In the days since the long nights and days of Mumbai terror strikes, a volcano of raw emotions has erupted all across the land. From the streets of Mumbai to the open spaces around India gate in Delhi, the citizens of India are coming out in large numbers to protest against the state of our country’s security and the lackadaisical attitude of the politicians towards issues that are of importance to the Indian citizen.
 
The reaction to the current strikes has been more strong because:
1) we really seem to have got to the rock bottom and are now trying to rise up and fight back 
2) the strikes for the first time have hurt the affluent and the well connected so the reaction has come from the well heeled who till now were content to give only a few sound bites to the media.
 
There can be no doubt about the depth of the emotion and the severity of the anger of the denizens of India’s main cities and towns, one must at these times remember that a even larger number of India’s citizens live outside the comparatively privileged borders of these cities, big and small. The media would do well to record authentically the reactions and coping mechanisms of these Indians too,especially, in areas where populations of the two communities live together and where the nature of the local economy ties them in closer bonds then perhaps in the cities where seperate ‘mohallas’ have become the norm.

Equally important would be to highlight and present to the public the steps,big and small, taken by members of the Muslim community to protest these attacks and to condemn them.Media all too often teeters between the extremes of either an over kill or complete oversight. While many of us in the majority community, have often protested the ‘silence’ of the Muslims in the face of this terror that derives its succor from extreme Islamic ideology, not enough of us give credit to the community when they do speak out against it.In the last few months the clergy (mainly Deobandis) have made public statements that must be given due media time so that just as negative ideas and viewpoints gain currecy due to over exposure so do the positive trends get a chance at taking roots by reaching all corners of the country.

Some main items that caught my attention:

1)The meet of the clerics and Muslims in Delhi condemning terrorism (some months ago…I have not kept a record of the exact dates).

2) The meet recently in Hyderabad where muslims from all over the country gathered to listen to a similar condemnation of terror.

3) The statement a few months ago from Deoband asking muslims to refrian from cow slaughter if it goes against the sentiments of the majority community or flouts any laws of the land.

4) The clergy asking the people,in the wake of the recent Mumbai terror attacks, to wear black arm bands to express their sorrow and stand against the terror.

5) The latest call by the Deoband clerics to Muslims not to slaughetr any cows this Eid in order to respect the sentiments of the Hindus. 

 
These may not sound like much given the scale of the trouble but small steps can lead to big strides and some start has to be made to knock down the walls of mutual suspicion and distrust.
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