Head held under water

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan

Sigh.. Another boring week gone by. Watching TV. Old reruns of Will n Grace etc. Dvds. Not much else..Oh ya!! I almost forgot. I was held hostage by terrorists for nearly a week.

Of course, I'm being egoistic. The whole of Mangalore was held hostage..for the honour of 2 cows.
Dictionary.com defines a terrorist as 'a person who terrorizes or frightens others' and a hostage as : 'a prisoner who is held by one party to insure that another party will meet specified terms'

That pretty much describes what we had going here since Wednesday night. Heck, Wednesday itself was a bandh over the 'Belgaum belongs to whom' issue. And then, Wednesday night, comes the infamous chase scene where the cattle going to the abattoir were intercepted by India's version of the JUSTICE LEAGUE - the Bajrang Dal. Oh wait, I'm supposed to use 'alleged' when I have no proof ( proof= a letter from them admitting to doing illegal activities..) Anyway, not happy after chasing down the vehicle carryong the animals, the League 'allegedly' decided this was a good excuse to go attack anyone they saw who looked Muslim. And so began this ridiculous saga.

TV channels talk of how ' the situation was under control ' on Friday night..the 1st report given to the Indian public..48 hours after the clashes began. They talk about how violence broke out between 2 fundamentalist groups. You know something ? 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time..but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.'

A clash between 2 fundamentalist communities? A cat chasing a mouse is not called a clash of 2 species. It is a hunter chasing the prey. That is what was taking place in Mangalore this week. This was our Justice League trying to get a foothold into Mangalore using the only tactics they know - violence.

I dont care what my religion says - a cow is not worth the life of all of us, irrespective of religion. It was not worth the 1000s of families stranded with no food and scavenging behind closed shutters for overpriced stale chapatis. I know. I was one of them this time.

For those 3rd rate, jobless, illiterate, pay-per-riot morons,we sat with our hands on our asses. We watched the police and the blue brigade all roll by warning us against stepping onto the streets ( the shoot at site orders helped make that decision easier ).Dr Shaffi, my batchmate, was part of a group praying in a mosque, who found that awaiting their exit from the mosque were a 100 odd Justice Leagues with hockey sticks and swords. Not for terrorists or bank robbers..for the doctors, engineers, architects inside who had gone to break their fast. It took a locked door and the arrival of the police to get the families back to their home.Dr Ramna, another close friend, was part of the team of doctors on call in Ullal, the worst affected area, where patients came 'with broken bones and a huge stab wound on his scalp' to quote her. Passengers for a flight back to Dubai who tried making the flight by travelling in an ambulance to the airport were stopped and killed mercilessly on the road. And yet, the news channels told us 'the situation was under control'

Everyone knows who's behind this. The police near where I lived admitted,sorry, allegedly, admitted the presence of just one group with weapons around the scene.This ain't good enough!! I want answers. Why were we held hostage for 6 days ? Why were all the layers of society reduced to hunting and fighting for food on Sunday when the curfew was relaxed for 2 hours? Why was I reduced to having chewing gum for dinner on Thursday just because I was asleep at 3pm when all the shops were forced shut? Why were students in hostels on the outskirts stranded with no food for 2 days? Why is the media and politicians so impotent when it comes to belling this wild cat ?
Oh F%$* it!! Just because they won't admit it doesn't mean we have to shut up. I know what happened here- the whole of Mangalore knows what happened here.
As I write this, I just got a call from Siddu informing me the bandh ain't over yet - just a relaxation till the evening and so I have to get back to my one-room jail for the 7th night night straight.
Mark these words - 15 years from now, we, India, will be hunted by the superpower of that day for making the same mistake Afghanistan made. Giving power to a bunch of jobless fanatics who use religion to promote hatred. They will bite more than they can chew...and we will have to pay.
For now, after 7 days, hearing the sounds of buses is a sweet symphony. But I must get back by 7pm.. Cinderella's carriage may have changed into a pumpkin at midnight..but if I'm on the streets tonight, my transportation will be an ambulance.
By God, when this is over, I'm gonna go and 'allegedly' get myself the biggest beef steak I can find. Might as well go down happy!!

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Let me know what you think.

  1. Allegedly.Medschool taught us the importance of that word,didn't it doc.
    Wonder when we were taught,collectively as a nation and people to suffer in silence.Bewilderment more like it.
    And go back to work soon after,willing to crouch again when needed.
    The meek shall NOT inherit the Earth,doc.

  2. excellent blog buddy.....now adays calling bandh has become fashion for those polician.....

  3. when are we going to learn..

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
    Where knowledge is free;
    Where the world has not been broken up
    into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
    Where words come out from the depth of truth;
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
    Where the clear stream of reason
    has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
    Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

    we may have gotten our independence decades ago but we're still centuries away from this vision... they say we're going to become a super power by 2020, ready to take on the world... maybe we should be ready to take on ourselves before we think about the rest of the world....

  4. u take care of urself dude. It aint just ur glass slippers ur gonna lose if u r late.
    next time we meet, the beef steaks one me. that is if we are not meeting at ur place, in whjich case i'll have the usual ;-).

  5. the whole situation's not new...we burn cities for temples, we create roits coz someone threw mud on a statue, we hit youngsters coz they dared to hold hands in public.
    at times i feel we are jus sitting on a pile of frustration- n waiting for one tiny thing to let it all out of whoever is at sight. the fanatics are not the only factors- the mob jus stupidly follows.they hardly realise wat they are fighting for in the first place!

  6. This time i think cows shd not be slaughtered,but lets restrict the food chain in their Gau-shalaas.
    Once diseases start spreading,they'll themselves kill them.

  7. Sucks man! Really sickening to see citizens held hostage by a few religious fundos. This will continue till the wily politician milks them for their benefit. Methinks it needs the collective conscience of the society to drive these bastards out.

    Hoping you get that beef steak soon.

  8. Pathetic!!!!...Donno when India gonna grow up!

  9. pretty good man.... really..... even i have been a victim to themangalore riots.... me in NITK, surathkal.... so we weren't deprived of food atleast.... but cudn't go to the town to withdraw cash or get any other stuff.... and even our mid sems were postponed due to the riots.....!! anyways.. this isnt new to me..being brought up in mumbai...have seen this a lot... and more or less have got used to all this...thanks to the (in)famous bajrang dal and shiv sena and et al.....
    also i loved your Yahoo messenger conversation btw the prime ministers...... brilliant concept man....!!

  10. hey dude,

    how's everything going man?


    ya know what happened to Jaded?
    she hasn't updated her blog for months and i haven't heard anything from her. was she held hostage by college or what?

  11. ya sometimes majority of us know that it is stupidity still we are not in any position to control the things that happen around us....

  12. i agree with u roshan. Its timepass for some people and its an adventure for others. I dont care what they do but its messing with my way of life and i sure dont like it.

    And in general, ur blog is pretty cool. Especially liked "my real orkut profile" It was worth my time wasted :)

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