November 28, 2008BombayConstitutioncounterterrorismdemocracyIndiaMumbaipoliticsPublic PolicySecurityterrorism

Vote, you fools!

A government that can’t protect us from rainwater can’t protect us from terrorists

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

What can ordinary citizens do? Well, go out and vote. Salil Tripathi on the attack on Bombay:

New York has been attacked, London has faced — and avoided — attacks. Israelis are used to dealing with terror. And yet, the perception about India is that it takes these attacks in, as if nothing has happened. Returning to normalcy is an important part of dealing with terror. Preventing terror, and making people feel secured without imposing arbitrary restrictions on their lives, without suspecting individuals because of the collective they may belong to — religion, caste, language — and inspiring a sense of security among those who want to trust the law: these are the things a government must do. And it is in that area that the state has failed its people.

Fixing that also requires greater political participation. South Bombay, the epicenter of the attacks, is among the wealthiest parts of the country. And yet, that parliamentary constituency routinely has low turnout during elections. Voters don’t turn out for municipal elections as well. They must register their voice, they must protest, through the power the Indian constitution gives them, and elect a government that delivers, and not one that gets in through default, due to overall apathy. India has a phrase - chalta hai - this will go on. That must not do. Bombay’s citizens cannot, and should not, go about being vigilantes. But they can be vigilant about their rights, through their right to vote. [FEER]



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