Thursday, 26 November 2009

A Reminder of 26/11 – Sponsored by the media

Update: Based on comments and messages recieved
I am not wearing a badge, armband or ribbon to commemorate 26/11. I don't believe I need to. My way of commemorating the civilian victims is to condemn the people who want to commoditise the memory of 26/11. I condemn every other act of terrorism and war. This piece is based on the opinion that a) I don't need to wear anything on my sleeve to prove that I care b) I believe (contrary to Vir Sanghvi in this post) that media will not learn its lessons c) We cannot chose to calibrate our rage based on the social status of the victims (terrorism is terrorism irrespective who the victim is or isn't)

The best way to forget the significance and meaning of 26/11 is to follow the directions of the media and their corporate sponsors. Here are some of the instructions.

  • We should switch to a specific cellular provider and talk non-stop for an hour on their network so that they can donate the proceeds. Pardon the predictable cliché but “What an Idea!”. @#$%?
  • Idea's Mascot is also advertising for a two-minutes of silence on the same channel that is airing the Idea commercial. (Mr Bachan Jr - Do you want me to talk or shut-up. Make up your mind please)
  • We must buy exclusive designer accessories that commemorate 26/11.
  • We must listen to what the Cuffe Parade brigade has to say about 26/11 because they represent all Indians.
  • We must recognize that 26/11 was different. And it was not different because of what the terrorists did but because of who the victims were.
  • We must put on our joggers and run in memory of the victims…lest we forget.
  • We must beat our chests and demand that we drop bombs on our neighbors so that we can start an endless war and put somebody else’s children at risk.
  • We should not talk about Commando Gajendra Singh who was compromised by live coverage. Let’s focus and aggravate the wounds of the weeping widows who can give nice sound bytes.
  • I must believe that constables armed with automatic weapons is a solution because a Shobha De or a Suhail Seth says so. We must follow the Isreali example!??! (#arnabforpm like statements)
  • I must not analyze how a bunch of people whom Regan called freedom-fighters were armed, trained and then allowed to hold the world to ransom. (From Robert Fisk)
  • If I see a bunch of Muslims condemning the attacks, I must say “See, THEY TOO are angry”. That way we can all claim that we are secular. If you do not use nationalist jingoism and meaningless rhetoric, you are, as Simi Grewal would say “one of them”. (Why does a community have to feel compelled to make a public display of condemnation ?#$%)

Unfortunately the media can-not make me forget that-
  • The fourth estate in India was born out of a freedom movement and not out of an effort to generate profit by trading information. (Inspired by P Sainath)
  • I, like every other peace loving citizen in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and every other country in the world felt that 26/11 was a barbaric act. No matter what anyone says we will not forget such disasters. We do not need a sponsored reminder.
  • We do not need a "sponsored", "packaged", "commoditised" reminder of 26/11.  The collective memory of this nation is strong enough. Please do not profiteer from this tragedy.


  1. Anand...

    Well said, it is nauseating that a section of the society decide that they are the torch bearers of freedom,justice and secularism.

    26/11 commemorations are an insult to the dead. Let them first handover the pending compensations, and as a Mumbaikar, I wish that they reveal the missing local link and give us justice.

    Good Post.

  2. Hi Anand,
    I agree with your approach especially, point c.
    Case in point being the Naxal issue, which has grown monstrously, because it doesn't affect 'people like us' of the political class.

  3. Mixed are the emotions that arise,
    Mixed are the arguments that rise.
    Mixed are the thoughts that summarize
    Mixed are the lives that survive...

    Your post set me thinking...what are we doing about it?Very well written and thoughtful post.

    It's another thing to write an obituary and another when someone writes yours.

    Unless we lose this fear of materialistic failure,which is certainly holding me back,we will forever see these heinous crimes from the gallery.When they somebody's got to change things...that somebody should be me.

  4. Like the way you have put it together Bala.

    It's amazing how the most sensitive issue can be commercialized for the gain of a few!!!