Bollywood suggests how Mumbai can get back on its feet

Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Ask questions, don't compromise and vote for the right leader - the film fraternity, which is still in a state of shock and anger after the terror attacks here feels all this will help in putting the derailed system back in place.

As Mahesh Bhatt put it: "Inside sources reveal that the worst is yet to come. India is caught in the vortex of terrorism. The political class has consistently failed us. We'd be foolish to imagine that the answers will come from them. We can't help ourselves. And there's no one out there to help us."

According to Shilpa Shetty, "We must immediately accept assistance and advice from other countries who are well-versed with handling terrorism, no shame in that.

"And we must reduce Z-level security for politicians and their families and use that for the hapless public. But first things first. Increase the salaries of all police and security forces so they don't feel short-changed. This would automatically reduce corruption."

Many in the film fraternity opined : "Politicians need to be proactive and not just reactive. Yes, politicians have failed us, and not for the first time. And to top it all, former deputy chief minister R.R. Patil's statement that these 'small incidents happen in big cities' was shocking and careless."

Subhash Ghai felt that "what we need are educated, non-avaricious politicians to change the quality of governance. In the next election we all must vote, and vote for the right leaders. Please remember we are not getting the leaders we deserve. And we are responsible".

Madhur Bhandarkar felt there was "no point" in pointing fingers at politicians.

"The whole machinery has collapsed. The mood this time is different from the other attacks. People are feeling angry and defeated. Mumbai's mythic spirit of resilience is gone. They want action. In the coming elections, Mumbaikars will exercise their franchise far more carefully. We'll get a more accountable and responsible government. And we won't let 26/11 happen again in Mumbai," the director contended.

"Enough pampering the refugees, migrants and human rights activists who go on, on and on about the homeless," said Raveena Tandon, adding: "We in Mumbai now need to protect our homes. Where were these activists when our innocent Mumbaikars were being killed?

"They've legalised illegal Bangladeshis, turned a blind eye to infiltration. We have to deport the illegal immigrants. Make the laws tighter and leave no loopholes for terrorism. Let's not sit on the same table with countries that harbour terrorism. The government has failed us.

"Amend the constitution so that no politician with criminal antecedents is given ticket to contest the elections. Above all, stand united with our Muslim, Marathi, Bihari, Sikh, Christian, Gujarati and Dalit citizens. Let not the world think we're fragmented from inside," Tandon argued.

"First of all," said Victor Banerjee, "we need to condemn violence and terror without prejudice towards caste, creed or community. All citizens of all religions have been victims and perpetrators at the some time. Let's look inwards and see where we need to amend our own morality along with the laws."

Imtiaz Ali stressed the need to "ask questions. Stop always compromising and adjusting. Whether to mindless digging of the roads or thoughtless security arrangements. Don't be scared. Stand tall and pull up whoever is responsible. If we stop taking things lying down during normal times, I'm sure such aberrations won't occur".

Ranvir Shorey felt "we're now a nation at war. Basic military training should be made mandatory for all of us. If we can't be protected by the people we elect to do so, let's find our own protection. I think there's no hope from the politicians.

"May be we can still count on the bureaucracy if the corruption and greed for power that stems from their bosses cease and their work conditions improve," Shorey maintained.

According to Irrfan Khan, "we need to wake up to our power to vote and not be swayed by false promises. It's clear that politicians don't do anything unless it enhances their vote bank. We need to look for other means of protecting ourselves.

Kunal Kohli said: "We've not been defeated by well-trained terrorists, but by incompetent politicians. We don't want speeches about investigations. We want results, answers, action and accountability."

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