When the serial blasts in Mumbai happened, I was a very small boy. I didn’t really understand anything… except that something very scary had happened and everyone was talking about it for days. I remember hearing “RDX” and I remember the name “Dawood Ibrahim”. I asked my parents why we couldn’t put the guy in jail and I was told it’s because Pakistan has developed “new clear weapons” (I had never heard the term “nuclear” before). All I understood is that Pakistan just has to press one switch and the “new clear weapons” will kill us all.
I was terrified. I couldn’t sleep many nights.
As I grew up, I slowly began to understand what a terrorist attack is. There were so many memorable ones. Coimbatore blasts. Mumbai blasts. Again Mumbai blasts. And more Mumbai blasts. Mulund. Ghatkopar. Zaveri Bazar… Commandos locked in gun battle with terrorists right inside our Indian Parliament! A terror attack outside the American Consulate in Kolkata. Akshardham in Gujarat. Blasts in Delhi. Blasts in Jaipur. Blasts in Amdavad. Then 26/11.
This was of course, in addition to the continuous reports of bloodletting in Kashmir. We ignored these reports for the most part, because we thought of the whole of Kashmir as a valley of death, more or less.
This is a reality for all of us growing up in India. We know that brutal terror strikes at will. We know that our lives are worth little and soon everybody moves on. They put a positive spin on all this by talking about things like “spirit of Mumbai”.
Somewhere along the way, we developed the superstition that dying in terror attacks is a “third world problem”. We knew for sure that the century’s biggest terror attack happen in the United States; in New York and in Washington DC.
BUT that was different.
“They will avenge this,” my father shook his head as the news unfolded on our TV screen, “They are not like us that they will sit quietly”.
My father was talking about what he called “white people countries”. They were supposed to value the lives of their citizens. If you kill an Westerner, punishment is certain. Their governments never forget and never forgive such crimes. Unlike India which is very good at just moving on…
We saw ourselves as the soft state. A nation of dhimmies that always fails to stand up to oppressors. Everything we read about our history confirmed this notion.
“White people” were different. They hate losing. When somebody punches them, they take revenge.
Or so we used to think.
Cut to 2017.
Tell me what is your first thought when you see a European city trending on Twitter these days. Has to be another terror attack, right?
It’s become so routine that it’s almost boring. I think it was about two years ago when everybody on Facebook was changing their profile picture to a French flag to show their grief for victims of a terror attack in Paris. Remember?
I doubt anybody would do that today. Not because we have become any less human. Just that it’s become too routine for people to sit up and take notice.
The reaction in Europe has changed too. The first terror attacks brought with them a sense of disbelief. Back at the time of 9/11, the pre-eminent French newspaper “Le Monde” (The World) ran the now famous headline
Nous sommes tous Americains (We are all Americans)
Things are different now. These days terrorists just pick their favorite European city and do whatever they want. The police and emergency services arrive on the spot to count the dead and to check if there are any survivors. Europeans don’t even get too angry. Instead, they get busy chasing mirages like “multiculturalism” and fighting ghosts like “Islamophobia”.
Apparently, no one has told the Europeans that it’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you.
Instead of getting angry or even sad, Europe has now found a way to actually squeeze out dark humor, even pride in getting neutered every single day by their barbaric enemy.
True that. The powers in Europe today can only ask their citizens to chew on such dark humor. Because they are unable to secure for their people the basic guarantees of life and liberty, let alone the pursuit of happiness. And Europeans are eating it all up with a spoon, unable to tell the difference. It’s the dark ecstasy of a civilization dancing away to its own death.
Be proud London, be proud. Congratulations, you have snatched the crown of dhimmitude from us.
You know they say that the last stage of grief is “acceptance”, but I think it should really be called “political correctness”. Europe today can’t even feel the pain. Political correctness has given them the kiss of death. Rest in Peace.