Terrorists unlike ordinary mortals work silently and when they do perform – they make it to the front pages of national dailies with a bang. In India, they have a weakness for Wednesdays – a seemingly innocuous day of the week, which is neither much-hated as Mondays nor worshipped like Fridays.
It was again a Wednesday when Pune’s busy Junglee Maharaja Road was rocked by a series of bomb blasts. News channels spent precious hours speculating on facts that didn’t exist, the camera flashing the same images in a loop convinced that the viewers were loving it. Everyone from the waiter at MacDonalds to the bhaaji vendor was approached for opinions informed.
Since the blasts were low intensity, the police claimed it was an act of mischief and not a terror attack. I suspect naughty North Indians. Two days of sweating without electricity and look where they landed, planting bombs on unsuspecting cycles and smelly garbage cans.
As panic and fear gripped the city, Pune’s Chief Commissioner tried to calm frayed nerves by declaring – “No need to panic, the blasts were low intensity”. Unfortunately, people were too busy screaming to pay any heed to him.
Conclusion – ask before you scream. Bhaiya – was it terror or mischief?
Twitterati did its bit and asked Puneites to stay safe. Those who were un-frightened enough to check for twitter updates, made sure they did not rush headlong into the nearest garbage bins.
No one died but two individuals were stupid enough to get injured. A certain Mr Dayanand Patil picked up a plastic bag at the venue of an ongoing protest by Team Anna, when a bomb inside it went off in his hand. Since he was unfortunate enough to survive the attack, the police took him in custody for interrogation. Mr Patil now more famous as “the injured” man, will enjoy a few more days of police hospitality after it was discovered he had travelled to Jordan in 2003-04, despite his poor finances.
As expected, the CCTV’s that had been installed to monitor terror activities, were not working. Pune Municipal Corporation was waiting for a few more attacks before finalizing payments to the contractor responsible for its maintenance. Quoting the great RR Patil, the erstwhile Home Minister of Maharashtra - Bade bade shahron maine aisi chhotee chhotee batein hotee rehti hai.
It is now learnt that faulty design and poor quality of ammonium nitrate reduced the intensity of the blasts. Cash strapped terrorists with no regard for quality can now be safely blamed for creating mischief and forcing the police to make statements that make no sense.
Sushil Kumar Shinde, India’s self-confessed excellent Minister for Power, who was rewarded Home for plunging half the country in darkness, has yet to make up his mind whether the bomb blasts were part of the celebration to welcome him or just boring terror attacks. I don’t know what type of attack it is...It does not seem that it’s a terror attack, so how can I say it’s one? I don’t have any update on the probe and have no immediate plans to go to Pune. People who can’t kill or maim, have no right to be called terrorists! The only thing Shinde has conceded to is, that the attacks were spontaneous and expressed his disappointment at the lack of spontaneity.
Our elected representatives were quick to condemn the attacks and admitted to lack of specific intelligence. It is unreasonable to expect our intelligence agencies to act until they get specific inputs. Something like - Dear clueless government, the bombs will be wrapped in brown paper and will go off at 7 PM at Bhendi Bazar. Now that’s what I call specific!
The aam-admi wondered what if it’s him the next time! He let out an involuntary shudder as he imagined his body being torn apart by shrapnels from a crude bomb assembled by a disgruntled citizen, brainwashed into believing that killing is the only way to azaadi.
The killer and the killed both victims of a system that is deaf, blind and dumb to the cries of its citizens.
But life has to go on. Who has the time to mope, when there’s a new bombshell in town dying to bare her Jism on 70 mm screen?