Yesterday, 7 bomb blasts brought the city to a crunching halt. Four hours later, trains on the western railway line were operational. Today, everyone went back to their offices and schools and life continued as normal. Mumbai bounces back in a single day. Great, admirable, commendable, that the city can recover so soon. But I cannot help feel that this same resilience allows the government and concerned officials to relax, to not even put a token effort in trying to come up with measures that will help the city in case of a repeat occurance.
Granted that it is not at all an easy task trying to prevent terrorism of this sort. It might even be impossible to eliminate it in its present form. But that doesnt let the state and national machinery off the hook. The fact is that even the simple, day to day, routine measures that are being adopted at other cities such as NYC or London to try and prevent future attempts are simply not present in Mumbai. That the government will not do anything on its own is a given. But part of the problem is the city itself.
Now do not take me wrong, for the resilience of the city is a very good thing. It allows us to show the proverbial finger to the terrorists; they cannot disrupt our life for long. But on the other hand, if the aftermath had lingered on for a while, public resentment does not die a natural death. It builds up with every passing day where the routine is not followed. And this resentment can prove to be a very powerful thing.
If riots can get the officials to really take notice, so can open and prolonged resentment against the state machinery for not doing its job. The longer it lasts, the more likely it is to spread to other cities; after all they may be next on the terrorists hit-list. A mass movement like this cannot simply be ignored by the government. The fall-out of such a movement would have its own benefits, with increased security measures.
Call me an idealist if you must. But when people continue on with their lives as if the blasts were nothing but a small blip, the motivation to force the authorities to do something dies down soon enough for the officials to go back to sleep. People must stop behaving as if nothing has happened. They must raise a huge hue and cry about this issue, throw a tantrum, whatever. It is for their own good.