Tonight Venezuela is irrelevant; I must speak about India, one of my favorite countries, even if I have yet to visit. I could not send to my Indian friends my "I am so sorry note" because I was away from computers for 24 hours but now it is time to make amend and send my grief.
For the past 7 years I have been planning a trip to India. But one thing or the other, in particular CADIVI, has stopped me from making good the promise made to one of my very best friends who lives now in Hyderabab. She is married and happy to be back at home, always thankful that I was one of her few US friends that understood why she wanted to go back home, forsaking the US safety that she could have aspired too without any problem. But then again I was mulling my return home too. How could I not understand that years in the US could not make forget massala, tropical wafts of heavy air, a monsoon rain, the comfort of saris. She went back and while building a life she did lots of charity work to compensate for her good fortunes, even when she hit bad times due to her unstable field of work.
Of all Asian countries India is the one that has always got my attention, the one I have read most about, more than once devouring fascinating history narrations. Words like Mughal dynasty, Sultanate of Dehli, the Gupta, Vijayanagar, the Maratha or the Raj have for me as much meaning and relevance as the Bourbon, Capet, Diego de Losada, Capitania General Tikal or Plantagenet. No other country can mix the grand and the miserable, the glorious and the despicable in the way that India does. No country is the mosaic that India is.
And that is what the terrorist could not stand. Al Qaeda (or whomever inspired on its crap to perpetrate the awful Mumbai attacks) cannot stand diversity. In their world women are veiled and at home, men hold all power, absolute censorship on non Muslim matters reign. The burkah, be it the real one or the mental one, reigns. Any anti US rhetoric is bullshit when all the chips are down: Afghanistan free of US intervention was subjected to burkah. Now a tentatively renascent Taliban is pushing for burkah again. You can buy one, by the way, in this rather scary site.
The objective is quite clear, even if in part disguised by placing the bombs in first class compartments (people from all classes died anyway as the trains crashed). The objective is to stir trouble in India when a Congress government is meeting with some modicum of success in keeping religious peace and trying to have ALL sectors participate, ALL sectors get some benefit from the economic growth. The new Congress party even dared to name a Sikh prime minister, Manmohan Singh who said:
"No one can make India kneel. No one can come in the path of our progress. We will win this war against terror. Nothing will break our resolve."This as defiant Mumbai went back to work and the stock rallied. Making clear that the only objective was to stir dormant but never too far from awakening Hindu and Muslim fanaticism.
Tonight we must all rally around India and Mumbai as we rallied around Spain and Madrid, around London and the British, around New York and the United States. There is no reason in the world for people who do not understand what is at stake. It is only about time that moderate Muslim thinkers and countries take a stronger stand and confront their extremists. They cannot remain hostage to the Al Qaeda and Hamas and Hezbollas of the world. They must free from unreasonable rules, embrace science, the rule of law, the separation of religion and state. The West did it, and still does it every day. Japan, China and other countries have joined. When will Islam join in? Don’t they realize that failure to confront extremism will always end up in the victory of this one and the end of civilization?
Meanwhile our thougths are with India, again the target of terror, hoping that again it will recover and show us the way it is done.