Saturday, July 09, 2005

London


Many people have already written about how the British in general, and Londoners in particular, have responded to the recent terrorist attacks with "resilience and a display of 'plain, common guts'".

In their hour of crisis, the British people received help from another vital source: their opposition party -- not necessarily through anything it did (though I am sure it did plenty of good, positive things), but through the things it, thankfully, did not do. For example:

  • It did not call for a "befitting reply", ..., and "[disrupt] commercial, educational, and business activities in parts of the country".
  • It did not blame the "lax policies of the government" for the terrorist attacks. Further, it did not say that the attack on the London metro is an attack on the "our cultural ethos and national pride" (as if an attack on other places would somehow be sort of okay).
  • It did not say that the government "cannot absolve itself of responsibility" for the terrorist attacks. (See this post by Ashish.)
  • It did not force the police and other security forces to battle its cadres (who only wanted to "vent their anger"), thereby taking up their time which, by the way, could have been spent in going after the real terrorists and their accomplices.
  • In sum, it did not play "cheap politics".

In addition to commiserating with them, I salute the British people for their wisdom in choosing their politicians -- especially those in the opposition -- who are actually fit to rule their country.

4 Comments:

  1. pennathur said...

    Abi,

    Kargil happened in 1999 right? What do you think was happening in Parliament then? Remember what happened after Dec 13/01? Public memory is short. But scientists' too? And then what do you do when soldiers' familes die unwept and unsung? I will not take the example of some senior "journalists" who function as hired penpushers of terrorists in describing terrorists as "militants" and misguided youth". I will not criticise ministers who want to parley with naxalite cutthroats. They are beneath contempt.

    How did the current administration react to that outrage last year on May 23 when women and children were dynamited on their way home from Srinagar? And what do you think VP Singh that paragon of "secularism and social justice" did when Gobind Ram of the Punjab Police was killed in 1992?

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/may/28raman.htm

  2. pennathur said...

    Abi,
    How is it nobody writes about how Indians go about their work day after day come rain or come shine? Leave alone people of the services serving on the front. What about truckers, postmen and telecom personnel (especially during those dark days of terrorism in Punjab as my friend's father did)? How about Amarnath yatris who visit that shrine year after year? How about those brave people of Bombay last year who shook themselves up (over 30 people killed in simultaneous blasts) and went on as if nothing had happened. I am not for a moment ignoring the outrage (may those who did be caught and punished and may it never happen anywhere again) in London or doubting the resilience of the Londoner. But I am surprised that the Indian blogger is only now noticing these things about people. Haven't you seen this before?

  3. pennathur said...

    Abi,
    What I mean--
    may those who did - committed this act of terror - be caught and punished and may it never happen anywhere again) .

    Pardon me for the mistake

  4. Abi said...

    Shiva, I do understand politicians will always play politics -- even with tragic events; and, probably none of them is immune from the disease highlighted in my post. (BTW, several others have made similar comments: in particular, Ashok Malik has condemned not just the BJP, but the Congress and the media, as well.)

    Even so, I felt that BJP's reactions to the recent terrorist attempt at Ayodhya were particularly egregious, for for two reasons: (a) they didn't bother to wait for even a couple of days before starting the finger-pointing exercise (which I expect the British opposition to start anytime now if they have not done it already; Tariq Ali started it on the first day itself!), and (b) this was an attempt that failed (or, was foiled by the brave men guarding the Ayodhya complex). So, here we have a situation in which the security forces performed their duty in an exemplary fashion (losing a few of their own in the process), and the major opposition party calls a bandh. Now, that is appalling ... Citing umpteen others who did similarly despicable things in the past doesn't make it any less appalling.

    As for lavishing praise on the Londoners, it doesn't have to take anything away from similarly calm response of Indians in recent incidents. In fact, several bloggers have commented about how similar the Mumbaikars' response last year was to that of the Londoners' now.