>Is It Safe To Come Out Now?

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It’s Sunday today, which means its time to relax. Not that I am stressed or over worked during the other 6 days of the week, but its just that a Sunday seems to be the day when you are supposed to be as relaxed as you can be. Almost all the ‘institutions’ are closed on a Sunday and so, unlike a Saturday when some offices open for a few hours, you can not carry out some of your not-so-often regular tasks like paying the bills, renewing your license or visiting your bank. You wakeup late, finish the ‘TASKS’, take breakfast, gawk at the cute girl in the other apartment and settle into your couch, lay back and power up the entertainment set, for most people it’s the Television, and for others, like me, its their computer. From then on and until bedtime or eye irritation and headache, whichever comes first, its relaxing time. Now to me watching movies and re-runs of my favorite shows and daydreaming is what is relaxing. I enjoy it thoroughly and have no plans of giving it up.
But in the recent past weeks, I have to say, relaxing doesn’t seem to be as easy as it used to be, especially with the recent terrorist activities back home. The past few months have been devastating for Mother India and her citizens due to multiple terrorist attacks on heavily crowded areas. With the fledgling US market creating panic and uncertainty in the global and Indian exchanges, the threat on the security of the state is alarming. The local authority and the central government alike, seem to have no answers to these menacing acts as blast after blast rips through not only people’s lives but the general public’s morale as well. These are hard times to stay relaxed.
When leaders, both in ruling and opposition parties, fail to act or convincingly assure their subjects’ concerns, it’s the role of the news media, both print and digital, to step up to the plate. News media, in all of its forms, can reflect a country’s heartbeat and has the potential to sway the public opinion. But unfortunately, the current state of Indian News Corporation is dire. I was just reading an article published in ibnlive.com that stated that the Indian public is scared because of recent terrorist activities. Although it doesn’t take much ingenuity to appreciate the banality of the statement, what concerned me or rather made me feel disgusted is that the article paints this portrayal of mass hysteria that seems to have gripped the nation. The article is a survey conducted in five major cities in India, and it concludes that a good majority of the public has said that they are scared of stepping out for markets, tourist spots and other places of interest. Some of them have even said that they refrain from going out during weekends. While they seem skeptical and prudent, its just normal behavior. Similar to the media in US, the news corp in India leeches off ratings, a.k.a profit, by fueling the drama and sensationalism craved by mass public instead of doing real journalistic work. It’s similar to that depressingly empty-headed reporter who asks to an actor who has just won an award ‘How do you feel?’.
A Terrorist is someone who is involved in acts of violence in order to induce fear and insecurity in people’s mind to force their ideological agenda (Wikipedia). By the very definition fear can be expected in the people who experience terrorism. But by magnifying the fear and hence making the terrorists appear more potent, the media can easily drive the public’s anxiety into over drive. Four blasts in four months, all in crowded tourist spots in major cities including the capitol can be extremely stressful for a country, especially if it is as deep rooted in religion and communal division as ours. Turning this tragic time into a money making opportunity puts all those corporate journalists and reporters who feed off of the public’s current state in the same league as the unashamed politicians and, in broader terms, aid to those terrorists. Terrorism is not new to our country and as always, contrary to what the article projects, the Indian society may be shaken, but it is never broken.
Of all the adjectives that can be attributed to an Indian national, the undeniable one must be his extra-ordinary capability of being a ‘survivor’. An Indian has seen a long history and to him life is endless. He was there when the subcontinent was pristine; He saw science, trade and religion grow and flourish in the planet’s one of the richest land, which he called home. He was there when Alexander came to his field; he was there when the Moguls ruled his home; he was there when Ghazni plundered his backyard and he was surely there when British came and watched them leave. Even after becoming a republic The Indian Union has been the land of survivors. Today the Indian has seen socialism, experienced communism, accepted and modified capitalism for the better. He can be efficient when needed, loyal when required and corrupt if necessary.
Although his history sounds fascinating, he has endured some of the toughest tests for a citizen and he has survived them all. He has traveled far and wide and has emerged victorious in all aspects of life. He is extremely adaptive and assimilates anything that stands in his way and uses it as an advantage in his march to the future.
And like all evil before today, Terrorism will also fall at his feet.


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