Thursday, August 24, 2006

What YOU can do to prevent terror attacks III

About a month ago, right after the Mumbai bomb blasts of July 11 2006, I wrote that the reason India is being repeatedly attacked with impunity, while countries like USA, Spain or UK have been attacked just once (9/11, 3/11and 7/7 respectively in that order) is because the people of USA, UK and Spain have not yet forgotten those attacks, while we Indians have been made to forget them by our leaders and their pet mainstream newspaper, TV, radio, and online media; because our "leaders" have no real interest in protecting us, and would instead prefer to concentrate on stealing our money to stuff it in their Swiss bank accounts.

I introduced these ideas first in this post, and then elaborated in this post.

This was at a time when our mainstream media was again pulling the same stunt: programming us mentally to "get back to normalcy". "Everything is back to normal" they were announcing with a sense of proud callousness and complacency.

Would they have said "everything is back to normal" if their own kith and kin had died in the attacks ? Would our "leaders" have said "everything is back to normal" if their near and dear ones had died ?

Our "leaders" and their near and dear ones, along with their entire extended families, are all guarded by our brave soldiers, police officers, and Black Cat comandos. All this is done by people like us, common men risking their lives to protect "Very Very Important Persons".

All this is done with money we pay in taxes, money that comes from the back-breaking labour put in by the farmers, labourers, factory workers, child labourers, office-workers, shop-keepers, rickshaw-pullers, bus and truck-drivers and everybody else that keeps the country and its economy running.

Knowing that they are safe, our "leaders" choose not to worry about the terrorism problem. Only we common people are at risk from terrorists; nothing can happen to the "leaders". They forget that it is we the common people who keep the country running, and we who spend the money and send our own children to serve in the Army that keeps them safe.

So, our "leaders" have told us to pretend everything is "normal" after each attack. For them, everything is indeed normal. They don't care whether we live or die, as long as their Swiss bank accounts stay healthy.

For us, everything must not be normal. We are at daily risk of death. This is NOT NORMAL. This is an ABNORMAL situation. And we must FORCE our "leaders" to STOP taking us for granted and showing the callous disregard for our lives that they have shown for the last 30 years of Pakistani terrorism.

It is the duty of the Government to keep citizens safe. Countries like Israel and USA that take the duty seriously go to war over the lives of just one or two people. In India the Government does not even care. I am not saying India should go to war with Pakistan. Pakistan has better military technology and weapons than Lebanon did, and India has less money than Israel (which gets money from rich Jews in USA) does, and also less technology. So war with Pakistan at this point of time is not optimal.

But there are other possibilities than going to war. The Government of India has refused to show political will to fight terrorism. It has weakened and scrapped anti-terrorist laws like TADA or POTA, even as countries like USA that place such a high value on civil rights, democracy and personal liberty have enacted strict laws like PATRIOT ACT after 9/11 to fight Radical Islamic terror.

Our Government does not care about our lives; it is more concerned about preserving its account with the Muslim Vote Bank.

In spite of so many terror attacks, the Home Minister Shivraj Patil has not even made a statement. And the mainstream media has refused to call for his resignation.

There was a time when Indian Ministers took moral responsibility and resigned when they failed to do their jobs. Railway Ministers used to resign after major accidents killed a few hundred people. Since the UPA Government took power terror attacks have occurred every one to three months, and yet nobody takes responsibility. Does Home Minister Shivraj Patil have no shame ?

In this situation, what should we ordinary citizens do ?

I had suggested in my this post that we should highlight the stories of the victims of terrorist attacks, to make sure they do not get forgotten. To make sure that our mainstream media and its political masters do not succeed in distracting us with other things, so that we stop demanding that they take serious action.

I have since received quite a bit important feedback from my dear Readers through both comments on the blog and email. After carefully going through all the communication I have received, I have decided that the time has come to proceed a bit more in the direction I had outlined earlier.

[In particular, I am grateful to dear Reader Vivek Thyagarajan for writing the crucial comment that helped me make my final decision in this regard. Thank you Vivek !]

One of the reasons I needed time since I wrote the two earlier posts on what YOU and me can do to stop terror attacks before I could say more was because I was still debating in my mind what would be the best course of action. Secondly, I needed enough of my dear Readers to have read and appreciated my earlier posts to allow the plan I am about to propose to succeed.

If you have read my two earlier posts, maybe you feel I am going forward too slowly. Please be patient. We will need time to do what we want to do. We cannot achieve our goals if we are in a hurry. But I promise you that if we all co-operate with each other and patiently work together following discussions we will have on this blog, email, and associated channels, we will win, and sooner than you think. It may be as little as two years, according to the plan I have presented in the second half of this post.

Two years is not a long time when compared to how long it took to get Independence from the British, and the 60 years of Nehru Dynasty misrule that have passed since then.

Here is my current suggestion: Citizens' Journalism. To empower ourselves and make ourselves heard we must practise journalism ourselves; the mainstream news media does not care about anything beyond making profits for their super-rich owners (people like Ashok Mittal etc who are not at risk of terror attacks as they have body-guards and other extensive security measures) and keeping the political "leaders" happy.

I am presenting a step-by-step plan that I believe will work.

First, form a team. Choose two to two hundred close friends who share our views about the need to make sure the terror victims are not forgotten in the interest of preventing future terror attacks. To find out if they share these views just forward them this article and see whether they suggest forming a team with you. If they share our views, they will tell you as soon as they see you sending this article to them.

The goal of this team will be to talk to people who have suffered from terror attacks and find out how they are doing. We want to present their stories to the rest of India. What are their names ? What do they look like ? Where did they live ? Who or what did they lose ? Did they get the compensation they were promised ? How are they managing to get by now ? Do they need help ? All this information and more. Why should only the mainstream media have the exclusive right to (not) do so ?

Second step: Once you have the team send me the names of the team members and which city they will be working on. I will publish it on this blog so that teams in the same city can know about each other and collaborate if they want to. United we stand, Divided we fall. If we have large teams we may be able to get more done than we could otherwise. As you will see as soon as you look at the Third Step below, the teams' goals will not be easy to achieve and it will help to have a large team with extensive social networks and contacts.

Third step: This is the hardest. Through word of mouth, you have to discover at least some of victims of the terror attacks. Do you know why this is hard ? Because people who suffer from misfortune become invisible. Women who lose their husbands and become the liability of their in-laws or their parents commit suicide. Children orphaned by terror attacks with nobody to care for them run away from unfriendly relatives' homes or abusive foster-care facilities. People who lose their arms or legs or become bed-ridden are reduced to poverty and disappear into the night, feeling ashamed for something that was not their fault at all.

That is why it is so hard to find victims.

A big part of the job for teams from Mumbai has already been done by Vivek Thyagarajan. He kindly pointed out to me that a full list of Mumbai blast victims, with then-current home addresses, is available on the internet at: People from other cities who want to search for terror victims in their own cities will need to keep searching.

Please be sensitive to the legitimate desire for privacy many of these victim families will probably have. Most of them have already been harassed by journalists looking for hot news. Then they had to run from pillar to post to get Government compensation, if they did get it at all. And now they are tired unhappy and helpless. Be sensitive to them. Explain to them gently what we are trying to do. Explain to them that you are not there to pity them. You are there to get the Truth from them about what happened, because their brothers and sisters in the rest of the country want to know.

Once they see that you truly care about them, and are not exploitative newspaper reporters callously and uncaringly simply looking for hot news, they will open up to you.

Fourth step: Send all the information you collect -- stories of victims' families, their silent appeals for help, pictures -- to me. I will publish them on this blog and make it available to anybody with access to the internet. We must publish detailed accounts of how the victims' families are doing, uncensored. If they need help (as I believe they surely do) we must publish details of how people can help them. This will serve two purposes: one, helping the victims, and two, getting other people to see how badly they are suffering, without the censored cleaned-up story the mainstream media tries to present to us ("Everything is back to normal", "People are showing great resilience", "Sonia Gandhi salutes the spirit of Mumbai", etc).

I believe that looking at sensitive close accounts of how badly the terror victims are suffering will create a massive public outcry that the mainstream media will not be able to ignore. They too will have to publish such information. That will help us achieve our goal: bringing that information to everybody in India, not just those who have access to the internet. The mainstream media is insensitive, profit-hungry, and run by people who do not care about us. But they care about their profits. Using that, we will able to force them to report the Truth, because otherwise they would lose all credibility, and therefore the profits they care so much about. When the story of the hundreds of thousands of victims of terrorism over the last 30 years reaches the common people of India, the "leaders" will no longer be able to concentrate on their stolen money and Swiss bank acounts. They will be forced to act against terror SERIOUSLY (not the half-hearted fighting they are pretending to do now). The only Indian who ever led a SERIOUS and honest fight against terrorism was K P S Gill who fought against Bhindralwale and Pakistani-sponsored terrorism in Punjab in the name of Sikhism. All others have been only pretending to take action. It is quite obvious looking at the results: only K P S Gill achieved any results; all others have failed to stop terror.

The approach I have written above (using mainstream media's weakness -- its need for profits -- to control it so that we can use its strength to reach all of offline India, a reach we do not have by ourselves being restricted to publishing on the internet) is an example of an approach used profitably by Chanakya Kautilya: observe your enemies' and others' strengths and weaknesses. Decide what you want to make them do. Then find out how you can use their strengths to your advantage by making then do what you want (using their weaknesses).

The third step will not be easy. Do not try to do it alone. United we stand, Divided we fall. You must work in teams. To form teams, you must start from step 1. Do not jump to step 3 directly. If we are too hasty and too impatient, we will not succeed. This is a struggle for the long haul, we must work with patience and forbearance, content to make slow progress as long as we make progress.

It is not easy to patiently work making slow progress for a long time.

But then, who ever said it would be easy to stop terror attacks ?

It will be a difficult journey and I wish you all success. I will look forward to hearing from you.

We are all soldiers of our Mother India. As one soldier to another, I salute you.

Jai Hind !


At 11:17 am, Blogger killthepain said...

This is not related to the article itself but I didnt know where else to raise this question.
I am an engineering student in India. I can't say I know much about our tradition or hinduism in particular but I try to learn as much as I can. So, please excuse me if I sound uneducated in matters related to hinduism but I am only a fellow countryman.

The question which often comes to my mind is of religion versus science and how to respond to those people who say hindus follow so many superstitions which have been proven wrong by science. Say for example about planets and sun being God but the scientist say the sun is just another star among the thousands of stars. This is just one of the examples among the many people often quote to say that hindu beliefs contradicts scientific reason. I know all other religions have similar aspersions caste on them, but I believe that hinduism is the most scientific of all the religions. Does hinduism has an answer for such criticism.
Of course there is the age old argument of religion and science can co exist and it's a matter of faith and blah blah. But giving such an explanation to the youth who believe more in experiments and science ain't gonna work.
Hope you get my point. Waiting for a response from you.

At 3:01 pm, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

you have raised an excellent point.

"Secular" (anti-Hindu" forces ruling India have denigrated Hinduism for the last 60 years (continuing what Radical Islamists and British did for 1000 years before that).

They have published a lot of lies about Hinduism using their control on media like newspapers, radio, TV, cinema, and books.

They have highlighted and blown out of proportion every single fault they could find. For example note how Caste System (which was not meant to be hereditary at all) was pointed out as "expoitative" but nobody highlights far more expolitative practices like slavery that occurred in ancient Greece, ancient Rome, all the way till modern British empire and also USA.

Yes, British did slave trade. Almost nobody knows this because the British are ashamed of it and have played it down.

Americans had slaves: this is impossible to completely suppress because of the Civil War history and the presence of so many Blacks in America. So this is well-known, but is not highlighted when anti-Indians talk about Caste System.

Slavery is the worst thing that can occur. Caste system was nothing compared to it.

And castes were not meant to be hereditary in the first place.

I will write a detailed set of posts covering these issues as soon as I can. Thank you for raising this issue.

To you and other readers: feel free to send in your articles or short notes, or questions, or issues you would like highlighted. I will put them all together and write a comprehensive set of articles.

People like Romila Thapar, Arjun Dev, Indira Arjun Dev, etc will not be able to suppress this information any longer.

Jai Hind,

At 3:03 pm, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

Your original point was about Indian science. I included social issues like Caste System.

I will focus on Indian Science and Mathematics first as you suggested.

Thank you for raising this important issue.

Jai Hind,

At 3:11 pm, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...

indian science an religion are closely linked.

i will focus first on explaining fundamental principles of hinduism as laid out in upanishads, puranas, gita etc.

then i will show that superstitions are not religion.

then i will show there is no inconsistency in taking the sun, moon, etc as gods versus science telling us they are stars and satellites.

sun deserves our respect because there would be no life on earth without energy from it.

hinduism does not say sun is THE GOD. Sun is just one very important (to us) part of the Universe, and the entire Universe is the manifestation of God.

there is no superstition here. i will elaborate on this.

finally i will talk about ancient indian science, math and technology. and also ancient indian theory of economics, politics, social organization, of which (non-hereditary) caste system is a part.

All this will take several tens of posts and a lot of time for me to write. Please bear with me.


Jai Hind,

At 3:29 pm, Blogger killthepain said...

thanx for ur interest.
i read ur blog regularly so u may take all the time it takes in compiling this. i will pose my furthur queries on this issue when u started posting ur articles.

unfortunately we don't have many people to turn to in matters such as this. even those who pretend to have knowledge about the religion turn out to be quackers when u want to argue with them on some issues.

and one more suggestion from me would be to avoid defamatory tone whenever it is possible. i know your criticism is very valid all the times, but don't let people into believing that u r working for one political group or taking out some personal grudges on people.

At 9:48 pm, Blogger Harsh Vardhan said...


You are absolutely right. Thank you for your excellent suggestion. I will keep that in mind.

I will keep my posts factual and avoid expressing any opinion of my own. From the facts presented the reader can make his/her own judgements and draw his/her own conclusions. That is what you have in mind as the ideal approach, right ?

Thanks again for making this excellent suggestion.


At 12:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Killthepain;

There is no english word for devataa and for puraaNa. Romila Thapar and the idiot gang sums these words as "gods" and "mythology" — following christian radicals.

However, if you will talk with actual lingual experts of the sanskrit language, they will tell you that devataa is a group of manifestations protecting the nature (the sun, the moon, the fire, Indra, Yama, etc) and PuraaNa has no resemblance to mythology for it has very interesting theosophical discourses (for example, Gita cannot be called as mythology).

Talking of modern methods, the scientists are yet to define "SELF". If they even lack the definition of SELF (for example, intellect is hard to define), then how can they claim to define Sun or any star for that matter.

As an aside, I have read many stutis (praises) where "millions of stars like sun" are mentioned. It was clear to even the Pauraanics (so called myth-makers) that the stars are sun. I think it cannot be a matter of co-incidence. For sure some people realized what the universe is and documented it after scholarly approval.


Post a comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger