Thursday, September 14, 2006

9/11: The Wounded Fraction

Sanjay Dutt is facing trial for the Mumbai blasts case and he may or may not be convicted but he’s done more than anyone else in recent times in making the Mahatma India’s star icon. For a simple man, ironically manifested in all our currency notes, it has been a glorious non-violent comeback (A lesson for our Saurav Dada). “Gandhigiri” is also becoming the most popular political phrase slowly, thanks to Munnabhai. What better occasion to highlight this than while talking about the fraction that has changed the world – 9/11 (It has overtaken 22/7 – the humble pi in the popularity charts). 9/11 is America’s baby out and out but until I watched NDTV/CNN-IBN a few days back, I did not realize that 9/11 was also the centenary of the Satyagraha movement.

The 1st 9/11 in 1906 was used by the apostle of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, to launch the Satyagraha movement and it had wide sweeping repercussions not just here but across the globe too. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela endorsed it later on making it a very powerful metaphor for non-violent retribution. It presented a powerful case for morally legitimate ways to fight for justice.

The last 9/11 also had sweeping global effects but on a greater negative scale. The world has not changed for the better but is more polarized now, echoing Bush’s infamous statement – “Either you are with us or against us”. That does not leave us with much of a choice then but to be against him.

I don’t even think we need to ask ourselves whether the world has been enriched by American follies – Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest are all landscapes which are testimony to the bleeding that has happened in the glorious name of “democracy” and “peace”. 9/11 was unfortunate but what about these countries and many other African republics which are rotting because of liberal America. Incidentally, 9/11 is also the day (in the 70s) when the democratically elected President of Chile was overthrown and General Pinochet took over the country in a bloody coup killing thousands of people, ably supported by US. Anyone ready to shed tears for them?

Most news channels commemorating the fifth anniversary of the WTC bombing have been repeatedly driving home the claim “The world was never the same”. Quite true, since Americans decide how the world should be. We tried coining dates like 13/12 (Parliament attack) and 12/3 (‘93 Mumbai blasts) but who remembers these poor fractions (I had to search through Google to find these dates).The life of an average Indian is probably not worth that of an American and so terrorist attacks in India do not change the face of the world and in some ways, even the country too; after all, Mumbai’s “resilience” hogged more headlines than the actual blasts.

But then, this is not an entirely an international phenomenon. A blast in Delhi which kills two is given more coverage than the death of 30-40 odd in Tripura. Only when something happens close to our home, we come to realize the potential problem in store, but till that time, token coverage and lip service is all that we can afford.

Has the world changed?

General Musharraf is the US poster boy leading the battle in the Global War on Terror. Whoever thought the perpetrator of the Kargil War would be US’s main weapon against terrorism. Even a suave IIM graduate could not have been able to reposition a losing brand like Pakistan with such elan.

After years of Blairism, UK is finally throwing Blair out after acting as Bush’s stooge for long. The law of averages has finally caught up with him and he is leaving the stage just like Ms.Thatcher did.

The Taliban is regrouping (thanks to a bountiful opium harvest also) and President Hamid Karzai’s power does not extend beyond the boundary walls of his castle.

Iran and North Korea are twitching to test their nuclear arsenals.

Iraq is wallowing in the midst of extreme lawlessness and chaos and the US Govt. has admitted that Saddam has nothing to do with AL-Qaeda or Taliban.

Osama makes guest appearances in videos keeping his halo intact and his foes guessing.

The West makes polite noises about development and democracy and continues its own way while the Rest of the World ambles along.

Who has benefited from all this?

Most of the European companies have bagged contracts (rather snatched) for Iraq rehabilitation – telecom, innovative Food for Oil schemes and of course oil.

India’s former Deputy National Security Adviser, Satish Chandra, was heard on TV the other day saying that “US is probably its own worst enemy by pandering to the likes of President Musharraf”. Once the poster boy’s role is completed, US will try to bring democracy back to Pakistan and then it would be curtains for Musharraf but till that time, its happy honeymoon for him.

Global terror has a wonderful economic side to it and who better to utilize all this than multinational companies dealing with arms (one of the most powerful industrial lobbies in US). More terror means more customers for their weapons and how can a Government who cares for its domestic industry ignore this concern?

The day is not far of when George Bush will win the Noble Prize for Peace due to his untiring efforts in bringing “democracy to the world”. And what about us? We’ll probably continue our journey with a blast here and there occasionally testing our democracy and reminding us that “An eye for an eye makes the entire world blind”. Maybe we should revive Gandhigiri then....

A fraction is mathematical representation of representing a quantity based on splitting it into a number of parts – something that 9/11 can make a rightful claim of having done.


  1. hello pradeep,

    thanks for your comment on my blogpost. if my memory doesnt deceive me i believe you used to board the infy bus from the ambedkar statue busstop in new bowenpally for a few days initially. i am based currently in austin and not dallas (pakshe infyude "current location" droppdownil austin illa. dallas allathe aduthulla options mattonnum illa. :-) you can mail me at

  2. Very infrormative write up. Nobody has gained anything but the world has a lost a lot by stupidities like the Iraq war which is totally unjustified.