Another bright day. Infact too bright. I go to the central park of our apartments where the flag hoisting is done with all solemnity. A short speech by the RWA president. Children sing patriotic songs.Jalebis and Samosas are served as it has been done for all those 12 years I have lived here.There are various competitions for the children...painting, essay writing, sports etc etc. It goes on and on. Nothing seems to have changed. Apart from the fact I am older and most adolescents of yesteryears now have kids of their own.
Post lunch..I venture out to go to India Gate. Now the rude awakening. Though there is hardly any traffic on the roads where you go, you see policemen and/or defence personnel searching all vehicles. They even body search a few. Thoroughly check the belongings too. All my enthusiasm is lost by this time. At last we are told no one can go near India Gate. Imagine that. In all the 30 odd years I have lived in Delhi, we have always been free to move anywhere in Delhi.
I realise there has been threats of terrorist attacks on all major landmarks , malls, Cinema Halls,temples,national monuments etc in Delhi. We do need these security checks. We cannot take any risks. But at what cost? We are living in constant fear. The government wants us to stay home. We are not free to move anywhere we want. Worst, at few places we can't even carry water as liquids in any form are not allowed.
Finally I realise that haven't we played into the hands of terrorists? They have achieved their goal. They do not even need bombs. Killing and maiming innocents is not what works best. Fear factor works just as well...more so for the govt and the security agencies. The common man just wants the freedom to move as he desires.
Feeling afraid is normal becos we care for our loved ones. We worry for their safety. We should not give in to it though. We should not let fear become part of our lives. We have to find ways and means to deal with it.
All I ask, will it ever end or terror will become a way of life for us? Disturbing thought that....