I have a lucid memory of that defining moment, the moment which changed the way the world used to be. It was a pleasant evening and my desktop computer was malfunctioning. I rode the scooter to a nearby place and got hold of a computer mechanic (that is how they were called), got him home and as he worked I switched on the TV. And there with divided attention I switched between the computer repair work and towards the scene playing on the TV. The channel that started playing on it was the News channel, which was by default. But on that day and that moment for a few long seconds it didn’t seem to be a News channel. The precise description I had that moment was of wondering whether these are scenes of some Hollywood movie.
Yes there it felt like an action flick playing where an aircraft rammed into a very tall building. And as if it was an extended sequence, the scene repeated itself. That moment, which made me literally stand up, raise the volume and call in everyone to watch, was to change the world. The World Trade Center bombing, the most spectacularly gory event was to redefine terrorism for everyone. That moment took with it three thousand lives, that moment shocked the most powerful nation of the world and brought it to a standstill, that moment made Osama bin Laden a household name, and that moment registered forever in all the history books.
Ten years have passed since. Today marks a decade since the twin towers crashed. There crashed not just two buildings of steel and concrete, but along with it crashed the belief that any country however powerful was safe. Along with it crashed the belief that a powerful country could protect its citizens. Along with it crashed to some degrees the sanctity of a powerful religion. Along with it crashed a lull of large scale war. Not to forget the crashing of the lives of people, thousands then and millions as an aftermath.
So much in and around all of us changed for those few minutes. Two countries were reduced to rubble based on ‘hunting down perpetrators’ and the never found weapons of mass destruction. Annihilated with bombs dropped amounting much higher than their GDP’s. 9/11 marked the beginning of the phenomenon of bringing terror right to your doorstep, to your train station, to your airport, into your flight, in your marketplace and much deeper, into your hearts. A vicious circle ensued and continues to grapple us all, irrespective of where you are.
Security became paramount at the cost of personal liberties many a times. Suspicion based on religion became the order of the day. Many conspiracy theories surfaced and still continue to. The economy turned down and the wisdom of wars questioned. Human rights violations took the world by storm. Also the man behind the crime hunted down after a decade. The war that was raised at a distance of half the world made millions homeless.
Summing it all up in a few words beats the decade long changes which have become part of the world we live in without our even realizing it now. In the Indian context terrorism has played a havoc always which has been exacerbated after 9/11. The world might have become a little safer with many evil souls eradicated but the questions remains whether it is as safe as we would like it to be? How would our generation remember this infamous date 9/11, a day that was Tuesday, as? A decade later today, and decades later, this date is certain to be The Day When The World Changed.