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Features |  13 Dec 2008 18:47 |  By RnMTeam

Subroto Chattopadhyay condemns the terror attacks

Mujh ko kahan dhoonde re bande
… Na Kaabe Kailash mein - Kabir

Kabir, my nephew is named after the great saint and while he was returning home last Wednesday night his news room diverted him to the Oberoi from where he broke news on the national network that there is a gun battle raging. When I spoke to him at 1130 that night he told me he was scared.

I remember I had just finished re reading Gandhiji's biography and Obama's autobiography. What resonated is how divided we are as a society. The fragility of the social construct worried Gandhi ji in the 1920s and 30s and despite his best efforts he could not prevent partition of India. Nehru's contribution to convert a colonial state into a democratic republic with all the benefits of free civil society is often forgotten. This glued us together for a while but till today the caste division revived by the Mandal report in 1980 has created a deep fissure in our society. Even the tribals have not been spared in the name of the church. This is our social reality. We are pushing normal citizens to extremism, looking for succor outside.

Promising to get us out of this political mystery, the legislators too are a reflection of our divided society and the hatred that we bear for each other in the name of language, caste and religion. It is reported that 25% of the federal legislators have criminal cases so to expect that these people would either have the competence or the inclination to public good is being hopeful. We are afloat because of a few good men but hurtling towards a catastrophe with a death wish?

Whose Mumbai is it anyways?

We need to go back to basics. Government should be able to attract appropriate talent. The system must be allowed to work, there has to be restoration of the rule of law, the criminal justice system fixed and mechanism put into place so that the electoral process does not result in partisan, fractured, disruptive politics.

The infrastructure indeed has to be upgraded and put in place. To pay for all this the tax net has to be widened and yes the resource deployment made effective and productive.

Well currently emotions are running high but it is wise to remember violence has resolved nothing ever. There might be some merit is reading Louise Fischer's biography of Gandhi ji over the Christmas break, for the rest the ballot can decide.

Messrs A.K.Roy,  Hassan Gafoor sirs, Lt General J K Dutt, Major General Hooda you have have my respect. Thank you sirs for putting your and those in your charge in the line of fire to save the citizens. We need the institutions that make us a great country.

Kabir the poet wrote

Mujh ko kahan dhoonde re bande

Main to tere hi paas mein

Na mein Masjid, Na mein Mandir

Na Kaabe Kailash mein.

Look within and maybe Kabir my nephew won't feel scared in his own country.

By,  Subroto Chattopadhyay, MD Saregama India Limited