Saturday, November 29, 2008

I thank the Black Cats and oh yes, the Sena

(I base this post on a quirky sms doing the rounds.)

Only a month ago Raj Thakeray was all bravado and big talk about how he is the messiah of the people of Mumbai.

I could sit in Delhi and still see the enormous chip on his shoulder as his hired goons methodically smashed taxis run by North Indians and beat up visibly clueless and shaken UPite and Bihari boys as young as 20 years old as they sat government exams.

I could see his men (actually the jury is still out on that) relaxing for a while (beating up people is a tiring job) waiting for the TV cameras to arrive before going at it again with great zeal.

So when the Mumbai attacks happened I expected the Great Sena to tighten their belts, tie their head bands and rush into the fire and ammunition to save the Marathi Manoos from terrorists.

Or wait. I must be forgetting.

There weren't that many manoos in those buildings to save. Only foreigners and businessmen who add to the city's economy and the Sena never had any problems with them.
These types never do. It is the weak, middle class and the poor who want to carve out a living in the all embracing city they are after.

So when the situation looked black and the nation watched in shocked silence the unfolding of Mumbai's horror, the men in Black arrived.

The NSG Black Cat commandos get a gruelling training when they enlist to a job they do extremely well. They do not have international gears and their discomfiture in dealing with a seasoned media show.

But they know how not to care for their lives and do a job with efficiency and cruel discipline. They did just that.
They lost some of their best men in the encounter and spoke in Hindi (wow, imagine their audacity), Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali and a multitude of other languages.

And they won the day.

The crowd waiting for the bloodshed to end, broke into an impromptu applause and patted our men on their backs when they came out of the hotels exhausted, covered in soot and blood and completely baffled by the affection and adoration of common people and the media.

One said on national TV looking embarrassed and solemn at this unexpected fame - "but it's my country and my duty to defend it. This is what I do for a living."

So as an insignificant Indian writing this from the safe comfort of my home, I salute the men in black.
But my even bigger heartfelt thanks to the Sena men who cowered but generally kept their big mouths shut and stayed out of the way of things and helped make the Mumbai operations a success, if you can call it one, after losing so many lives.


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