Diwali day, a festive day- and what do I see/hear - BEST bus no 332 hijacked in Kurla.
For a fleeting moment, Mumbai became Bihar.
The range of flabbergasted reactions that the news got went something like this,
*BEST* ? bus hijacked in kurla?
BEST *bus*? hijacked in Kurla
BEST bus *hijacked*? in Kurla?
BEST bus hijacked. in *Kurla*?
you know, lets face it…the only hijack attempts and guns Mumbaikars see - as in Really see- are, in the movies. (give or take a mad-man scenario ever so once in a way)
On screen. And on TV. Again, in movies and serials- CID, Haadsa, NYPD blue, Prison Break etc etc or when Tulsi, a very self-righteous mom in a soap materialises one out of thin air and shoots an errant son who has done some horrific misdeeds like rape a young girl or such. A gun is not our daily fashion accessory, so far at least. Then, there are those random reports one only reads about -the shootout at lokhandwala types. Question a cross section of average mumbaiker – no one has actually witnessed one- –encounter killings and such.
Hence, contrary to what the rest of the country thinks, the average mumbaikar leads a very average life even when he his bomb blasted and rioted. Say ‘On the run’ and you will get the response- local trains. Excitement is provided normally by a new purchase or sighting a film star.
(Before I forget, I also saw guns on TV when the election coverage of UP and Bihar were shown.)
So when an adult man takes a gun and threatens passengers in a public transport, the police after some tense moments for all around, fire shots and he is dead. Well, maybe in an ideal world, (a.k.a. movie’s) he’d put his arms in the air and surrender. Or a Bruce Willis commando style black cat chap would climb on the roof and immobilize him. But it wasn't a flim set. It was Kurla. And an Andheri-Kurla bus route that connects the two railway stations I think.
I am aghast at the tragedy, but frankly I don’t care much for such romantic notions a above. I know that I travel by bus a lot and even if I had not died by a stray bullet of the shooter or the police, I’d have died of a heart attack by the sheer fear & stress. And I am a strong person relative to small school kids, heart patients and other patients, old people, pregnant women etc all who do the daily commute. To work, to hospital, to visit loved ones, back to home.
So when I see politicians making mileage out of it and youth in Bihar on the rampage the following thoughts come to mind;
1. Guys, if you had done this rampage much earlier on for development issues, the poor would not have to migrate in the first place.
2. Instead of finding fault with a chap in a far off state, question your own leaders- what have they done for creating jobs and opportunities
3. With floods and thousands dead and in need of rehab, really can you afford to march to Delhi to meet PM for ‘inquiry’ and ‘ban’ of MNS? Wow, if only such unity was shown by political leaders in previous years- there would not be so much death and disaster.
I am aghast at the touchy feely sentimentally brush strokes being given by some 'select' channels. The chap had come to Mumbai looking for a job- which one? That of a hit-man? that he needed a gun? Is no one questioning, where did he get it and how? He was asking for a phone to call who-Thackeray? He owns a gun but not a mobile phone? where exactly did he come from again?
Bali ka bakra to usey banaa hi diya. Like a suicide bomber, he came, he hijacked, and he died. Like all good children, if only he had listened to his mom. Eat your vegetables, study and work hard & acche bacchhe bandook se khela nahin karte.
And last but definitely not the least, the whole crux of this post. The Bihar politicians are very aghast at a youth who was killed while hijacking a public transport bus in broad daylight and terrifying passengers and putting innocent public at risk. Wah! Taaliyaa!!! *Applause*
Remember Satyendra Dubey?
Well, he was also someone’s son, brother and breadwinner. And a citizen of this country.
On his death (killing, assassination, cold-blodded murder- take your pick of term) if you had marched to Delhi as one, asking for a probe into this young, upright, educated, citizen who was only doing his job and exposing rot, then Sirs, I would not be writing this post. I’d be campaigning for you for your win in the next election. But, as matters stand. FAIL!
And thank you for the invite, but no I will not be attending the shinding you parade as pooja on juhu beach. Which so far, I thought like all other sravajanik pooja functions in Mumbai was open to all and all citizens were invited, welcome and could participate. I will prefer to attend and perform the pooja with great devotion and love in Bihar when it is safe for me to travel there. Or, when you do it in Mumbai after you have won the hearts of all mumbaikars ( Did that even occur to you as a choice? I wonder). And, in case I forgot to say it, no thank you also for dividing our bollywood which till recent times were a beacon of solidarity and secularism. No Thank you also for creating rifts and calling names to my family members in our home.
So the powers in charge will announce and conduct a probe. A chowkidar, havaldar, inspector, driver will get suspended. Some leave will be granted, some transfer will be effected. Maybe some human rights, sarva dharma sammelan, society for prevention of cruelty to bus passengers of kurla all will make some gestures.
In the tradition of the best hindi film dialogues, - Yeh lacchan kuch acche nahin. Hum keh dete hai. Haan.