Monday, September 29, 2008

Crash and the Blast

I woke up disturbed that Saturday morning. It was partly to do with less sleep and partly to the movie I was watching on friday evening. Crash- the movie which won several awards including Oscars is very provocative and sensitive at the same time. It stirs something very basic inside you ….questions the stereotypes we built around us in a multi ethnic society …and leaves many questions unanswered. The movie follows few characters living in Los Angles in a span of 36 hours and chronicles the racial tensions , their volatile interactions and their struggles to come out of the distrust and fear of one another. It searches the grey area between the victim and aggressor , black and white ….where there are no permanently right answers and people collide into each others’ lives helplessly playing both victim and aggressor simultaneously. The images were still fresh in my mind next morning. Though the movie is about post 9/11 America the comparison with any multi ethnic society comes naturally.
To lighten up my mood I decided to go round the markets. Not for any real shopping but just to come out of the gloom and fill in myself with more pleasant smells and sounds than a bullet shot. But it was not to be so ….half way into a south Delhi market I got a desperate call form my husband to come back. There was yet another Saturday bomb blast in Delhi. This time in Mehrauli. Once again killing several innocent people including a child who lend an innocent helping hand to the bombers by trying to pick the tiffin case in which bomb was planted. The news means several things to me. My weekly shopping at nearby mall goes for a six. My husband will be late from work-as his news channel would be following the blast and after blast coverage till midnight and my dear friend Rani would be patrolling the Delhi roads with her policemen whole night to prevent any further mishap. More than these a sad taste will cover over our weekend . In brief a weekend wasted for no fault of any of us.
On my way home the crash images again started flashing in my mind. Its the same distrust and fear that is seeping in our society too. Hindus fearing Muslims, Muslims fearing Hindus, Dalits fearing upper castes ,Biharis fearing Marathis and so on. Anyone can put a bomb anywhere in Indian cities . We have just too many crowed public places to protect. So far after a blast the city resumes its normal pace within few days …in a very helpless , very resigned way . But the images never fade in the mind. With each such incident the level of distrust goes higher and higher . With all these recent bombings by Muslim hardliners, are we not going to lose all trust on Muslims-all Muslims, though we know that most of them are innocent victims of these mishaps like rest of us. But how to distinguish between the two groups . As a friend commented the other day , if anyone is planting a bomb in a children’s park- there is only one explanation . There is mind that is mad! No amount of brainwashing, philosophy of Jihad , poverty or lack of education can justify this act. Its unfortunate that intolerance between groups is increasing day by day. In my growing up years we were hardly conscious of the other person’s caste or religion…but no more now. The defining limits of Hindu and Muslim clusters are getting more and more distinct. Its very unfortunate that several secular features of language and arts are also getting religious-ised . The Ganga Jamuni culture of Hindustan is almost lost . What is worse is that we always find reasons to spread hatred against each other . Its not only Hindu-Muslim, There are also regional, castist and ethnic colours of hatred and terror .
What cause one an serve with such random killings . Its such a waste of human life and effort . The future seems rather gloomy . It appears that soon we would be suspecting each stranger in the vicinity and no unknown face will get friendly smile from the neighbours and colleagues .I feel very upset and aggrieved with these changes . How are we going to survive with such ridiculously low tolerance and respect for one another? After all , moving with the speed of life…we are bound to collide into each other .

No comments: