02 December 2008

VT station (CST ) and a letter to the Indian politicians.

That night as usual the ticket Collector just stepped out from his office at VT station (long distance) to put the updated charts on the notice board and fell to one of the random bullets sprayed by the terror makers. When I switched on the television and saw the news flashed on the screen “Terror in Mumbai” I called up my friend in Bombay without calculating the time that it was already 1.00 am there.

I was relieved to hear his voice at the other end, knowing very well that he stays very late at work and takes the local from VT. Another friend who generally takes the 10.45p.m Kasara local ( what NYorkers call subways, bombayites call it local ) that day left early to escape the routine “why are you late everyday” greetings of his wife.

Many of whom I knew escaped the jaws of death but many others died. But a million other lives are emotionally shattered by the sound of the bullets that the terror created at VT station – where people embark on a train – either for long distance travel, or work, study or go home. Everyday same time, same local except on weekends.

My brother said that the double fast local had left some time ago otherwise the casualties would have been higher because those who know VT too well only know that the station is tightly packed. Another undying spirited bombayite went to work the 2nd day, but hearing the sound of the shootings near VT took the next train back home.

As I heard about the shootings at VT station my usual calm self slowly started fuming and started reading the many blogs and the comments who gave a better picture than the media. I could see the crowds waiting on the VT concourse for long distance trains and a blood bath at an unearthly hour.

Having worked with the police for an year and having toured the dadar jurisdiction with the Rapid Action Force of Mumbai, I shuddered to think what it would have been for the police to be hijacked of their van. The havaldars and the station police are mere batons in the hands of the police authorities (IPS officers) and the politicians. They are nothing beyond servants in uniform. They do what they are told. They take what they are given.

At this point of time I remembered, the millions of people whom I saw everyday, but still did not see because I was hurrying to be at school in time or to be at work. The long decorated arches of VT station, the pillars, the high ceilings, the sun light passing through the glass bricks, the carvings at the station, the colored window panes and the giant clock are still so fresh.

They were my everyday sights and when I came out of the platform and crossed the road I would turn back to marvel at this structure (the first picture ) that beckoned the call of every tourist to visit and that coveted the awe of every traveler that took the train into VT.

When the bullets pierced into the surroundings and the people, my mind aches to think that it could be some one whom I knew and was taking the long distance train that day. The bullet marks on the walls of VT, the running of people into the narrow doors is something that can enact in my minds eye because I knew all of VT station and the adjacent lanes well (still do).

I have always seen VT crowded (except some days at the wee hours in the morning) so now when I saw the pictures of the concourse empty in the media I found it very hard to digest. Where millions of resilient bombayites fight to survive the poverty of their villages and find home in a crowded city and its suburbs, I light a candle for their strength to call the government to act NOW or another such incident is only waiting to happen in another corner of the station.

My letter to the politicians who has resigned and is contemplating it .

Why do you have to resign now when it is time to put your heads together and come up with an action plan? Don’t you feel capable to engage in your responsibilities? Have your heads stopped plotting and scheming now that the scheme is upon you and in your backyard? The Americans ridicule George Bush because in the past 8 years he has created more anarchy than any president, but as an Indian at this hour I salute the guy because he did not run away from his oval office nor did he resign from the seat that he was elected to when the terrorists attacked pentagon and the world trade centre in NY. He accepted responsibility.

George Bush along with Dick Cheney and his people tracked the roots of terrorism and went after the terror creators – both the root and the shoot. He created a system that the world heard loud and clear, “Don’t mess with us” Or We will come after you. He launched a war (against the protest of many) that strikes terror in the heart of the very people that created terror in the hearts of the citizens. And since 9/11 there was only one incident of terror in NY city - a black out but no man died. George Bush has kept his promise to protect his citizens. Why is your media not screaming, “Where is the George Bush of our country?” (few days ago they were shouting who is the obama of india)

United States seized power for itself. Nobody gave it to them on a platter. They are bullies when it comes to security for themselves and doing well for their country. Their politicians are as distorted like you but they are sadistic about their unity in keeping their home away from terror. They also pretend to help other countries. You do not have to extend welcome to every visitor who invites themselves. So when Madam Secretary is on her way to Delhi to pour water on the fire have the guts to stand up and tell her, “Go back Simon".

We all know too well that when your bureaucrats go for their initial training at the Lal Bahadur shastri institute of academy , US and UK universities/consulting firms get the contract to train them (last year i think it was Syracuse university NY among others) Your bureaucrats also go to be trained in institutions abroad paid by the tax payers. Have their grey cells freezed ?

Strategy, Vision, Mission Goals, Actions plans, tasks, deadlines... or do we have to hire somebody else to do the work? Or Are we going to outsource this work now? Dare you - if you outsource to any consulting company in any other country, (you have the dirty habit to do this) because if you do you will be removing the very armor from under your chair. Americans drink at every occasion they get ( to clear their head, i guess ) and their head doesn’t get light when they are at work…You always look UP to America? Learn the good things from this country not the bad ones.

Thank You

Image Credits and more pictures at:


pink dogwood said...

Wow - well said my friend

Vinod_Sharma said...

Absolutely well said An, youve gotta sieze it...nobody gives it to you on a platter. The way things are India needs to immediately stop outsourcing training of its babus and outsource babus themselves to work on strict delivery schedules.

And yes we need a Bush in in this country to respond to attacks launched on our homeland.

Does it matter said...

Yes, true. We love to make fun of Bush, but he ensured the US never got attacked again after 9/11.

But then Bush is not busy hobnobbing (like Vilasrao is) with the builder lobby, or moving around with film makers so his sonny boy gets movie roles.

Anrosh said...

pink dogwood - thank you-:)

vinod - it is time india stop acting like a kindergarten student and start acting like a post graduate one. after all it did celebrate its 60th birthday with pomp and vigour in NY ( announcing to the world whatever they wanted to..)

Does it matter - i like the honesty and humor in your posts and comments.

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