Scarred, yes, but Jaipur refuses to cow down

May 14th, 2008 - 11:19 pm ICT by admin  

By Kavita Bajeli-Datt
Jaipur, May 14 (IANS) Rajasthan’s historic capital has never felt such pain, never seen so much grief. But the numbing terror attacks that killed at least 63 people have failed to break the city’s spirit. Residents admit that they have been shaken. However, the Tuesday evening bomb attacks — the first time Jaipur was hit by terrorism — has not done anything to its valour, its resolve.

One only had to see the scenes at the hospitals in the aftermath of the bombings, when the victims, the dead and the wounded, were brought in, to sense the reality.

As people struggled to live, men and women rushed to donate their blood to save precious lives.

All of 28, Rajeev Sharma rushed to the Sawai Mansingh Hospital Tuesday night on hearing that there was an urgent need for O negative blood. But on finding a large and somewhat unruly crowd wanting to donate blood, he returned home somewhat disappointed.

On Wednesday morning, he was back at the hospital.

“No one can break our spirit. After all we belong to the martial race of Rajputs. We are brave people. No one can destroy us or defeat us,” Sharma told IANS. “No one can make us feel insecure.”

Nisha Siddhu, general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Mahila Federation’s Rajasthan unit, said there was no danger of a Hindu-Muslim confrontation over the bombings.

“People might try to create rift between communities but Jaipur is not Gujarat. We are one,” she said.

Added woman activist Sumitra Chopra: “This might be the first incident in the city which has jolted the people. But the citizens have proved they are not scared.”

Mukesh Sharma, a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) member, accepted that there was panic. He too pointed out that there was an underlying sense of oneness.

“We are tensed. But it should be borne in mind that this is a peaceful city. How is it possible for anyone to shake our faith, our belief and our culture of ancient traditions?”

A shopkeeper, Rajeev Sharma, said the fact that people maintained peace and calm even after the horrific blasts and got busy in rushing the injured to hospitals, in some cases in their vehicles, proved that they would be one in the hour of crisis.

“Who can break our spirit? We are not ones who get easily scared,” boasted flower seller Ghanshyam Parekh, who did hurried business in the morning before the curfew was enforced at 9 a.m.

“My son got injured. But look at me. I am back at business. I will go to the hospital and see my 20-year-old son. He is recovering fast. If there’s need, I will donate my blood. After all, this is my city and my people. I have lived here forever, and the coming generations will continue to live here.”

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