What role did we play in the Mumbai terror attack (guest post)
Now that the Mumbai situation has been resolved, it’s time to take a step back and ask ourselves a lot of questions. While watching the news, I was stuck by one statement taken from someone on the street and more than anything else I feel this is the question we need to ask ourselves, not why it was so easy to take over three landmarks, not what ideology justifies this carnage, not why it took so much time for our administration to respond; but when will we hold our politicians accountable? I feel this is the deeper question we need to ask.
I need not wax about how irresponsibly the whole situation was handled by our ‘leaders’! But are they the only ones to blame? What role did we play? When did WE take a step to make them accountable? Do I really have a right to ask for accountability when I did not even vote? I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s the truth and I hope I never make that mistake again. My voter’s ID will and should be a reflection of my right as a citizen of the largest democracy and not as a mere ID card! How many of us fuming over the feeble response from our politicians, over their quibbling and finger pointing, has take the that simple step of even voting?
And I know the argument of all who didn’t vote, about there not being any politicians who are worth voting for! Well, in which case, go and make your point that you don’t think anyone who is standing for our elections are eligible to rule over us! Yes, we can do so! It’s called Rule 49-O!
We don’t have to enable incompetents and criminals just because we don’t have anyone else to vote for! Please do check the sites and inform ourselves first and fore most!
Irrespective of whether I voted or not, I still do have the right to ask for accountability. Irrespective because willingly or not, I have agreed to respect the laws and rules set up by them, in exchange of taking care of my country for me!
Before setting up any agency against terrorism or a new intelligence center, should we not have a system were anyone, you or me, can ask, ‘Why have you, our politician, not kept the promises? When will they come true? What are you doing with our taxes?’
Should there not be a website where registered voters can raise issues? where, if enough people are asking the same question, then immediate action be demanded from the minister in charge?? Where, irrespective of whom politicians say they represent, the voice of the real people are heard?? Oh wait… there are some sites for the same!! Check [this link] and [this one].
If there is already a site like this then why don’t we know about it before? And this is where we should ask questions of the media! Is it not the responsibility of the media to inform us about rule 49-O? It was always there (since ’66), but should they not remind us at every election of our rights, especially about rights which has an immediate effect? Why is that we get more news about our cricketers and actors than rules and reforms? Agreed, they are not sensational enough to pull in all, but new channels seem to forget that their primary purpose is not entertainment, but information for empowerment!
I am hearing enough now, in the media, how the people are angry over our government’s incompetence. But this is not the first time these questions have been posed, or first time they are being expressed. Here are some links:  and .
The difference now that this is the first time it’s being expressed on such a large scale. What is the point of expressing popular opinion? Or do they express only popular opinion? What about opinions which are valid and relevant though they are not as urgent or immediate..yet! Do we have to wait for half a dozen bomb blasts for news channels to convey how the public feels?
End of the day, being part of a democracy means being part of the solution. We cannot with good conscience pass the blame entirely to our politicians. If they did or failed to do something it is, first and fore most, because we empowered them to do so!
And remind ourselves we are not victims but empowered ourselves. Vote. This is where we begin. Be part of the process. After all we are the people… by, for and of! There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Mumbai 26/11. These three days are those we never want to see again anywhere in India. We should do all we can to make sure it doesn’t. We are not helpless. But we have to help ourselves.
Take some time to inform ourselves and those around us. Hope this ranting has been of some use and not taken too much of your time…
Take care all.
This post was written by Divya Uthup Pittapally from Kerala. She was working as an IT software professional in Chennai and now she is back in Cochin for her MBA. Divya, thank you for this passionate and constructive piece of writing.
Related Reading: Our elected representatives don’t really represent us
What or whom do we blame for our terrorism deaths?
Does India need a Prevention of Terrorism Act?
Is voting for a political party better than voting for the candidate?
The middle-class in India is not voting!
Don’t want to vote? Then register your no-vote!