Nov 30, 2008

Hyderabad Runs For Mumbai, My First Half Marathon

Hyderabad ran today in support of Mumbai! The Hyderabad 10k and Half Marathon event that had over 25000 registrations this time had a large turn out inspite of a drizzle, with people chanting slogans in support of Mumbaikars, 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Vandemataram'. What really scares terrorists is people not getting cowered down and not leaving hope! India has shown that in ample measure, if today's run at Hyderabad is anything to go by. On the political side too things are changing with a usually thick-skinned political leadership rolling heads and sacking bureaucrats.

For me personally too, the day was significant with me logging my first half marathon. All of 21 kilometers in about two hours and thirty six minutes. The pace was slow but steady and though i went too slow in the first half, wanted to play it safe to avoid injury (the course was all asphalt, as opposed to my training on dirt trails and grass). 

ps: I watched the movie 'Wednesday' today which tells the story of a Mumbai citizen fed up with the spineless politicians and engineers the termination of four dreaded terrorists all by himself. The movie is highly topical in the backdrop of Mumbai.

Nov 28, 2008

Mumbai Attacks: A Diehard Optimist's View

Much has been broadcast, blogged, twittered about the dastardly acts in Mumbai. And much has this been depressing, i am trying to see the silver lining in the dark clouds that hand over us. Heroism: by the army, NSG in particular and the valiant Tatas and their dignified staff in the Taj who demonstrated professionalism of the highest order. There is more than a faint hope that Indian political establishment will wake up. If not a deeply concerned Obama who is focusing on the Afghan-Pakistan situation will surely help. These attacks are surely a spill over.

The terrorists (AlQaeda, LeT, JeM etc) are deeply concerned that their cup of hate will get empty if India and Pakistan continue to get friendly (leading to a potential Kashmir solution). They are scared by the elections this month which have had a big turn out in Kashmir. If things get normal on Kashmir, who will get recruited? And if the benefits of India's growing economy get to all its people, then who is left to get alienated? Hence the carnage. 

Interested neighbours that seek strategic depth in India for their own reasons have fueled such carnage (read China, Saudi Arabia). Pakistan was assertive in fanning fires before but has hollowed out now as its Frankenstein monsters are now fully unleashed. Most big attacks in India have always been in the backdrop of an improving peace situation. We now have to hope that our venal and geriatric politicians do not play into the terrorists' hands by fanning violence or blaming the Pakistani people. Though the perpetrators originated in Pakistan, the situation is delicate in Pakistan which itself has violence on a daily basis.

Hopefully smarter people in Indian establishment will emerge to handle this. No wonder Home Minister Shivraj Patil is seen nowhere! Absolutely nowhere! Instead we have the old Pranab Mukherjee addressing the press, mouthing nonsense. We need to create a department of Homeland Security. Station more commandos in all major cities. Young people like us have to get into politics and get rid of this geriatric muck that rules our country - not a single leader under 50!