Saturday, 20 December 2008

Public helps protect the Police!

I just read an article on the NDTV website, about how a bunch of young businesspeople have have raised Rs 30 Lakhs to buy bulletproof vests for the Mumbai Police..

Citizens fund bulletproof jackets for cops

It is indeed very noble of these young people to do something tangible, something to really contribute. It is fantastic that so many of us Indians are doing their 'bit' in so many ways. Ratan Tata has decided that the Tata group will create its own anti-terror mechanism. Surely, a lot of other corporate bodies will be doing so now. It is another matter that the common man cannot really have his own security, and of course a different matter that we should not need to do all this. The taxes we pay should be able to buy the bulletproof vests and security and protection should really be the government's responsibility. Nevertheless..

We have heard so many voices say that we all have to do our bit. For the first time in India, citizens are out on the street , silently protesting, signing up petitions and doing whatever they can to help. People's indignation and anger forced our government to take some steps in the aftermath of the attacks.

This just goes to show that every little matters. And to think, if ordinary citizens can do so much - how much would get done if our politicians get their act together and decide to serve the people - as they were elected to do , in the first place. Then maybe, just maybe, the 'roti, kapda aur makaan' will no longer be just an election promise..

Some more examples of people doing their bit.. Here is Manju's post.


Vinod_Sharma said...

Smitha, these are heartwarming stories... Mumbai 11/26 may well prove to be the turning point not only in India's ongoing war on terror but may help us launch the much needed war on poor governance and public apathy and cynicism.

Manju's story is one shining example of what we all can do to make a real difference in the lives of the many 'invisible' people who surround us.

Smitha said...

Yes, lets hope this is the turning point.. For years, the middle class has been mute.. This might be the start of 'much needed war on poor governance and public apathy and cynicism.' By the way, I love to receive your comments - you must be the first to comment on any of my posts - thank you so much for the feedback..

Bones said...

Yes, it is very noble of these people to donate bulletproof jackets to the police...But I can't help wondering if this action came because the rich and elite were targetted this time...What if the Taj and the Trident weren't targets? Would these citizens have even given it a thought?

manju said...

Yes, Smitha, it is very heartening that young people are ready to do something tangible to help.

It seems that this current situation, though very unfortunate, has brought out the best in Indian youth.

Smitha said...

Yes, Bones, I have to admit that I wonder that too - would the reaction have been so strident if the very same attack had happened in some slums or on a busy market not frequented by the rich and the famous! And it sometimes sickens me when I hear of people calling the Taj their second homes.. Yes Taj is an icon - a symbol of how Jamshetji Tata stood up against the British! Lets hope that this is a change a genuine change and the people's anger will propel the political class to sit up!

@Manju, yes it is time that young people took an interest in politics. I remember - I went to vote in the last elections - and most of my colleagues - were like ' why do you bother - wont make any difference'.. Hopefully that attitude will change now.

Indian Home Maker said...

Smitha Nice, positive post :)

I agree with Bones that this change might have never been seen if the rich were not affected by this last attack. But I also feel sometimes these changes might begin with a few but then continue to become a wave that brings in some serious changes in our attitude. Maybe such gestures are a sign of a bigger awareness?

...and that might result in each one of us making an effort to vote. And to vote for the right people, for the right reasons. We can change this system, because the ballot is far more powerful than the bullet :)

Mavin said...

It is important that the security process is institutionalised.

Attempts like these are laudable but smack of emotional responses and cannot be sustained. You cannot pass the hat around to buy bullet proof vests today, ammunition tomorrow or guns on some other day.

Earlier attacks have been "fire and scoot" type attacks. This was a live battle for 60 hours and millions saw it live over two days and three nights. The impact was savage and we were brutalised and therefore the reaction is so severe.

If a similar TV coverage showed the siege of CST station and killing of a few thousand (stations are packed, we would have reacted similarly.

At the same time I cannot deny the sense of outrage is sharper as many elite and well known faces met their end there (for no fault of theirs)

Smitha said...

@IHM, Yes, I agree with Bones too - I am quite sceptical that the reaction would have been si strident had the targets been different- but lets hope that this is a change for the better. Yes, we all should use our vote - for the better. Already , we can see the government taking some action - thanks to the strong public anger. That is definitely a good step.

@Mavin, While it might be an emotional reaction, it is good that people are trying to do their bit.
As for the attack - yes it was more audacious - no doubt. But I am not sure how many personalities would have stood up and said 'enough is enough' if the attack had been somewhere less high profile. But anyways, the silver lining I guess is that this could be that last 'shock' to jolt the government and our politicians into action.