First I was anxious. There is a lawyer friend who sits at the Delhi High Court and I have often used the now infamous Gate no. 5 to visit his chambers. I was anxious about his wellbeing.
Then I was scared. Scared shit! For, suddenly there was the rumour of a serial blast that was floating around in Delhi for sometime. I was scared for my little one, who had left school when I heard the rumours. And the van driver wouldn’t take my call for some time. Later, I realised it was barely a few minutes. He was caught in traffic, he said.
And then I was angry. Seethingly angry. That is when I read up the Prime Minister’s statement after the blast. “This is cowardly act of terrorist nature. We will deal with it. We will never succumb to the pressure of terrorism.”
Cowardly act? Who are you fooling, Mr Prime Minister? They strike us right in the heart of the Capital, strike the High Court of Delhi, and you call that a cowardly act?
And I am angrier now as I read this post by a fellow Howzziter: Mr. PM, We are Resilient by Force, not by Choice.
I have watched A Wednesday a couple of times. And I watched this video in the post again. And it made me angrier. What do you do when cockroaches infest your house, Mr Prime Minister? You don’t keep them, you kill them.
Yes, I am borrowing Naseeruddin Shah’s words here. But I have my reasons.
On Wednesday, it was an email sent by the Pakistan-based terrorist group Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami (HuJI) claiming responsibility for the blast and demanding repeal of the death sentence for Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case. On Thursday, there was a second e-mail from the Indian Mujahideen (IM) claiming responsibility for the blast. It went one step ahead, threatening to target a shopping mall in Delhi next Tuesday. “Rok sako toh rok lo (Stop us if you can),” it challenged.
Will you be able to stop it Mr Prime Minister? Should I send my child to school next Tuesday? Should I allow my husband to leave for office that day? Should I ask my friends to stay back home? Should I myself take an off next Tuesday?
Do you think, Mr Prime Minister, the IM guys have watched A Wednesday? Why does the IM statement sound so familiar to what Naseeruddin Shah was saying: “Jo train blasts huyi, woh sirf ek terrorist activity nahin thi, ek bahut bara sawal tha… bhai hum toh tumhe issi tarah marenge, tum kya kar logey? (That train blast was not just a singular terrorist activity. They were mocking us by saying: ‘Well, we will keep killing you this way; what will do?’ ”
“Rok sako toh rok lo.” Doesn’t it sound eerily familiar, Mr Prime Minister? Or is there a bit of truth in what Shah was saying?
What is Afzal Guru doing in jail for 10 years by the way? When did the Parliament attack take place? What is Kasab doing in jail throwing tantrums about having mutton biryani? Why does he deserve a trial in the first place?
I would go back to the cockroaches again, Mr Prime Minister. Do you give a fair trial to the cockroaches in your house?
But, of course, there are no cockroaches in your house, Mr Prime Minister. How foolish of me! Such pests creep into our houses and poison our lives. We become their victims, every time. Not the likes of you.
Why? Because I am, to quote Shah, a stupid common man? One who is scared of getting into bus, train, metro, shopping malls. And now even court houses? Where in this country does the stupid common man get his justice?
Why do we elect governments? Why do we have a police force? A great intelligence set up? Do you mean to say your whole system is not equipped for this kind of pest control?
Yes or no?
If yes, then what is Kasab still doing in jail? Why does your system spend our money to feed him biryani? Why do you spend our money for his security — in jail or every time he steps out for his court visits? Why do you spend our money for his lawyer? Why does he deserve a lawyer in the first place? Did those unfortunate stupid common men killed at the High Court get a lawyer to argue their cases — as to whether they should live or die? Did those 200-odd people killed by Kasab and his gun-totting associates get any lawyer to argue their fate?
How long does your system take to decide whether a man caught red-handed massacring people is guilty or not? Don’t you think it is a big question mark on you and your system’s abilities?
And if you are not equipped, why haven’t we seen any resignations yet? How can Rahul Gandhi say it is impossible to stop terrorist attacks 100%? I don’t get any leeway from my boss for saying I can’t do my job 100%, then why him? Why you, for that matter?
Do you find my demands strange? Do think my questions threaten to pull off the mask of our genteel, civilized, secular society? Do you think I am a Hindu radical? Do you think my reasons sound like the RSS?
Because I am not. Again to borrow Shah’s words, my religion doesn’t come into play here. For, all my life I have been a non-believer. The only place where I am listed as a Hindu is my passport because your system doesn’t allow me to declare myself as a non-believer.
I wrote this, because I want you to know, again to borrow from Shah’s script, no bloody m***** c*** will decide for me when I am going to die. I want when my child steps out of home, he should roam around freely, without any worry, whenever, wherever.
Because, to borrow Shah’s words again, “bheed mein se koi bhi shakal chun lijiye woh main hoon. I am just a stupid common man wanting to clean his house.”
Please Mr Prime Minister, help us clean up our house.