July 28, 2008


“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” – Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Act III Scene ii

Things have not been going well for my country. India’s IT capital Bangalore and Ahmedabad the capital of it’s most prosperous and entrepreneurial state were hit by a series of terrorist attacks. Thankfully my friends are safe and sound, but not everyone has been as lucky as I have been. The pictures on television were disconcerting to say the least. Families have been torn apart, once again, for no fault of their own. They do not understand the ideologies of hate that took away their beloved; they do not understand the apathy of their own leaders who perhaps seldom have lost anyone near and dear to them. In a country where prime ministers have been targeted successfully, where can the common man find safety?

Evil. That’s the first word that came to my mind when a friend was trying frantically to reach her dad in Bangalore. Evil, the word kept ringing in my mind all through the gloomy weekend in Mumbai. I do not know how many of you have watched The Dark Knight. If you haven’t I suggest you go and see it.

When I was in college, I was exposed to evil for the first time in the form of a movie and a book called The Clockwork Orange. A year later, I saw someone jumping down from the World Trade Centre as the planes crashed into them and a few days back I met The Joker. If there has been one character in the history of movies that has been evil from its core, it has to be The Joker played by Heath Ledger. It’s the evil that wants to corrupt the world, it’s the evil that goes about its task not because it seeks vengeance or recognition but because it’s entire DNA is structured to cause misery and destruction and bring an end to all that’s good and that’s beautiful.

Often in Left extremist literature you will come across the concept of Injustice. The ideology broadly says when justice turns a blind eye to reality of oppression; injustice is the beginning of justice. Sometimes, one country’s struggle for freedom is an act of anti-establishment in the eyes of the occupier. But the evil of terrorism is all pervasive. It knows no boundaries; it knows no definition of good and evil. It can not be stopped because it can be anywhere. It can be sitting in the mind of the person in the cubicle beside you as you read this post, it might be in the minds of the person smiling at you from across the room. But yes, it can be fought. It can be fought by showing we are not afraid, it can be fought not by politicians who claim every time to handle terrorists with an iron hand but by you and me by showing that at the end of the day the human spirit is indomitable. We can fight it just like Mumbai did when it bounced back the very next day after the blasts in its lifeline – the local trains, it can be fought just like Gotham City did when it decided not to press the detonators.

As I was writing this, I was reminded of another movie, Aamir. At the end of the day, the choice lies with each one of us. The choice of deciding what’s right and wrong, what’s the definition of good and evil, every single choice lies with us. Sometimes, we are afraid to make that choice. Sometimes, we want others to choose for us, the police, the government, someone, anyone – but not us.

As evil grows around us, the world can not wait for a white knight to appear and lead us to safety. We have to look deep within us to find the dragon warrior – the saviour – the messiah. As Po the Kung fu loving Panda put it beautifully, the secret ingredient is that there is no secret ingredient. We just need to believe.

And today, I believe. I believe in the power of a billion dreams. I believe in the indestructible human spirit which no Joker can corrupt. One day when it asks us, “Why so serious?” I believe that we will be able to look evil in the eye one day and say, “Why can’t you be happy?” I believe in my country and her people.

The optimism, the power of sensibility is what will win on the day of judgement. And till that day comes, we fight like there’s no tomorrow.


d SINNER!!! said...

yea, it is a sad state of affairs...

and then as u said like in AAmir the question of choice its all about...

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Sinner - But when reason is clouded, are choices free?

War - war said...

And what do you do on days when you feel sure that your choices make too small a difference in weighty issues and big plans?
P.S. No, today is not one of those days :)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ War - One those days you remind yourself that there's something called the Butterfly Effect :))

CupLord said...

Dont agree with your observation that "We can fight it just like Mumbai did when it bounced back the very next day after the blasts in its lifeline – the local trains". This is not a sign of resolve, more a sign of resignation to one's fate. The reason firm steps to curb terrorist activities are never taken is because we as a people have got "used" to such acts. Each time there is a bomb blast, the media hollers about innocent victims and inept cops, but 2 days later they are back to their old "Breaking News" about Kashmir Singh's dog going missing. My View is that the oly way to ensure taht the political and legal system is forced to ensure better security measures is for the public to raise an outcry each time such issues happen. till then we will have status quo.
Oh and BTB, good luck deciphering my screen name:-)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Cuplord - 1.27 billion people. a different dialect every few hundred meters, the only reason I can support the helplessness of even the security agencies is the sheer magnitude of our size and demographic complexity.

And resignation to fate gives rise to resolve. As then you fight to challenge fate