Tuesday, March 07, 2006

'Varanasi attack linked to anti-Bush protests'

'Varanasi attack linked to anti-Bush protests'

I did not expect LK Advani to make such a statement in the wildest of dreams. If someone wanted to protest Bush's visit, they should have done so when Bush was in India. Bombing a totally unrelated place for something else is total equine excrement. Reading his statement in detail, it seems as if Advani basically wants us to know that the elements behind the anti-Bush protests were the same as those that set off explosions in the Hanuman temple. Though I kind of agree with that statement, he should have worded it more carefully.

For me, this bombing is a clear act of terrorism. Such attacks will continue till the government actually tries to do something about it. On December 13 2001, the Parliament was attacked and yet India did nothing. Akshardham, the Delhi blasts and the Bangalore attacks happened - but still nothing. The Varanasi attack is just another in the sequence. Won't this encourage the terrorists to do more? I think we have a good executive and a good judiciary - but the legislative arm of the country has been rendered ineffective because it's been infected to the bone by self-serving politicians.

Outlook's web Bureau goes as far as insinuating that some extremist Hindus (read Sangh parivar) caused the explosions in vArANasI, so that it could create an excuse for them to indulge in violence against 'minorities'. That is a dangerous and irresponsible opinion. For all its evils, I don't believe that the Sangh organizations can indulge in such shameful violence, though they might resort to retaliatory violence. Outlook again accused Advani of using this tragic incident to extract political mileage, while a Muslim leader has been praised for his call for peace and restraint. I knew that Outlook was left-leaning - but I did not know that it could go to such lows.

Basically what is happening now is that the news channels are having a field day - they don't have to look for an item to report! This incident has happened. So expect them to show pictures of the injured and interviews with the relatives of the deceased ad nauseam for another week. Such insensitive and TRP-mongering news reporting brings out the worst cynic in me.

vArANasI is the cultural and spiritual capital of India. By attacking the temple of Hanuman - who is considered as an icon of strength and bravery - and that too in vArANasI, I can understand what message the terrorists are trying to convey. They are saying - "look, we bombed the temple of the God you worship as the embodiment of physical and mental strength, that too in your most holy city and nothing seems to be happening" to demoralise Hindus. I think it is time for Lord Hanuman to take the matter into His own hands now. If not, is it in our fate to witness even worse incidents before it is time?

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