Today, as we mark five years of the 26/11 terror attacks at the Taj, the Trident Oberoi, CaféLeopold and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), the city will commemorate the day with various events: peace walks, flag marches near the attacked sites, remembrance meetings, and ordinary citizens being told to take all kinds of peace pledges.
One can only say that a better way to pay tribute and prove that they have learned the lesson from the strike is for the ordinary citizen to see how he can become more aware and cooperative in assisting the authorities in fighting terror. Blaming the powers that be constantly or talking about how the police have failed to combat terrorists or about intelligence lapses puts the onus entirely on the other.
One sees irked citizens eager to avoid metal detectors at malls and crowded places because it requires them to stand in queues. Often, they are rude with the security staff, refuse to cooperate and try to rush through the checking process. One has to realise that everybody has a stake in a safer city.
Don’t brush off warnings in trains and buses about unattended baggage or parcels. Even after announcements that are made to create awareness one sees people carelessly handling unattended objects left behind in public transport vehicles, driven by curiosity or apathy.
At the same time, there is a fine line between paranoia and awareness and one needs to stress the latter in every aspect. Lighting candles, signing pledges and offering wreaths is a small part of the anti-terrorism effort. A more productive way to salute and remember those who died on this day five years ago is to become cooperative.