The then loud-mouthed Home Minister of Maharashtra, RR Patil, had to resign, post 26/11, because of his loose statements but he is back as the Home Minister again in the newly formed Congress and NCP government. The General Elections that happened post 26/11 couldn’t get the South Mumbai-ites to come out and vote even after scores of candle marches and television debates where they pledged to vote for an ‘active’ government.

Almost after a year, the terrorist group that masterminded the Mumbai carnage is still enjoying our ‘friendly’ neighbour’s patronage, the lone surviving terrorist is still fighting a court battle, the bodies of the dead terrorists are still in a morgue and life is going on. And yes, Karan Johar’s new movie Kurbaan probes the mind of a terrorist. We in the Capital are talking about 26/11 anniversary over single malts and Chardonnay.

But just try this little exercise — try remembering the names of the police officers that were killed in the carnage? Try remembering the Jewish priest who lost his family or the names of those who lost their lives in Taj or the Oberoi? For me, 26/11 is a very sad day. A day I lost a mentor in Sabina Sehgal Saikia. A day I pledge to do what I am suppose to, to help the state protect me. Since 26/11 last year, I never dodged a security check, never fretted at the CISF personnel checking me from head to toe at the airport and always made it a point to pursue my neighbours to register their new tenant or a domestic help if they skipped it. I also made it a point to Vote.