When The Taj was taken control of, besieged by militants who fought round the clock slaughtering civilians, when there was bloody carnage at CST where passengers commuting and waiting for trains were shot down like flies and trampled upon like worms, left to soak in their own blood on the platforms, as those armed men fired at random and at will at anyone who was destined to stray in their paths, all we could do, the majority of Indians who were shell shocked as we stayed glued to our television sets, was to watch. Then, our shock gave way to grief and anger – anger that was directed towards our elected representatives who had left us all crying and dying, as they stay protected in the safety of tight security.
There was outrage, there were public outcries that questioned leaders in their faces, celebrities hit out at the administration and the government and people gathered at city centres, at the marine drive, at clubs and associations to discuss and debate what had just hit them out of nowhere. There were commentaries that India had awakened yet again, this time from parliamentary squabbles and dirty politics and cross border terrorisms that had come to be its lullabies.
All of that, is now history. And it’s business as usual again. The status quo stays where it always stood. While everything in the world is supposed to change every moment, some things never seem to change at all. Such things, as the nonchalant chores of the middleclass Indian, as the television channels that are as busy as ever making reality shows, as filmmakers who keep up their entertainment values, as writers who advocate everything under the sun, as scamsters who are busy inventing new ways to mint money, as cricketers who are never tired of defeats and endorsements, as businessmen who are always on the move, strategising, and as politicians who pay their ritualistic homage to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the lawyer who set us all free.
Or, are we free yet?