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A city destroyed?

You have probably watched scenes of the terror attack on my city, Mumbai, as the ‘drama’ went on for almost 60 hours. You got to watch it in detail because the targets were five-star hotels.

You have seen our celebrities and think about how well they are dressed, how global we really are. I mean, we are so global we even call this horrendous incident Mumbai’s 9/11, as though we have not suffered for years.

You don’t like this, right?

Now let me tell you I have lived in this city all my life. My longest trip away from home was 40 days. I knew each of those places that were attacked, not just the posh ones.

Yet, I have refused to condemn the attacks. I won’t because I will not dismiss off a tragedy, and the sick face of society, in one sentence.

I refused to attend a candle-light vigil.

I said it in so many words: “Not interested.”

I am not interested in standing there with melting wax to support victims and further mess up security arrangements so soon after the tragedy.

Tragedy has been made into a joke – “I left my kids at home to be here”, “I am not having a party”, “I am wearing black”.

So?

People want me to be silent. Don’t ask questions.

Why?

We want soundbytes. We want pretty mouthfuls. We don’t want answers.

Because when we have answers we need to find solutions. We don’t have them. Or want them.

We are now on the world stage as a wonderful hotel going up in flames.

Millions of my countrymen and women have never heard about it or seen it. Even on TV. They don’t have TV. They don’t have electricity.

Just thought I’d let you know, in case CNN missed out on it.

Comments
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Comment Bubble Tip

Prayers for the victims and India

Farzana,

My heart goes out to all in Mumbai who have or are suffering this transgression. But I am puzzled when I hear officials saying they will relentless search to determine what group did this. Every group of militant Islam is merely another platoon in the same army. And the enemy is within. It was Ho Chi Mien who wisely preached that, "A guerrilla is a fish that swims in a friendly sea."

And read The White Tiger by Agida, a novel about present day India. It corroborates what you say about the still impoverished segment that is sizable in your country. (It won the Booker Prize this year.)

Comment Bubble Tip

Thank you for your genuine concern, Dennis, but...

I must strongly protest your blanket assertion: "Every group of militant Islam is merely another platoon in the same army."

I understand you are seeing things from the outside so to brief you briefly, we have militant Hidnutva parties that started the death dance in 1992-93 when they demolished the mosque and started riots; in 2002 they repeated it in Gujarat with the connivance of the state.

We have militancy in various forms, including the 'developed world'; it goes under differerent guises.

Regarding White Tiger, I have read it and critiqued it. Nice playing to the Western gallery the man has managed, although a  readable book. If you wish, you may check out my personal take here and what I think are the loopholes in his.

~F