Indians pour out Mumbai anger through SMSsDecember 4th, 2008 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) “To punish a terrorist is the responsibility of god but to fix his appointment with god is our responsibility - Indian Army”. This is only one of the many SMSs doing the rounds of cell phones in India after the Mumbai attacks.Reads another: “An Olympic shooter wins gold in a game, government gives him Rs.30 million. Another shooter dies, fighting with terrorists (while) saving our country and our lives and the government pays his family Rs.500,000. Truly Great India?”
These SMSs have flooded mobile phones in the past week and many acknowledge that they are making a dent as far as formulating public opinion goes.
“I receive around five to six such SMSs daily and I feel as a responsible citizen it is my duty to forward them to my friends. Believe me, these messages can help in awakening several citizens who otherwise never bother about such incidents,” Sangeeta Singh, an employee of a multinational company, told IANS.
People, shaken by the terror incident in India’s financial capital that killed over 180 people, suddenly feel it is their duty as citizens to keep the messages going.
Neeraj Jain, a college student, said: “I always used to ignore SMSs where the sender would ask me to forward them. After the Mumbai terror attack I received several such SMSs and I forwarded all of them to my friends. I think it can help in forming opinions.”
The SMSs have also been targeting politicians.
An SMS reads: “Where is Raj Thackeray and his brave Sena? Tell him that 200 NSG commandos from Delhi (No Marathi manoos) have been sent to Mumbai to fight the terrorists so that he can sleep peacefully - Mumbaikars.”
Yet another SMS reads: “180 killed, 22 foreigners, three ATS officials, 14 policemen and two NSG commandos and the irony is that the national flag is half-mast for the death of a person (former prime minister V.P. Singh) who divided the country.”
The text refers to the fact that Singh was the man who introduced reservations in government jobs and education for other backward classes (OBCs) - an issue that always evokes controversy in India.
Anger against politicians is running high in the country.
Arun Gupta, a government employee, said: “I am really hurt the way politicians spread venom among people just for the sake of vote banks. I can only tell the politicians that when terrorists attacked Mumbai, each one of us, irrespective of caste and religion, prayed to god for peace in the country.”
He got an SMS that says: “We need not worry for those who came through boats, we need to worry for those who have come through votes.”
(Richa Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)