Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blood on Holy banks

The bomb blasts at Varanasi surely have sent ripples through the nation. While the media has been keeping the us informed about the latest developments, by the minute, it is inevitable (We're India after all) that politicians are extracting political mileage out of the entire incident.

Interestingly, when I recollect similar blasts last year just prior to Diwali, there was a feeling of resilience that the average Delhi-ite showed to the entire incident. Even here in Varanasi, similar sentiments have been witnessed and the city has resumed its services.

However, one question puzzles me - Have the attacks questioned the the very secular fabric of the Indian society? The Delhi attacks were at a market-place and this one at a the Sankat Mochan Temple. Note the difference in the secular setting of the two blasts. One is a temple and the other is a busy bazaar. Hence, the general perception is that Islamic terrorists have battled it out in Varanasi to prove their point.

What point do they prove, I wonder, by such flutters in the daily life of the largest democracies in the World? Of course, they do claim lives - we cannot deny that. But is their larger purpose served - a purpose behind which lies the veil of Jehaad and its idiosycracies. Hilal Kohistani, Jackie's Shroff's character was perhaps right when he quoted in Mission Kashmir - Time, money and Jehaad wait for none.

What is required at such times of national alarm is a definite sense of composure and resilience to set back things into normalcy. It is with incredulous alacrity that politicians are flaring up communal passions by going on the record only to declare 'what they feel' of this incident.
L.K.Advani is infact has been using this opportunity to canvass and initiate a nationwide yatra along with protege Rajnath Singh! Somebody tell the old man, that good old times came to an end when he expressed his 'affection' for Jinnah. The Hindutva loyalist is only trying to scratch the surface harder within his party's echelon's of power.

Thankfully, we've been witness to an alert media in the last few days of these blasts. That's something that has been characteristic of the Indian Television scenario ever since the time competition ushered in, in the form news-channels. Competition should enforce accountability into reportage and thankfully, that has happened, although in bits and pieces.