Mumbai's Tragedy - India Bleeds - What Will Manmohan Singh Do?

November 28, 2008
Abhinandan Mishra

The tragic events that have engulfed Mumbai have sent waves of shock all across the country. It has been more than 40 hours since the first shots were fired and still the fighting between the security personnel and the terrorists is raging on.

As the number of dead continues to rise and the personal loss of the many affected turns into a national tragedy, we as common citizens of this country are facing many questions that are very tough to answer.

Our mind sways from experiencing pain to anger. From hopelessness to frustration. Should we salute the bravery of those who died while trying to save the innocent or should we cry for them?

This national tragedy has also given a chance for the government at the centre to redeem itself of the guilt that I presume has surrounded them. Maybe it is the last opportunity for the Prime Minister to show himself as a man who can take decisions that for him may look tough, but otherwise are obvious and expected in the national interest.

The death of children, women, tourists, police officers who had no reason to die will perhaps spur him to keep everything aside except the interest of nation and its citizens while doing what has been long desired from him.

He can advance any number of reasons for still maintaining the status quo, beginning from India being a responsible democracy, a regional superpower, diplomatic relations etc. But deep inside us we know that an attack on innocent civilians taken after so much meticulous planning and preparation cannot be seen as just another act of terrorism.

Politically also, he has nothing to lose. The general elections are just months away. That the Congress will go down is something that even a die-hard supporter will accept. Maybe if he acts proactively, then he might not go down in the history books as the weakest-unresponsive PM this country had.

He has no precedent to bank on. For never have been we subjected to such frequent-daring attacks at the pan-India level. He must do what is in the best interests of the country. He must remember that politics and accountability are not to be mixed. He as a PM is accountable to all of us. Not to a particular individual, religion or a party.

He has more than enough evidence to prove to the international audience that regions of Pakistan occupied Kashmir were used to train the terrorists. The dismantling of the terrorist camps in PoK by the Indian troops may look a too far-fetched thought right now, but then who could imagine the 26-11 attack at the heart of Mumbai.

Suddenly the thought of India becoming a police state does not appear too absurd now. We had such a scenario in Kashmir, Punjab and Assam. We might also gradually settle in to live under the shadow of guns and blasts but then that would be tantamount to disrespecting those who lost their lives while trying to stop this exact scenario.

In midst of this national loss we have been given an opportunity to put things in order. Political will is something that we have craved for long. Mr. PM, show us that you have some.

Whenever this whole thing ends, the memories that it will leave behind will make us shudder from the pain, the helplessness and the fact that many of the dead were killed for no reason.

Those who have lost the touch, the voice and the warmth of their close ones will never be able to come out of the shock and the pain. All we can hope is that no further such incident takes place, incidents where daughters lose their fathers, mothers their sons, wives their husbands, and friends their soul.

A law graduate from NLIU, Bhopal.Worked for 2 years as a journalist in media organizations like Qatar Tribune, PTI and UNI. Now more of just 'a writer' rather than a 'paid' writer.
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Mumbai's Tragedy - India Bleeds - What Will Manmohan Singh Do?


Author: Abhinandan Mishra


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