Mumbai is a city cursed by the "T"s. If it is not the Thakres, it is the terrorists who want to keep it in the news. Even as I type this, the encounters are going on and every news channel is devoting all its airtime to covering this event unfolding at various locations around the city.
And they have succeeded. They have proved that India is a soft state and that they can strike at will, whenever and wherever they want to. They have shaken us out of our stupor and made us realize that we are at war and that they have the prerogative of choosing the battlefield.
How did we arrive at this juncture? Why was the Indian socio-politic entity divided and subdivided on the basis of language, ethnicity, religion and casteism? Where did our forefathers go wrong in their thinking? There is no unity in diversity for us, it seems. Why can't Indians in general, not rise above their perceived petty identities which tell them that they are either Hindu or Muslim, or perhaps Marathi or Bihari, or Upper or lower castes, and just think of themselves as Indians?
Who is the enemy here and what can we do to defeat its ominous intentions? Is it a foreign power? But then how can a foreign power succeed in wreaking so much havoc without the active help of some of our own Amichands and Mir Jaffars? Should we start distrusting segments of our society because of what has been happening?
Does the answer lie in accepting a reduction in our own liberties and freedoms? Should anyone under investigation, be presumed guilty till proven innocent? I am afraid that might be the temporary answer if we as patriotic citizens, are concerned with the safety and security of our fellow citizens and wish to prevent further such attacks from happening. There is no alternative but to strengthen the hands of our investigative agencies with wide-ranging detaining powers and allowing them to work independently of the political establishment.
But that is just a temporary solution. The permanent solution will lie in reversing the damage done by the follies of our forefathers and removing all discriminating laws, and the social, political or religious entities which accentuate our differences. Because our Indian-ness has to dominate over our religious or regional identity, if we wish that our children and their children,do not have to deal with the same issues.