Two funerals, two different places, one religion

One, the son of fisherman, rose to great heights by sheer dint of hardwork eventually headed India’s nuclear program,a.k.a’ India’s Missile Man’ to defend his motherland from external threats. He went on to become India’s most loved president, the people’s president.

The other, albeit educated, got into managing the finances of his brother, an underworld don who eventually planned and executed the first massive terrorist attack on Indian soil killing 250+ Indians. Mumbai was ripped apart by the bombings as bombs went off in 12 different locations including the iconic BSE building and the Air India building. Memon and his entire family had fled the city before the bombs went off. He, however returned as, by his own admission the monitoring and surveillance to which he and his family were subjected to was unbearable. Memon was charged, among other things, criminal conspiracy to carry out terrorist and disruptive activities.

The latter case makes one sad in the sense that how talent and potential got wasted as someone who got misled in his youth into plotting an act of terror against his own motherland. The irony is unmistakable as on one hand there was a missile scientist who devloped missiles to secure his country and on the other hand a terrorist who bombed his motherland.

Hundreds of innocents got killed in those terrorist attacks. One feels for those who lost their near and dear ones in the attacks, those who lost an arm or an eye or a limb in the cowardly attacks.

Shobha De in her article in yesterday’s ToI seems to have lost it completely. It just made me sick. I guess she should stick to writing about Mumbai page 3 parties when she gets time from attending those. Here are some gems in it;

Over and over again, Mumbai is forced to confront the threats of those hell-bent on destroying it. This time the warning has come straight from the horse’s mouth. Chhota Shakeel, a co-accused in the serial blasts case, called this paper to deliver a sinister message: there will be consequences, he announced.

The above is plain rofl ..

At this stage, it’s a bit pointless to argue about the rightness or wrongness of Yakub’s hanging. Of immediate concern is the question: what happens to Mumbai from this moment on? Officially, it is a ticking bomb. If Chhota Shakeel has openly said so, who can dismiss such a threat? How can we ‘prepare’ for the worst? Yes, we — the millions who live here, work here, will die here…what are we meant to do while plotters work on a masterplan? Is there anybody who can save this vulnerable metropolis? This soft and attractive target?

Did i miss something ? Did Chota Shakeel just pip Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton to win the US Prez elections already ? Then why is Mrs De mistaking Chota Shakeel to the POTUS who is gona bomb any place at will ?

Two men were buried on the same day. One was a humble teacher who became the revered President of a billion-plus Indians. Thousands of admirers gathered at Rameswaram to pay their last respects to APJ Abdul Kalam. The other was a Mumbai professional (a CA), who got embroiled in a nasty war against the state and was hanged as a terrorist. Two parallel lives. Two entirely different scripts. Same country.

Check out the comparison in the same breath. One a former prez of India and the other a great Indian war hero ??? And whats with that Mumbai professional (CA) bit? Is crime the domain of illiterates only?

It’s important to figure out what has gone so horribly wrong. I keep thinking of my granddaughter who is growing up in this twisted Mumbai — not the Mumbai I knew. Today’s Mumbai is transformed, polarized, divided, hostile, suspicious, angry. Neighbour doesn’t trust neighbour. Brothers turn on brothers. Insecurity defines relationships more than love. People prefer to live in pockets that exclude those ‘not like them’— whose food habits and religious beliefs differ. What sort of a Mumbai is this? Unrecognizable! Torn asunder by those who cannot appreciate its vibrant cosmopolitanism. Those who have appointed themselves its moral, social and political custodians.

People like Mrs De seem so far removed from reality that they talk such crap. Spare a thought to those who suffered the events. I was growing up when the riots and the devastating bomb blasts ripped Mumbai apart. They scarred Mumbai and its residents. There are crimes and there are unthinkable crimes, crimes that shake the very foundations of society. Crimes that send shivers down the collective spine of society. The perpetrators of such crimes should be dealt with in the harshest possible terms so that a deterrant is in place to try and prevent such acts in the future.

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