It was last day of Durga Puja yesterday and I went to see the Durga pandals (tents) with my friends. I have been going to see the pandals for the last 10 years. We usually leave home at 9 o’clock and wander to different pandals at different places, which takes almost the whole night. We come back to home around morning time. Traffic is restricted because of the huge number of people who come to see the pandals. I think half of Benares comes to see this festival. We always go on our bikes, so we had to stop our bikes at different places and wander on foot.
I was hoping for the same kind of attendance this year also, but I was surprised to see that only ten percent of what I was hoping for had come. I had never ever seen this few people during Durga Puja. We could easily drive our bikes on the road, which was kind of strange for me. All of my friends were prepared to walk but the roads were empty, so we did not have to walk. I am sure that people did not come because of all the recent bomb blasts in different cities and our local news papers also wrote a lot about terrorists in Varanasi.
We all were sad to see that finally terrorists won, and we lost the game. I remember the day after the bomb blast in Sankat Mochan temple, where more than a hundred people died. It was first time in Benares’s history when a bomb blast happened, but everything was normal again the very next day. The temple had the same number of people, and everybody said that they would fight against terrorism if police and the government helped them. But after watching the number of people during Durga Puja, it seemed like now people don’t have that passion to fight against terrorism.
It reminds me about the scam when Jaipur police arrested a mullah (Muslim teacher at Madarsa) in Benares 2 months ago for being a suspect in the Jaipur bomb blast, and police had to release him later because all the Muslims came on the road and started protesting. Government also ordered police to release him because they were afraid of their vote bank. Even though he is one of the suspects, he is still out of jail and doing whatever he wants.
Afzal guru, the guy behind the terrorist attack on Indian parliament, was also sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India but the Central Government of Congress put this decision on hold by petitioning our President, who is a Congress candidate. In the same way a lot of terrorists are still enjoying their lives in jails. We hear that they have very good lives because of the special orders by our politicians, and our police are also bribed by them.
Sometimes I think that maybe people like Afzal Guru and the mullah who was arrested and later released because of the Muslim’s pressure are involved in bomb blasts. All the political parties want to make Muslims happy because Muslims are a very good vote bank for them. I don’t know when things will change but it seems like it is not going to change soon.