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'What can one possibly achieve by killing innocent people?'

By Javed Akhtar
July 12, 2006 13:30 IST
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Poet Javed Akhtar was in tears as he spoke to on Wednesday morning about Tuesday's serial blasts in Mumbai. His voice choked as he condemned the unpardonable acts of terrorism.

How to describe the Mumbai blasts?

It is an abominable, monstrous and gruesome act of terrorism perpetrated by our worst enemies.

As a human being, I shudder to think how can my fellow humans do something so heinous?

Are these terrorists made of flesh and blood?

Do they laugh and cry like us?

Do they get hurt and feel pain?

Do they look like us?

Do they have families -- children and wives -- to go back to after a day's work?

While planting the bombs in train compartments, did they take a look at the people travelling in them?

Did they ever think how many families were going to be ruined?

They did not. For if they did, they would have thought twice before unleashing violence on hundreds of innocent people, who after a day's toil, were returning home to their near and dear ones. Perhaps, they had plans for a cosy dinner with their kin. Their lives were cut short by some bloodthirsty monsters who made sure they never got back home on Tuesday evening.

What did these innocents do to deserve this? They made the choice of living in the country's commercial capital, a city which is often lauded for its undying spirit, a business hub whose prosperity is compared to New York.

I am a creative person and am aware of the satisfaction one gets out of creative pursuits. I fail to understand what sense of fulfilment can one attain out of terrorism.

What can one possibly achieve by killing innocent people?

Can bloodshed ever help them accomplish their mission?

Have they ever thought what would it be like to be at the receiving end instead?

How would it feel to be treated like mere pawns in the hands of some bloodthirsty terrorists?

I was in Mumbai during the 1993 blasts. Who planned it and why does not bother me. What hurt me was the fact that so many priceless lives were slaughtered. Like this time, then too, some evil force was at work, determined to destroy peace.

I can do nothing but feel helplessly angry. My heart goes out to all those who lost their kin or got injured in the blasts. May the Almighty give them strength and courage to tide over this crisis.

We Mumbaikars are patting each other's back for helping those affected by the blasts. A generous gesture no doubt by the residents of this city. But what pricks my mind -- aren't we being escapists in our efforts to portray that nothing has happened? Aren't we seeking refuge in a false sense of resilience? I salute all those who stood by the blast victims. But as human beings, isn't it something expected of us? Isn't it natural that we turn Samaritans in such times?

Public memory, it is said, is short. And I am sure the undying spirit of Mumbai will take everything in its stride soon. Life will move on as usual. But when can we see a ray of hope? From where will we derive optimism to drive forces of violence away?

At the moment, I see no hope. I am a tortured soul seeking solace. I can only pray so that the world is rid of wicked souls set to destroy its peace and harmony. I can only hope against hope -- perhaps, some day these terrorists will attain self-realisation that what they are doing is brutal.

As told to Indrani Roy Mitra

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Javed Akhtar