Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terror in Mumbai - again

Terror hits Mumbai. AGAIN! As we speak. Bizarre! Gun firing and low intensity explosions. AGAIN!! The last time I checked, there were 5 instances, and now, as I write this, the count of attacks is 7. And still counting? I don't know. The attacks are at one of the most upmarket places in Mumbai - India rather. Shootings, explosions - typical of the barbaric acts of terrorism. To add on to the chaos, we have a hostage-like situation at the Taj, and there are terrorists inside the Cama hospital. At least 165 people are injured and the news is still coming in.

But as we speak this, the nagging question remains. A question for which there has been no answer. WHY? And WHY AGAIN AND AGAIN. We in Mumbai have the distinctive dishonor of having 'hosted' numerous terror attacks. Serial bomb blasts in theaters, crowded localities, the stock exchange, trains, trauma centers and so on. And now, in the Central Railway terminus and a number of key South Mumbai hotels. Why? What is anyone trying to prove? Does God welcome murderers and killers in through the pearly gates of paradise? Does providential justice never get dispensed? Do policemen not have families? Or are the lives of innocent people less important than religion or fanaticism? Why do we always resort to a reactive response to terrorism and internal security? Why do we always have news reports of disregarded intel coming in 3 days after a terror attack? Why only my city again and again?

They say that what cannot be cured, needs to be endured. So if we can't stop the terrorists, we look to the positive part of the city's spirit. We are now so attuned to a life of terror attacks that we treat every experience as a learning exercise, and treat the lost lives as an oblation to the anti-terror learning pyre. But we maintain that as a city we can never be cowed down. Tomorrow will be business as usual. A minute for the lost lives and then back to the jostling on the local train, the haggling with the rickshaw driver, the unending honking on roads that are perennially under construction. So, we hold the notoriety of having had the maximum number of terror attacks in an urban milieu, while priding ourselves on the fact that city is the epitome of Gandhian philosophy. If hit once, we show the other cheek and so on and on and on....

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