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Another attack: When will we wake up?

It is day 3. Two days since the city and the country has been seized by terror from a bunch of kids - heartless, trained to kill and murder anything and everything in front of them - to achieve an in-comprehendible goal. Like all terror attacks hundreds have lost their lives, hundreds are wounded and many many lives have changed forever. The sound of real bullets and ammunition echoe in every corner of the city - live or reported live. And rightly, the three affected areas are no lesser than a battleground. The security forces and the media are doing a commendable job, and our politicians hurl accusations at each other, offer money for the dead ‘heroes’ while we, the citizens simply watch and wait.

As the night falls, the media reports that the ‘war is almost over’. A special program is aired called – this-is-what-we-think-and-so-should-you. It reports jubilation of survivors, accounts of smaller battles fought by common people, remorse of the victims, tears for the 150-odd dead and also unforgettably the sympathy-show of political parties. The citizens opine of immense disappointment from the political representatives with the usual - this-always-happens, politicians-will-remain-politicians; and for a change a few leave-us-alone pleas.

It is almost midnight now on the 28th of November 2008. After more than 48 hours of wait, after sleepless nights - in hotels waiting to be saved, at homes waiting for the situation to end, at the battleground waiting to win, near the battleground reporting the live action; I hope that the city and the country is finally waking up. And I try to kill the cynicism silently gripping me.

The politicians surely have no spine. But while we blame them, we forget how they got to that high-seat of power. We forget that we have chosen them. We elect them – in spite of all the corruption and evils in the society – and give them the authority to make or break our futures. If we survey many shops, compare many brands to buy a kilo of rice; why do we choose our representatives so sloppily? The power lies in our hands – the citizens of this democracy, not in our representatives.

Do not forget this date. Be reminded of the terror we felt and lived and sacrificed so many lives. If we will ever wake up, it is now. Take control of your country. The first step is to vote the right candidate. Be informed. Empower yourself. Empower India.

What happened in Mumbai must be a wake-up alarm: if we do not act, if we do not open our eyes and choose our representatives carefully, the repetition of 26/11 cannot be ruled out.