Isn't it a pity? Isn't it a shame?
Two years on, and we're back. Down on our knees. As emasculated, impotent and pointless as ever we were. So 'they' have had a go at Bombay again. There is more 'rage' among the masses this time. Channelised where, you ask rightly? Towards whom? Well, Chidambaram, in this instance it would appear. Of course, how he could have done anything differently or averted this tragedy we don't know. Neither do the masses agitating against him, but such is life.
As Chavan said, we're probably better equipped to "respond to" and therefore limit the extent of the carnage this time round, but we're clearly not in a position to ensure it doesn't transpire at all. Having said that, is anyone? Is any place truly secure? What sort of state infringement and machinery would it take to make that happen, and is such an accost (for it would most decidedly be one) to our person and space (read: additional security at airports, stations, cinema halls and how this will translate into more detailed searches, longer security checks etc.) going to be readily acceptable to us in the name of a nebulous 'greater good' which, while we may fuzzily aspire to it, isn't exactly or immediately experiential or palpable?
There are fewer casualties this time. AND, they didn't attack the Taj, that symbol of all things Bombay (I'll never forget the time this ridiculous woman reporter waxed eloquent about everything the hotel/building stood for in Bombay's scheme of things even as people were still being hacked to pieces inside it. She made me lose much more than just respect for television journalists; she made me despise their very fucking creed). I wonder how long it will be before they start talking about the Opera House. I also wonder whether they'll remember that people dying - even nondescript, everyday ones like you and I -is slightly more worrisome than the damaging of even the most iconic structure.
The Indian Mujahideen this time. The LeT the last. And still we don't, as a nation state, wake up to the factiousness being caused by our treatment of large swathes of our own population? I lost a lot of faith in the justice of our political/state machinery after we caused a civil war-like situation with our inept and completely fascist handling of the so-called Reds; the Maoists. There appears to be no room for the tribal, the other, the minority/ies in our monolithic conception of what comprises 'development'. This is costing us. Dearly.
Do not for a moment read this as an apology for violence - of any which kind - perpetrated either against the state or by it. Recognise the anguish that underlies it, informs and perpetuates it.