Two Indias: Probably Here to Stay

There is an interesting article in the Washington Post about the outrage expressed in India over the recent attacks. Unlike attacks in the past when the rich where unaffected for the most part, this attack specifically targeted the rich and famous.

“For the train bombings, the outrage was there, but it was never really heard,” Ronel said, his hands black from shoe polish. “More people died in the train bombings, but they were ordinary Indians, not high-society industrialists or foreigners or film industry people. Where were the protest marches after the train attacks?”

While its hard to disagree with this sentiment, the protests and concern expressed are a good place to start. It was heartening to hear that for the first time Muslim communities have come forward to in sizable numbers to condemn the attacks.

“The hard reality of this country is that we are living in two Indias. One is for the rich, who matter, and one is for the poor, who are invisible,” said Ashok Agarwal, a lawyer who runs Social Jurist, a group that litigates education cases on behalf of the marginalized sections of society. “In India, you can use the poor for your benefit. He should cook your meals, wash your utensils, scrub your clothes, but when it comes to doing justice for the victims of other bombings, there wasn’t this level of outrage. When poor people were attacked, the country wasn’t suddenly insecure. This is a fundamental injustice, and it has led to authorities ignoring attacks.”

One can only hope that in future (god forbid if there are other attacks) the level of concern and cries for accountability will be heard again.

The opposition BJP took a “soft on terror” line of attack against the Congress in the recent assembly poolls and it didn’t quite pay the desired results. So its a sign that the outrage felt in Mumbai hasn’t really carried to the rest of the country.  If this is to be believed, the two Indias are here to stay for the forseeable futre.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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