Saturday, July 26, 2008

Storm of Terror

Silence before storm! The last 10 days the city of Bangalore seemed beautiful than ever. Day starting with light showers followed by a warm sunrise, rains on and off cooling the city all indicated a great Bangalore weather.

When people were just about getting ready for a long monsoon season, the city got a rude shock, 9 bomb blasts across the most unsuspected places in the city on a Friday afternoon (25th July 08); it was Bangalore’s own Black Friday.

Sudha was waiting for a bus at the Madivala bus stop and never got into one, it was where the first blast occurred. She was one of those many employed at a garment factory, what would she had ever done to be the target of an audacious act of terror? I would probably never get an answer to that. 12 days ago I was at the same bus stop waiting for my friends to pick me up en-route for a trek; I bought a bottle of water from the shop that is now shattered. I may never go to that bus stand without thinking of Sudha nor will the shop mean the same anymore, but the sense of how close it was to my house or work place sends shivers down my spine.

When ever there was a bomb blast in any other city a silence griped me for days, but had never angered me so much. Intensity of the blasts where low and the disruption was not high either, but the fact that Bangalore is now marked by the terrorists will take a long time to sink in. It feels likes it was their display of strength and announcing that they have arrived to terrorize the city.

It may not be factually wrong to say that terrorism not just in India across the globe has killed more people and destroyed more assets than any other act by mankind including war.

9/11 did in a way prove that no country or city is immune to the madness of Islamic fundamentalists. Hope the center and states enforces anti-terrorist squads increasing intelligence, information flow and vigilance across cities seamlessly, without blame games and more importantly without politics over religion. In a country that boast's of its Information Technology strength getting information, speeding up communication or tracking suspicious activities cannot be a challenge.

We should be reminded that, even 9/11 happened due to lack of willingness to share information and lack of co-ordination between the police and the intelligence bureaus.

By the time I finished this note there were 6 bomb blasts in Ahemadabad.

- Kavitha Reddy