Location: Toronto

Try me.

02 December, 2008

Since everyone has an opinion on 26\11...

... I guess I should have one too? Having never been one to slack off in giving my opinion on any topic under the sun, I avoided this one like the plague for various reasons. The subject is too touchy and way too close to home, so anything and everything I say can and will be taken out of context.

The past week I've heard everything there is to hear from everyone (including our so-called embarrassing "News" channels) and received dozens of emails, forwards, petitions etc. asking for my support. There is so much information around - "The ISI is involved", "7 terrorists still at large", "US intelligence warned India of seaborne attacks on Mumbai (going as far as naming the Taj Hotel as a target)".

I don't know what to believe in and what not to believe in. All I know is that I feel the same emotion that I'm sure a lot of Indians are feeling right now - Anger. Some are angry at the terrorists and some are angry at the politicians. I'm angry at neither. I'm angry at the Indian people.

Take a look at our politicians. Seriously. Think about the people in charge of our country. Who do you see? Leaders? I see people who have been involved in criminal activity for large parts of their lives. Corruption, murder, rape, kidnappings, extortion - these are the qualifications of a lot of our "leaders". Just because they kill people slowly and under the radar makes them no better than terrrorists in my opinion. So how do you expect these very people to sympathize with the common man?

WE put them there in that position of power and WE need to get them out. How did previous attacks on our country go unnoticed? Are we reacting this time because a lot of affluent and foreign people have been targetted thereby garnering a lot of international attention that we can't avoid? The politicians know that all they need to do is wait it out. We have a very short memory. Soon this too will be forgotten. Why wasn't 7\11 our 9\11? There is one particular email circulating that states the recent disasters that have struck India where they've gotten that very date wrong (or it has been intentionally changed by the originator to fit into some astrological numerical bullshit)! Several years after 9\11, Americans still remember that day grimly and have taken a lot of strict measures to avoid a recurrence while 2 years after 7\11, we are reminded of it only after another attack.

The terrorists are smartly exploiting the youth to carry out their missions. It is time for youth of India to take charge and fight back. We want to declare war on terrorism but we don't have the right leaders to fight that war for us.

My advice? Don't waste your time on futile protests. We have been failing in our most important duty, and that is electing responsible leaders for our county. So, in our next elections, get out and vote. Learn about our candidates, research their pasts, spread the awareness and have your say in electing our future leaders. The current US elections are proof that the youth can play a major role in bringing about the needed change for a country. Let's not elect politicians who are just continuing their family business, but politicians whose family IS the people of India. Once we have such leaders who truly care about India and her safety and prosperity, no terrorists will dare attack us or in the least, we won't let them succeed.

And as citizens, let's stop sitting around and taking pride in trivialities like India winning some cricket series, and let's play a more active role in society. For starters, we should do our basic civic duty by reporting suspicious activities, being more alert and aware of the people in our surroundings, and apart from not partaking in illegal\criminal activities must also bring any such known activities to light. Let's take India to the heights she deserves to be at.

Yes, we can. And only we can.

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