Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Under the bridge

The Red Hot Chili Peppers once sang.

Sometimes I feel
Like I dont have a partner
Sometimes I feel
Like my only friend
Is the city I live in
The city of angels
Lonely as I am
Together we cry

My Mumbai. My friend. My love. What did they do to you? 1993 all over again. It's at times like these you wish you were back in Mumbai. In the middle of it. Like you were in 1993. The 8th grader who sat on the window sill in his bedroom as the Shivsena Bhavan bomb went off. The 8th grader who felt a hard slap of debris and dust on his face. The 8th grader who still didn't feel enough then, who played cricket on the streets just because there were no vehicles on the street. Who did not know how to do the right thing. And now when you do, you are not there.

Just glad no one I know was hurt. And glad we live in an era of mobile communication. And of blogs and MumbaiHelp. And at the risk of sounding cliched, my heart goes out to all the people of my great city. Those who died. Those who didn't. Those who were injured. Those who weren't. And to all of us, who were just hurt. To my darling, the railway line. The dichotomy of my idealogical and pragmatic mind confuses me. To be a liberal in thought that no innocents be punished in the quest to bring the guilty to book? Or the rightist solution where the ends justify the means? I don't know.


Anonymous Ashvin said...

I was reminded of the argument we had alongwith kiran about capital punishment. In light of this terrorism would you advocate capital punishment to the people proven guilty or would you prefer something like life imprisonment?

7:42 AM  
Blogger Tugga said...

That is what I said.. the dichotomy of my mind confuses me. Idealogically, I know it is wrong to impose capital punishment. From a utilitarian point of view, which, if you remember, I explicitly avoided in our discussion, I would definitely want them executed.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Tahir said...

Well i read it in time magazine n it really moved me - if we take the extreme approach, if we loose all hope then 'THEY' (terrorists) have won

5:51 PM  
Blogger Tugga said...

Tahir, my idealogical brain tells me that you are right. However, I've seen enough and been through enough to be cynical about this. And like I said, I am extremely confused about what way I should lean, but I'll make an attempt to put in a framework. It is a typically leftist thought, something like communism, something that feels great and good, and something you might like in a utopian world. The rightist view is about action. The greater good (albeit, like I said in my previous post, there can be considerable debate about what is the greater good, and what gives us the right to decide) is paramount. If the cost of this is some innocent people, then so be it. And you know that although I am not religious, it is one of the ways propounded in the Mahabharata, where, for what he believes to be the greater good, Krishna exhorts Arjuna to indulge in a number of dubious warfare tactics.
Which of these is the right way? I think the world in general is struggling with this dilemma at the moment.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Tahir said...

Very true, it indeed is the biggest dilemma. What we need is heavy-handedness with the culprits. Hang them, torture them, do whatever it takes, I'm all for it. This indeed needs to be to send a message, but the biggest and foremost thing is to screen the innocent. Remember, anything like riots or say a nuke bomb is a collective punishment which is completely ridiculous. For every innocent person killed, u push 4 others into fundamentalism. I know u r not communal at all, but I'm just trying to suggest a way. Its very difficult for the liberals to stay liberal at such juncturs in time, but this is precisely the time when our country needs us. We need to stop this positive feedback loop somewhere, and it has to begin with the sane ones.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Tugga said...

Tahir, I agree with your contention about one innocent punished=4 fundamentalists gained. Which is why, inspite of my own personal beliefs that personal freedom should not be encroached upon the state, I was a staunch critic of the whole Danish cartoons thing. My point then was, freedom of expression is fine, but why do things that make a marginalized section of people feel even more marginalized? Why do things that hurt someone? The ideal way to combat terror, and not just the one prompted by the Wahabis, I include Maoist terror in the north-east as well, is to integrate society, so everyone feels a part of it. My only hope is that it is not too late by then.

8:24 PM  
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5:44 PM  

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