Why We Need to Be Careful of What We Believe Post the Balakot Air Strike

First Person

Why We Need to Be Careful of What We Believe Post the Balakot Air Strike

I

was only eight years old when the 1971 war broke out. Although I have trouble remembering details of events from that year, I can’t forget overhearing a conversation between my mother and our neighbour in Kanpur that triggered panic. “I heard they are covering the Taj Mahal in jute,” the woman told mom. She took a minute to catch her breath and continued. “I don’t know how safe we are.”

A sense of hysteria had gripped the country that cold December. Every piece of information was magnified, every rumour acquired credibility. Kanpur, where I lived with my family, was on edge. My father was a government officer and was the first among us to hear chatter about where the war was headed and he warned us not to fall for the rumours. But I couldn’t get the jute-covered Taj Mahal out of my head. If the Taj Mahal wasn’t safe, what was?

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