Terror within our walls…

Posted: February 15, 2010 in Terrorism
Tags: , ,

So it finally reached our doorstep. All these years, even during the dark days around Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the Mumbai riots, Pune was peaceful. Every time there was a bomb blast anywhere in the country, we drew solace and prided ourselves on the fact that Pune did not react. But once the reports started pouring in about Pune being infested by ‘sleeper cells’, deep down a lot of us knew that it was just a matter of time, before terror hit us in the face.

The first thing I did when I heard about the blast at German Bakery was to call one of my students who frequented these spots on a weekend. I was relieved when she answered, “I’m on a bus back to the institute. I didn’t go there today.”

During the interviews and GDPAs for new admissions at SIMC the other day, I met one such youngster, who was looking to switch from his job at a leading firm to take up journalism. When I read that one of the victims of the blast had been employed with the same firm, I hunted down the visiting card the boy had given to me during the course of the interview. It wasn’t the same one.

Over thirty years ago, the Joshi-Abhyankar murders shook Pune like never before. No one really knew who was behind the murders and why they were happening, so the mystery led to many rumours and panic prevailed. Till the killers were caught, Pune was a ghost town after 7 pm. Theatres were running empty and so were the streets.

In the present case, at least we are aware, or at least we think we do. Let’s not get carried away by the rubbish that opportunistic politicians tell us about Intelligence failure etc. Our honourable Lok Sabha MP even called the incident an “event that was being coordinated by our State Minister for Home!” or some such nonsense. He’s the proverbial loose cannon, our man in Delhi, isn’t he? So it was an unintended faux pas, but, at least, it made me smile!

And PC was right. We can’t do anything about someone putting a bag filled with explosives in a crowded eatery and walking way. But, we can start protecting ourselves and others around us by not being too smart and opening the bags that someone left behind. And for heaven’s sake, let’s listen to what the police are trying to tell us, instead of thinking we know more than them. Even though there is nothing much we can do, except be more vigilant. Let’s at least do that.

What happened on Saturday was also a result of a little carelessness on our part, and this “don’t-tell-me- what-to-do” attitude that’s rampant today, be it at home or on the streets. It’s the little things like security checks at the multiplexes and malls, and even on the roads that get us all hot and bothered under the collar. I’ve seen how people get worked up and start honking, sometimes even shouting at security personnel checking vehicles, at the multiplexes. It’s time we showed a little patience.

On Sunday evening we were at one of the malls near our residence doing our monthly shopping. Outside, in the street there was the usual hustle and bustle, but inside, even at that hour, there was a sparse crowd. For a Sunday evening that was quite unusual, because the place is usually overflowing with customers. Is this the shape of things to come?

  1. subhash banerjee says:

    how is media to proceed in the new world post terror being a fait accomplii ? does life go on as usual ? media uses sources and is often used by terror groups as well for their ends. how do we proceed here and where do we draw the line ? how do we freshly redefine responsible reporting ? as a concerned parent i would like to know even if i can’t influence the decision.

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