Tuesday, September 30, 2008


It is the first day of Navratri, today and hence many people were gathered in the revered temple of Chamunda Mata in Jodhpur fort. Stampedes are not very unusual things at the crowded holy places across the world, and had been happening in the past almost regularly. There have been numerous attempts to tighten the system and avoid such incidents but that has not been of much help, till date.

Anyways, the stampede at Jodhpur which took place today is a bit different in nature or as it looks like, from the early media reports and local public opinions. It is believed that everything just started with the fall of a small wall in the fort (which is not so unusual phenomenon in an old fort). The important thing is that the wall didn't injure even a single person though that triggered the rumors of a possible bomb explosion. And this word spread like the fire in a jungle and everybody got nervous, which ultimately resulted in this stampede.

For non-jodhpur people, I want to share an incidence or at least a belief which is widely prevalent in the city. This Chamunda Mata mandir is of immense significance in the life of a common Jodhpur person and almost the whole city instills a lot of faith in it. During the war of '71, there were multiple air strikes over the city of Jodhpur and some 60 odd bombs were been dropped. However, there was not even a single casualty and people attribute it to the grace of Chamunda Mata and the akhand jyoti in the temple which acted as an unintentional deviation for Pakistan bombers.

However, now I see that faith is crumbling, and people have started believing more in terrorists than in Mata. Well, this is pretty obvious (because negative things attract attention more easily) but alarming as this is basically the much-feared-aftermath of the series of blasts which are happening these days, more frequent than ever before. And I consider this as a victory of the terrorists. I think, today's day is of much significance in their mission of terrorism than any other day because today, they have struck their first victory on the psychological ground. The terrorists have succeeded in filling the terror and fear in the minds of a common Indian to an extent that it has over-ruled even the faith and confidence.

I consider this incident to be an important learning milestone for us. If we claim to be the biggest democracy, then it's our duty to first provide everyone with a fear-free environment to live in. To achieve this, I think we need not to work only for instilling the devastated hope in the day-to-day life of our countrymen but also should try to develop the fear and a sense of insecurity among these terrorists. In my opinion, this physical as well as psychological warfare is not going to end the way we are approaching for it. We need to rebuild the fear amongst terrorists that even they can be killed and most importantly, can be hanged for their doing. Incidents like Afzal has somehow made our law and order look helpless in front of dirty politics; and these terrorists are doing nothing but exploiting this weakness and helplessness. We need to show a will, a desire to end this.

If we don't wake up now, it might be too late; one of my friend who called me up to know about the well being asked a good question, "What is happening yaar; everytime I open a news site or news channel, I am finding a new case - be it those blasts in malegaon or riots in Thane or this stampede and so on." We may call it just being a sad co-incidence but the number of these co-incidences is increasing and that's alarming. Some measures needs to be brought-in to counter this; may be POTA or may be something else in case the ruling party doesn't want to lose the "vote advantage". The other party is also not concentrating on the problems and relevant issues; rather they are indulged in self-massaging exercise and blame-game.

To heck with these political parties and their respective political games, we want to see these terrorists hanged by neck till death and we want our minds to be free, free from at least the fear of bombs and terror. That's it.

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