Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attack - What Mumbai feels

The attack has been thwarted. The sanitizing process of the Taj is on. Oberoi and Nariman operations are over. The full impact of the crippling attack is beginning to sink in. Mumbai has been hit.. Again... and in the worst way since ages. If one more person speaks about the 'resilience' and 'indomitable spirit' of my city, I am sure many of us would give that human being a slap on the face. The general mood in my city is one of despair and disgust. We are tired of being hit. We are tired of being taken for granted. We are tired of the inaction.

First - we are appalled at the shoddy infrastructure and equipment given to the police. My heart goes out to the fearless cops - many a time constables, who went with Lathis to counter AK 47 touting insane, conscience-less terrorists, unmindful of the consequences. The policemen have .303 rifles against machine guns. But the call of duty doesn't check for equipment and the men marched forth. Reminded me of our wars in the 1800s against the British - bows and arrows or swords against blazing guns. As a Mumbaikar, and I speak for all of us, we feel that before expecting the police to protect us, we would like to see the policemen better equipped. They too are human beings.

Second - we are appalled at the political apathy. Politicians politicizing such a grave situation, showing a lack of concern and unity in such a situation. Cliched statements using standard words like 'dastardly', 'heinous', 'barbaric' are surfacing over and over in the media, with such totally hollow, meaningless sentences being made by practically every politician. Some politicians are so brazen as to resort to election rhetoric in the midst of this crisis. 'We need not worry about those who have come through boat, but must worry about those who have come from vote.' - was one such horrifyingly brazen message during this time of crisis. As a Mumbaikar, I am flabbergasted, disgusted at such behavior.

But most importantly we thank the Commandos of the NSG, the army, the Marcos, the Air Force and the police for putting an end to this mayhem. Getting a fighter helicopter to hover over a congested residential area to air drop reinforcements, the commandos smoothly combing every floor and carrying out the rescue operations while minimizing, in fact totally avoiding civilian damage, the fearless cops responding to cries of help, and finally members of the law enforcement agencies performing the supreme sacrifice. What can I say. Thanks to them I can write this post feeling totally secure.

Tomorrow life will be back to normal. But the spirit of Mumbai has been shaken, but now, we will take no more. We no longer wish to be the calm, composed, all-enduring city to bear terror attack after terror attack with the patience of a grand mother. And now, we as Mumbaikars are angry, hurt and we demand answers and action.

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