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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terror in Mumbai

I am not unaware of or insensitive to significant current events, though I might not often write about them here. In connection with the ongoing violent mess in Mumbai, I have commented at some length on Tanmoy's new blog (link provided in Blogs I often visit): please take a look.

P.S., Dec. 03: Sumitha Kurien has opened a good blog on this subject recently; visit



11 comments:

Subhasis Graham Mukherjee said...

Suvro's students are fortunate and should be proud that they have a teacher who can make such in-depth analysis of the root socio-economic causes of these terrorist attacks and publish them on the internet without any bias and apprehension based on any personal agenda and interests.

Bravo! to Suvro and his students' posts and analysis in Tanmoy's blog.

What a waste

Waste No 1: Not condoning or glorifying any of the disgusting terrorist activities. Most of the terrorists were very young- in the 20-25 year age range. Everyone who had to deal, fight and eliminate them have admitted they were well trained and prepared and carried out their assignment with utmost efficiency and with a great deal of success! what a waste- such energy is not used for the good of the world. What a pity, the Suvro's of this world don't get to teach and train them.


Waste No 2: Latest technologies like the internet, GPS, Satellite Phones and Cell Phones are much better utilized by the terrorists than those who are supposed to use them to prevent terrorism and calamities and protect the country and it's people. Those who are the protectors have access to the latest and greatest of technologies and inventions as well as resources like the government and taxpayers money to back them. Even then, again and again- in various emergencies all over the world, in economies of varying strengths, they have been found short in preparedness and overall skills.

finally we have to think deep and hard on Suvro's final point-

"One last point: my experience of India is that for all our pretensions, we are a senselessly violent country; we basically love cruelty and slaughter. A lot of people, from Tagore to R.K. Narayan to V.S. Naipaul to Geoffrey Moorhouse have made the same observation. Think about it."

so true, so very true- haven't been in the places during the mayhem in recent time. Was present in Calcutta as a JU student during the riots after Indira Gandhi's assassination- cruelty and barbarity does come out as a fun and spectator sport that majority of Indians are looking for an opportunity to indulge in!

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I half expected a torrent of comments to pour in here, some expressing outrage, some fear or grief, some coming up with concrete steps that need to be taken urgently... the absence of such a thing makes my heart ache to think of the future of India. None of us, it seems, cares a whit so long as someone near and dear has not been killed: and maybe not even at that!

Tanmoy said...

Dear Suvroda

Only yesterday we came to know from Pia's mother that someone they know very closely has lost their son. He was from Ranchi. The boy was getting married on Dec 6 and also created a website for that along with his bride-to-be, which is on the net where people are pouring in with messages.

While this ordeal of terrorism continues from 1993, I wondered how unsafe, insignificant we are rendered by ineffective internal security. I vented my anger on my blog and hoped that I can contribute as someone worthwhile. I can understand terrorism as an urban reality but I cannot understand lax internal security or condolences, money offered by politicians. That is sick.

I know at the moment, perhaps there are many like ourselves who are writing not just on their blogs but also to the media houses so that the views get aired.

I hope people don't move on and continue remind the authorities that they are disgusted with them.

Many people have written on the net in these few days and every solution seems to be probable for a change, only if the decision makers move beyond the obvious.

Thanks for your comment on my blog at least 9 people read my blog and commented after a long time.

Tanmoy

Alka said...

Tanmoy wrote "Only yesterday we came to know from Pia's mother that someone they know very closely has lost their son. He was from Ranchi. The boy was getting married on Dec 6 and also created a website for that along with his bride-to-be, which is on the net where people are pouring in with messages."
What a tragedy, instead of getting best wishes for their marital bliss, they condolences messages are pouring in. I am thinking about the boy's parents. All of a sudden they have nothing but a big blank in their lives which no one can replace with something colorful.

supra said...

Enough is enough! Yes we say this again and again. The initial reaction has now subdued and it is replaced by more sensible thoughts, by whoever is capable of such.Now that the Mumbai situation has been resolved, it’s time to take a step back and ask ourselves a lot of questions. While watching the news, I was stuck by one statement taken from someone on the street and more than anything else I feel this is the question we need to ask ourselves, not why it was so easy to take over three landmarks, not what ideology justifies this carnage, not why it took so much time for our administration to respond; but when will we hold our politicians accountable? I feel this is the deeper question we need to ask.
I need not wax about how irresponsibly the whole situation was handled by our ‘leaders’! But are they the only ones to blame? What role did we play? When did WE take a step to make them accountable? Do I really have a right to ask for accountability when I did not even vote? I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s the truth and I hope I never make that mistake again. My voter’s ID will and should be a reflection of my right as a citizen of the largest democracy and not as a mere ID card! How many of us fuming over the feeble response from our politicians, over their quibbling and finger pointing, has take the that simple step of even voting?

And I know the argument of all who didn’t vote, about there not being any politicians who are worth voting for! Well, in which case, go and make your point that you don’t think anyone who is standing for our elections are eligible to rule over us! Yes, we can do so! It’s called Rule 49-0!

We don’t have to enable incompetents and criminals just because we don’t have anyone else to vote for! Please do check the sites and inform ourselves first and fore most!

Irrespective of whether I voted or not, I still do have the right to ask for accountability. Irrespective because willingly or not, I have agreed to respect the laws and rules set up by them, in exchange of taking care of my country for me!

Before setting up any agency against terrorism or a new intelligence center, should we not have a system were anyone, you or me, can ask, ‘Why have you, our politician, not kept the promises? When will they come true? What are you doing with our taxes?’

Should there not be a website where registered voters can raise issues? Where, if enough people are asking the same question, then immediate action be demanded from the minister in charge?? Where, irrespective of whom politicians say they represent, the voice of the real people are heard?? Oh wait… there are some sites for the same!! Check [this link] and [this one].

If there is already a site like this then why don’t we know about it before? And this is where we should ask questions of the media! Is it not the responsibility of the media to inform us about rule 49-O? It was always there (since ‘66), but should they not remind us at every election of our rights, especially about rights which has an immediate effect? Why is that we get more news about our cricketers and actors than rules and reforms? Agreed, they are not sensational enough to pull in all, but new channels seem to forget that their primary purpose is not entertainment, but information for empowerment!

I am hearing enough now, in the media, how the people are angry over our government’s incompetence. But this is not the first time these questions have been posed, or first time they are being expressed. Here are some links: [1] and [2].

The difference now that this is the first time it’s being expressed on such a large scale. What is the point of expressing popular opinion? Or do they express only popular opinion? What about opinions which are valid and relevant though they are not as urgent or immediate. Yet! Do we have to wait for half a dozen bomb blasts for news channels to convey how the public feels?

End of the day, being part of a democracy means being part of the solution. We cannot with good conscience pass the blame entirely to our politicians. If they did or failed to do something it is first and fore most, because we empowered them to do so!
And remind ourselves we are not victims but empowered ourselves. Vote. This is where we begin. Be part of the process. After all we are the people… by, for and of! There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Mumbai 26/11. These three days are those we never want to see again anywhere in India. We should do all we can to make sure it doesn’t. We are not helpless. But we have to help ourselves.

Take some time to inform ourselves and those around us.

supra said...

Enough is Enough! Yes we say this again and again. The initial reaction has now subdued and it is replaced by more sensible thoughts,by whoever is capable of such.

Now that the Mumbai situation has been resolved, it’s time to take a step back and ask ourselves a lot of questions. While watching the news, I was stuck by one statement taken from someone on the street and more than anything else I feel this is the question we need to ask ourselves, not why it was so easy to take over three landmarks, not what ideology justifies this carnage, not why it took so much time for our administration to respond; but when will we hold our politicians accountable? I feel this is the deeper question we need to ask.

I need not wax about how irresponsibly the whole situation was handled by our ‘leaders’! But are they the only ones to blame? What role did we play? When did WE take a step to make them accountable? Do I really have a right to ask for accountability when I did not even vote? I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s the truth and I hope I never make that mistake again. My voter’s ID will and should be a reflection of my right as a citizen of the largest democracy and not as a mere ID card! How many of us fuming over the feeble response from our politicians, over their quibbling and finger pointing, has take the that simple step of even voting?

And I know the argument of all who didn’t vote, about there not being any politicians who are worth voting for! Well, in which case, go and make your point that you don’t think anyone who is standing for our elections are eligible to rule over us! Yes, we can do so! It’s called Rule 49-O!

We don’t have to enable incompetents and criminals just because we don’t have anyone else to vote for! Please do check the sites and inform ourselves first and fore most!

Irrespective of whether I voted or not, I still do have the right to ask for accountability. Irrespective because willingly or not, I have agreed to respect the laws and rules set up by them, in exchange of taking care of my country for me!

Before setting up any agency against terrorism or a new intelligence center, should we not have a system were anyone, you or me, can ask, ‘Why have you, our politician, not kept the promises? When will they come true? What are you doing with our taxes?’

Should there not be a website where registered voters can raise issues? where, if enough people are asking the same question, then immediate action be demanded from the minister in charge?? Where, irrespective of whom politicians say they represent, the voice of the real people are heard?? Oh wait… there are some sites for the same!! Check [http://pgportal.gov.in/index.html] and [http://dpg.bharatsarkar.nic.in/].

If there is already a site like this then why don’t we know about it before? And this is where we should ask questions of the media! Is it not the responsibility of the media to inform us about rule 49-O? It was always there (since ‘66), but should they not remind us at every election of our rights, especially about rights which has an immediate effect? Why is that we get more news about our cricketers and actors than rules and reforms? Agreed, they are not sensational enough to pull in all, but new channels seem to forget that their primary purpose is not entertainment, but information for empowerment!

I am hearing enough now, in the media, how the people are angry over our government’s incompetence. But this is not the first time these questions have been posed, or first time they are being expressed. Here are some links: [http://indianeconomy.org/2006/01/12/why-does-india-have-such-poor-politicians-1/] and [http://www.hinduonnet.com/2003/07/07/stories/2003070700521000.htm].

The difference now that this is the first time it’s being expressed on such a large scale. What is the point of expressing popular opinion? Or do they express only popular opinion? What about opinions which are valid and relevant though they are not as urgent or immediate..yet! Do we have to wait for half a dozen bomb blasts for news channels to convey how the public feels?

End of the day, being part of a democracy means being part of the solution. We cannot with good conscience pass the blame entirely to our politicians. If they did or failed to do something it is, first and fore most, because we empowered them to do so!

And remind ourselves we are not victims but empowered ourselves. Vote. This is where we begin. Be part of the process. After all we are the people… by, for and of! There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Mumbai 26/11. These three days are those we never want to see again anywhere in India. We should do all we can to make sure it doesn’t. We are not helpless. But we have to help ourselves.

Take some time to inform ourselves and those around us.

XX** said...

I apologize for senseless Babri outrageouness

i apologize for calculated Godhra massacre and numerous encounters

i apologize for sowing the seeds of separation in 1947

i apologize for advocating it

i apologize for secretly thanking my stars for not being born in your home

i apologize for making you feel an outsider in my every action and inaction

and i am ready to die by your bullet if that is the only way to pay for my sins

Because i am you

i pledge that from now on i will see to it

that i absolve myself of my sins in this life

But please do know that when you kill me, you will be killing yourself

because you are me.

I do write this in the comfort of my house

far away from the place you shot me down

But died i have, a thousand times,

and i am still alive waiting for you to forgive,respect and love me.

Subhasis Graham Mukherjee said...

sad but somewhat amusing of a test

The English, Australian and New Zealand cricket teams have made a lot of fuss and numerous complaints on visiting India over the past few decades- starting with things like poor health conditions, hygiene and food to higher issues like security and safety. Sir Richard Hadlee never toured India till the last series of his career to get his world record.

Most international teams don't play in Pakistan these days due to security issues and inadequacy of the safety measures taken.

So, will the English team 'like and accept' the security situation and arrangements, and come back? with all the players accepting to come, maybe?

Will the entire cricketer community worldwide be very 'accepting and understanding' and show up for the IPL?

it's megabucks guys! amounts unheard of in most other professional sports worldwide.

are things really that bad and unbearable in India?

we'll get the answer soon! sadly (but maybe as a bit of a relief to the thinking and sensitive minds), we will forget all this and be back to carnival mood pretty soon.

yeah, they'll line up and be silent for a minute....

Subhasis

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Dear XX**,
Thank you for the poem, but I am sorry, I do not publish comment of any kind from anonymous sources, as I have mentioned on the blog homepage itself. Sorry if you find that wrong or weird!

Anshu Singh said...

I apologize for senseless Babri outrageouness

i apologize for calculated Godhra massacre and numerous encounters

i apologize for sowing the seeds of separation in 1947

i apologize for advocating it

i apologize for secretly thanking my stars for not being born in your home

i apologize for making you feel an outsider in my every action and inaction

and i am ready to die by your bullet if that is the only way to pay for my sins

Because i am you

i pledge that from now on i will see to it

that i absolve myself of my sins in this life

But please do know that when you kill me, you will be killing yourself

because you are me.

I do write this in the comfort of my house

far away from the place you shot me down

But died i have, a thousand times,

and i am still alive waiting for you to forgive,respect and love me.

December 3, 2008 9:24 AM
Blogger Anshu Singh said...

I apologize for senseless Babri outrageouness

i apologize for calculated Godhra massacre and numerous encounters

i apologize for sowing the seeds of separation in 1947

i apologize for advocating it

i apologize for secretly thanking my stars for not being born in your home

i apologize for making you feel an outsider in my every action and inaction

and i am ready to die by your bullet if that is the only way to pay for my sins

Because i am you

i pledge that from now on i will see to it

that i absolve myself of my sins in this life

But please do know that when you kill me, you will be killing yourself

because you are me.

I do write this in the comfort of my house

far away from the place you shot me down

But died i have, a thousand times,

and i am still alive waiting for you to forgive,respect and love me.

Supra said...

Things that make me puke!

*The age old (probably a British legacy) rifles that our policemen sported fighting the "terrorists" armed with grenades and AK 47s.Thank god for the NSG & Army.

*The new age "English" news channels telecasting terror attack 24/7 punctuating it with "these shots are exclusively shown on xxx" (come on guys show some shame!!)

*Reporters showing us the aftermath of the attack on Taj and crying over burnt antique carpets and rare books and historical heritage pieces, when an equal number of lives were lost at CST. (Probably a businessman's life or an antique carpet lost is equal to 5 aam aadmi's life in their world)

*A British survivor narrating her tale says "I was relieved when I saw the Indian Gurkha arrive”.My dear honorable lady, for Christ’s sake he was a policeman and not a "Gurkha".Take off your imperialist blinders for a moment please!!!

*Mr.Mammohan Singh in his address to the nation saying this attack comes from a "neighboring country"!! Oh that is such a great find!! I felt like shaking him at that precise moment!!with all due respects to his education and qualifications, I would've cheered if he had said that this came from militants in Pakistan and we would not spare them even at the risk of sounding like George bush. To hell with his Oxford and Cambridge diplomacy!!

*the talk of "Spirit of Mumbai" and "spirit of India"...come on, after all this I have no spirit left in me at all. And if you are suggesting that the come on man going back to work shows his spirit then you have got it wrong. what would a man earning Rs 20 a day, without a semblance of savings , do for his next meal if he doesn't go to work the next day after an attack?? It is not about spirit but survival. And by the way it is only the business bigwigs surviving the attack who sat at their home watching TV and narrating their tales of survival, who could afford to not work till things get back to normalcy.

*Lighting candles for the martyrs! How long are we going to be doing these stupid symbolic Rang De Basanti gestures! If you really want to show your anger and distress march to the parliament/assembly and sit till those stupid politicians propose measures for tackling the issue and see to it that they implement it.

*people who say "I'm tired of Indian politics, that’s why I never vote".Guys, are you so stupid that you don't understand?? If you don't vote, your vote will be cast by somebody for a party you don't support.OK if you don't support any party then don't complain. You have to choose a lesser evil, that’s the choice we've got.

You can only choose between an inactive congress and a hyperactive BJP (at the national level), if you don't like them, then come up with an option, else don't complain. Just because you don't vote, these puppets in the parliament don't care about you and are not wary of you and they only cater to the so called voting masses and patronize them.