‘We have kept quiet for so long that they think we will take all their rubbish without uttering a word. When I see a young baby at the circumcision ceremony, I feel ashamed of myself. How is this personal hygiene of any use to him when the whole environment around him is so unclean? What future are we giving him?
‘We, cowards who have born each insult and each wound inflicted upon us like good for nothing bastards. We have to give our children a future where they are not afraid of the tyrants. We have to make them proud of us. If in children we see the Almighty; then for these children, in His name, we need Jihad.’
‘We have planned this meticulously and finally it is the time to execute it. This will be our first anniversary gift for our enemies. Let them see that for each mujahedeen we lose in this war, ten more will take birth to avenge his death.’
He continued moving along the dirty lanes, cautious not to step onto any heap of garbage. As he reached the barricades, he looked back at his abode; a ghetto was what people called it. Located on the suburbs of the city, this was one place where most of the people like him landed up after leaving their hometowns. He had come from the Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, made infamous in the recent past by the arrests, encounters and killings of many alleged mujahedeen who hailed from there.
In financial terms, he could have managed a better accommodation at a better place but in this city, there were also some other unspoken yet clearly audible factors which decided who could live where.
‘It’s the time to make them aware that the dogs also bite. With the blessings of the Almighty behind us, tomorrow is the day when we will finally initiate our jihad.’
They were busier reporting about Taj, Oberoi and Nariman House where the special Indians and firangis resided. He remembered the blood spilled floor of the passenger hall, images of which were made available by a local lensman who hid himself in a stationary train compartment.
He had just started tiring a bit due to the sleepless night, empty stomach and a brisk walk to top it all, when he saw a sprawling building on his left. It was one of the surviving remnants of the British Raj, like many other buildings and edifices around here including CST which he had left just twenty minutes ago. That station used to be Victoria Terminus until 1996 when some Hindu zealots forced a name change. ‘The bloody name game,’ he cursed.
This building, originally conceived to commemorate the visit of Duke of Edinburgh in 1870 was finally inaugurated six years hence as the residence for Royal Alfred Sailors. Later in 1928, it was acquired by the British Government and became the seat of the Bombay Legislative Council in late 1930’s. However, since quarter of a decade, it was housing something else after the Legislative Assembly moved to the new Council Hall in 1982.
“We moved swiftly on the basis of the lead given by him and within a couple of hours had arrested all of them without spilling any blood in the process. Luckily for us, they were amateurish in their approach, not having any links with the organised terrorist groups as per our initial investigations. Nonetheless, if they had succeeded in their plans, it could have led to major loss of life and property.”
“My Abbu used to say that Jihad is a struggle to improve one’s self and society. Today, our society is rotting due to this unwanted hatred and we are losing our self to an unholy war. It’s time we wake up and realise that an eye for an eye is not the solution. We all are in this together and have to sit down to sort out any differences which exist. What I did today was what any responsible citizen would have done.”
- The definition of Jihad (as given by the protagonist's father) is a non-verbatim adaptation of the definition given by the scholar John Esposito.
- Pro Deo et Patria is the Latin phrase translated to ‘For God and Country’ in English. It is the motto of my beloved school – St. John’s High, an Irish Christian Missionary school.