Saturday, May 1, 2010

Open Letter.

Dear Terrorist Organisation/Militant Groups/Religious 'revivalists',

We get it. We do. Your modus operandi is to scare people, in order to change the world. Change it according to how you think it should be changed.
For years now, our entire society is trying to rationalise why and how we are subjected to such mass destruction. When we did finally arrive at a conclusion, it was not all that complex. Dare I say, it was an overly simplified notion. Your activities, riots, bombings, assassinations and the like were an indication of a combined desire to instill, and simultaneously maintain fear in what is a large collectivity.
In keeping with that, it almost seems rational that we bear witness to not only sporadic, but directed, terrorist attacks on a very continuous basis. Every day becomes a testimony to having lived. Every day tells you it wasn't you. Every day is proof that they haven't gotten us. Yet.

If it wasn't enough that the 13th and the 26th of each month were when we felt most anxious about not coming back home (thanks to repeated consecutive attacks on the same dates), we are now being given official and International warnings from the US State Government and Australia to not leave home. New Delhi, after all is a high-target area. Hence, traffic routes are clogged, police forces are installed at the entrances (and entrance only) of various shopping centres and heritage sites and regular information in the form of warning messages are being sent out by the media and it's new media avenues. Nobody knows whether there will be a blast or not. It's better to be safe, right?

So, let's strike a compromise. Give us our life back. We have proven ourselves incompetent at not being afraid of these barbaric acts. Really now, are we to be blamed? It is such a potent and viable threat that you chose to shove into our throats, after all!
What we propose is, since you have been proven right, perhaps it is time to back out from the realm of the business where you scare huge, heterogeneous masses all at once. In return to this, we promise to be scared of such methods, to acknowledge your pertinent presence and to not bracket you under 'terrorist nihilisms'.

This culture of fear that we are forced to live in is all-encompassing in it's omni-presence. Maybe we do have a choice here. Maybe we can refuse to subscribe to this culture. Then again, we are no longer our own masters, are we now?

Thank you,

The Undersigned.


christie maria james said...

i like the "compromise" part. it is so true. text msgs are being circulated regarding the ame, about warning from US embassy.

i asked my friend if she could accompany me to Sarojini and she freaked out! said it was a red alert area!

the fear is spreading like anything. and apparently it cannot be helped. people should agree to your "compromise" suggestion!

Stuti said...

Christie, ooh. Your first comment here. :)
I was near old Delhi today, and it took me one and half hours to cross Daryaganj. Why, mass panic. News Channels and their trailers, police stations and their vans and almost every car rushing to head back home. Most red lights aren't working today, thanks to lack of personnel.
No really, we have had enough! There is a limit to how much we can subject ourselves. I refuse to be scared of people who don't have the guts to proclaim themselves.

sunakshi said...

You that you have written this I'll share something with you. One of my friends refuses to go to temples in Delhi. She lives in Mayur Vihar and she hasnt seen Akshar Dham which is at a walking distance from her house because her family is scared. Imagine to what extent have they virtually proven their existence. Who are they? Why are they doing this? We just have assumptions as answers. How sick it is to lock yourself behind doors because something *might* happen! I stand along side you when I say I refuse to be scared.

Stuti said...

Sunakshi, that's what! We are afraid of someone who we aren't even sure exists! Is that group a terrorist/Jehaadi organisation or belongs to the RSS? Either way, why should I lose my life over that? More importantly, why should I lose my living over fear?

may mist said...

Well cjm herself cancelled out on a trip long time back because of bomb scared, remember durga puja.
But then I'm no tattle tale.
"We are passive consumers to every bit of mass mediated information that hardly accounts for what's there".I mean what's the point of broadcasting inside terrorist camps,on national TV. Isn't it top secret intelligence information.
Hence the fear, its an entire phenomenon.The ability to generate this kind of nuisance and be entrusted with credibility tantamounts to sacrilege.
And amidst all of it,the non-participating us, got stuck both-ways.

Adorable On Your Vanity said...

Ugh only if they had a functioning brain and heart. Delhi is my home town and I am visiting after almost two years. I can't help but be a little anxious about my visit. But rest assured, that's not going to stop me from going and from visiting all the crowded markets. I hope the Delhi police has its eyes open.

Azad said...

I tried to stop this monologue of mine... but I guess there is something which doesn't let me!!

I choose not to compromise of 'terrorist nihilisms' just because successive governments in my country have been unable to ward it off. I think... believe me, i think a lot and still cant see one good reason why we should be attacked by terrorists!! Similarly, i dont see one concrete measure taken to ward of terrorism from our soil. Our steps are just a mere reaction to their actions. Where in hell is it written that a liberal/secular democracy can't be proactive to save its people?

We cant strike a compromise after bleeding so much...


P.S- Please tell me you are scared of me!! I do belong to the RSS! I swear!! ;)

Stuti said...

Ankita, precisely! Dare I say, I think Osama Bin Laden is a figment, to ensure people are scared, to veto for the Afghanistan war.

Adorable on your Vanity, by all means, you should. Delhi is beautiful, don't let pressure groups ruin it for you! :)

Stuti said...

Azad, nope. I am not scared of the RSS/Al-Qaeda/Some other Pressure Group. Not because I think I am invincible, but because I don't see the point in being scared of an organisation that feeds on fear, and yet opts to remain largely anonymous.
Also, I think I have issues with what we can do in order to protect ourselves from such attacks. What measures do we adopt? Do they stop at tighter security, or will they involve even more racial profiling?

Azad said...

Lady, d way u measure RSS and Al quaeda with one stick, gives me goosebumps even though i have been a 'swayamsewak' since ummm... 23 years!
For God's sake, you cannot compare both of them!
RSS has made its presense felt in every section of society since its beginning in 1925. For example, During the 1962 Indo-China war, Jawahar Lal Nehru was so impressed by Sangh's work that he invited a Sangh contingent to take part in the Republic Day Parade of 26th January 1963. At a mere two days' notice, over 3500 Swayamsevaks turned up at the parade in full Sangh uniform.
And i wont even get started about 98,768 projects they are running right now!

About what can we do. If not anything, We can learn from the west and the middle east how to punish our enemies! We can strengthen our judiciary so that perpetrators of crime dont have to wait decades for their well-deserved meeting with god. There's a lot to be done but i think you get the gist.
And if we cant do anything then lets not send our 21-22 year old soldiers to die in vain just for hearing there mothers cry...

Stuti said...

Azad, I am not denying that. Excuse me for being biased against the RSS, but I think I have decent reasons, especially events that have transpired in the last two decades. Then again, there are more than just two sides to the coin, the third is that we hardly look at.
But these crimes are done by people who are so passionate they wouldn't care for death. But we could learn from the USA. Not a single attack after the 9/11 attacks. Only their option is not so humane.

Azad said...

You may have your reasons and i wont try to change them.
One more example to be considered is Israel. A small nation Surrounded by hostile states in a hostile region, it still has managed to survive more than 5 decades!
One should be humane. No doubts about that. But when under attack, Humanity and Ahinsa have little meaning... Its a Human's duty to defend his nation's pride and dignity.
My apologies for being so radical but coming from a family of freedom fighters, swayamsewaks and Armed personnel, these things run in one's blood...!


Stuti said...

Israel? Wow, I think Israel's entire policy is skewed. No country should be that powerful, while being so exploitative.
And no, humane doesn't refer to ahimsa, or non-violence. Just not opting for racial/communal segregation.

Anonymous said...

Stuti, this has to be the most honest and realistic post I've ever seen on the subject! HATS of to you... Like REALLY! I SO relate with it!

Stuti said...

USP, thank you! You always make me smile. :)
No, really, it was an admission, this post. I guess I was sick of all the warnings and all the hype and posted it here.

Tanay said...

Perfect writing skills.
And, a perfect post. I even shared it on Facebook... really brilliant creativity; you write really well.

Stuti said...

Tanay, thank you! I just saw the post on Facebook. :)

ridhima said...

Well,there was something that tempted me to leave a comment.
You have a point when you say that you refuse to be scared by something that dwells on the anonymity of its existence.The fact, however, is that there is a deep co-relation between their aim,that is the generation and perpetration of fear and their anonymity.The fear that they have successfully injected in our heads is a derivative of their unseen,unknown presence.And this is what they continue to exploit.
As much as we may try to rationalize the futility or hollowness of the fear,we cannot blame a mother who "fears" sending her daughter to a crowded marketplace for the "fear" of seeing her reduced to a burnt mass of flesh and blood.
But you touched my heart
I just wish I could be as valiant.

Stuti said...

Ridhima, you are right, you know? I myself am scared so many times, not for my life maybe but for people I love. It really is easier said than done, I realise.

Umang Sabarwal said...

Excellently written post! but i honestly believe, that I would be a bigger victim if I were to stop from going to the market on the 26th of every month. Besides, defiance is the best way to retort.