Monday, July 24, 2006


One of my friends forwarded me this messages just days after the carnage in Mumbai.

I found it mighty interesting. It is reproduced here below.

Dear Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but every time you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengali’s. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt.
employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occasions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targeted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospitals, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, and the crowds were back.
The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps with greater vigor.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.

Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to hands of a terrorist in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq and he can then read this message which is specially meant for him!!!

With Love,
from the people of Mumbai (Bombay)

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, I now announce before the world, that India has developed the most exceptional counter terrorism weapon ever devised in human history. It’s called….the SPIRIT!!! In development in the clandestine labs hidden in the labyrinthine Mumbai suburbs for the last thirteen years, SPIRIT 6.0 was finally unveiled in the wake of the 7/11 attacks. The scientists of the elite SIRDO (Social Indifference Research and Development Organization) proudly declared a completely successful launch. There were the usual initial glitches when the people were helping the wounded and asking uncomfortable questions regarding public safety (imagine the gall!!!). But soon things were back to ordinary and when the city returned to normalcy in a few hours, the operation was declared an unqualified success. Before going any further let’s delve into the history behind the making of the SPIRIT. It all began in the year 1993 when Dawood Ibrahim showed his displeasure about the way a few Mumbai buildings are designed by well…… blowing them up. Unfortunately his henchmen made a mess of the timer thing (the old AM\PM muddle) and around three hundred people had to pay the price. The whole incident was immediately declared a “terrorist attack”. Poor Dawood! You just can’t express your opinion in Mumbai anymore, can you! The Indian government promised to deal with the menace with a “firm” hand. A hand which proved so firm over the times that it’s been rendered immovable hence not achieving anything substantial. But wait. Before jumping the gun and blaming the government of inaction read this. In the days that followed the supreme decision making body on the nation’s security C-CIP (Cabinet Committee on Insecurity and Procrastination) debated vociferously and sometimes violently (ask jaipal reddy if you don’t believe me) on what course to take. Finally they decided upon to a plan the result of which we have today SPIRIT 6.0.

The elder statesmen of the country came to the conclusion that to blunt these terrorists, the only way was to toughen the MORALE of the people. And toughen it so much that the severest of attacks would trouble the general populace as much as a fly in the proverbial ointment. The aim was to make the public completely apathetic and unmoved to the threats the country might be facing. Internal or external. And have they succeeded!!

After losing two hundred of its people Mumbai resumes work the next day as if absolutely nothing has happened. And here’s the best part. The sensex actually rises a hundred points!!! Oh! But a few more blasts and I can break even on those blasted HMT stocks I bought last month. Compare the situation with 9/11 (yup these militants have a thing for 11) the NASDAQ remained closed for almost 4 days if I remember correctly and when it did reopen the points took a huge plunge before you could say “Ketan Parikh”.

Shame! The patriots scream. How dare you compare those jaundiced New Yorkers to our sanguine Mumbaikers! Some nerve!! Mumbai is a great city. The financial capital of India! The Sydney of the north. The Shanghai of the west. But as things are turning out, I feel it will soon be Kabul of the south or Baghdad of the east. My not so sincere apologies to all of them.

SPIRIT 6.0 wasn’t achieved overnight. It required a lot of revisions, upgrading, amendments and subtle adjustments. The aftermath of 1993 saw the launch of SPIRIT 1.0. Gradually as more attacks took place the next versions were released. The effects were for all to see. The public stopped asking questions regarding their own security. No queries were made regarding the perpetrators of past strikes. Blasts and shootouts became as common in the Indian bazaars as vegetables and adulterated kerosene. A few of us had the temerity to ask, “What’s the government doing about all this?” Stoically the government replies, “We cannot allow this to happen” with a few usual phrases like “no stone will be left unturned” thrown in for good measure. In the meantime they pledge that nothing will affect the “Peace Process” for that would mean playing into the hands of the terrorists.

Peace Process”. How long will this carrot be dangled before us? Where’s the f@$%ing peace!! Here you have a country waging a proxy war against us for the last twenty five years and we are still trying to talk peace. This peace will leave our country in pieces one day. And that day we will have finally played into their hands. Frankly speaking, I feel something is terribly wrong with us and our country. We have lost our voice. We don’t know how to fight back anymore. The anger pent up within is affecting both the society and us personally at various levels. The frustration is let out during those all too frequent riots. And we end up hurting ourselves more.

Wait a minute!!!

What’s all this voicing of self-angst and resentment doing here??

We are here to praise the government’s “efforts”. Not to censure them!! Its time for unity.

Lets not “play into the hands of the enemy” by raising prickly topics. That wouldn’t be a clever thing to do. And of course, one never knows when his blog gets banned because the Department of Tele (mis)communications (the new vanguard of internal security) feels it is speaking too much of the truth. Oops!

So let’s sing paeans of the astonishing SPIRIT shown by our Mumbaikers. Let’s congratulate them that they could nonchalantly resume their work the following day as if nothing had happened. Lets forget how none of them asked, or ranted on the streets so often as they normally do about other trivial issues (some statue fiasco), about why the life of an Indian is so cheap? Why an 18 year old will have to stay crippled for the rest of his life just because he was on the wrong train? Why we lose our people again and again and yet we are unable to hit back? We have all forgotten how to ask “why?” But then do we need the answers in the first place? After all we do have the SPIRIT. We will surely tide over this too as we have done over the past occasions. Are we to behave like those timid Israelis who bomb countries (they do things in style don’t they?) just because a couple of their soldiers been kidnapped? Or like those paranoid Americans who spies on anybody and everybody and detains people like we collect stamps. No. we are not like them.

But then maybe an Israeli or an American life is worth more than that of an Indian. We Indians might pooh-pooh the American style of confronting their problems but it is true that after 9\11 there hasn’t been a single strike on American soil. Osama might rant and rail from his caves but he too knows that he will need one hell of a plan to repeat a 9/11.

Comparing Hezbollah and the LET (Lashkar-E-Toyabba) is like comparing Tendulkar to Lee-Huan (You might not have heard of him. He is China’s top batsman.) Yet we have never managed so much as to even throw a stone at any LET camps. But of course, lest I forget, we have a “Peace Process” to take care of. What credibility would our great nation have if it tried to defend itself by hitting extremist camps in POK? We could then risk losing the tag of “a responsible nuclear nation who shows restraint amid extreme provocation”. Name me one country which could claim to hold such an esteemed position on the world stage.

Let’s not be too one-sided in the matter. Of course the government has a very effective and time-tested way to handle all such matters when the security of the realm is at stake.

It’s called the MACFOO (Make A Complete Fool Of Ourselves) Strategic Plan. It has a rigid framework working within the following guidelines.

1. C-CIP meets to “review” the situation (read having snacks and tea while watching the latest updates on the event on TV) hence by delaying where immediate action is called for. Ex: Hijacked plane in Amritsar fiasco.

2. All and sundry condemn the attack in the strongest terms. (A routine procedure. The number of deaths determines how strong the condemnation is. This scale of condemnation will remain a mystery forever.)

3. The “Foreign” hand. This is proclaimed on national TV before any form of investigation is launched. Actually there is always a scramble among cabinet ministers regarding who gets to say it first. Once an over-excited minister declared it even before the strike took place! Ok just kidding.

4. “Hundreds” rounded up. How? Why? What happens to them later? Did it help? We never get these answers.

5. A week later a few arrests are made! The concerned men’s faces are covered as they are brought to court. Why? Do they have a reputation to take care of? Why do they cover the faces!!! Well maybe they are some not that good looking to be caught on camera.

6. A couple of years later all are freed due to “lack of evidence”. Ex: The Red Fort case.

A follow up question regarding this. Sir, did u look for the evidence in the first place?

7. Of course I missed out on the mandatory encounter when one of the guys was caught “trying to escape” and hence gunned down. Come on people, you have overplayed this “trying to escape” routine. Think some new ones. “He was eating too many parathas” could be a good reason for a change.

8. Back to square one. Wait for the next set of blasts. Repeat the whole routine. And of course launch the next version of…..SPIRIT.

Insider sources reveal that Strategic Plan MACFOO was the brain child of an enterprising minister who somehow was extremely impressed by the FOR-NEXT routine in the C language. (Non computer geeks try not to make much sense of that. I have to cater to the wishes of my readers u see. Namely me.)

In the case of extraordinary situations like the parliament attack (now that’s one plan which I wish had been successful) the administration moves a few army battalions from a few places and puts them elsewhere. This Age Of Empire style tactics is employed in the fervent hope that the public will think something is being done. And it does too. So you see, the government does something after all. A few critics still remain. They still doubt the great mandarins in the north and south blocks. They ask,

Wait a minute.

Hasn’t this been our policy for at least the last fifteen years now?

Surely not!

Come on, we have the third largest army.

The fourth largest air force.

The fifth largest navy.

Oh yes, we happen to be a nuclear power too with an estimated 200 nuclear warheads ready to deploy at a moments notice.

Not to mention an imaginatively named intelligence agency which is considered one of the most secretive in the world.

And yet….. We can’t defend our people!!

Come on you morons!!! Haven’t you guessed why we have such impressive armed forces and weaponry? Really your IQ seems to be in the single digits. The reason is to give Doordarshan that one day in the year when it can boast of the highest TRP ratings. Yes folks. All that defense expenditure is just to have a great parade on 26th January. The whole world’s watching you know. And of course it’s a great source of employment among other minor reasons.

So that’s it people. Yet again we proved how great a nation we are. Perhaps the only one who defends its citizens with a metaphysical shield called the …. SPIRIT. If this doesn’t get us a permanent seat in the Security Council nothing will. Kofi Annan please take note.

PS: I have a little query for my dear government. A couple of days following 7/11 I took the local train in Chennai (just for kicks) to see what steps the police have taken in wake of the recent catastrophe. In Guindy R.S there was just one constable who was drinking tea in one corner reading a paper whose headlines screamed, “Nation on High Alert”. The situation begged the question. Which nation did you mean exactly? Or maybe the militants don’t know there’s a metro called Chennai. Maybe soon they will. Maybe soon you will too.