Archive for the ‘terror attacks’ Category

NOT India’s 9/11

Ingrid Srinath has a fantastic post on citizensforpeace

It is my home. The city that used to pride itself on being the most cosmopolitan, the most tolerant of difference. Where, as a young girl or grown woman, I could wander the streets, ride the buses, eat out, hang out whenever and wherever I felt like. Where I wasn’t labelled or judged by my religious beliefs or political leanings. Where the people who mattered were not defined by their net worth but by their contribution to the city’s quality of life. A city whose best and brightest aspired to careers in law, journalism, the arts and yes, the police, the bureaucracy and politics.

Read the entire post here.

Also read Priyanka Josheph’s comments below the post.

Dilip D’Souza: Under Siege

Dilip D’Souza, brilliant journalist and good friend writes in the Washington Post

 

We’re in wait-and-watch mode here outside the Trident hotel on the seafront in Mumbai, where terrorists have killed and wounded hundreds and are still battling police and commandos. We’ve all seen the horrific images — fires, explosions, bodies, shootouts on streets so familiar that it’s a punch in the gut to see them like this. It’s why we’re here. Yet in front of the Trident, where terrorists are still holed up hours after this outrage began, very little is happening. I’ve met people anxious about relatives, journalists desperate for news — and also bystanders offering their varied and peculiar takes.

Read the entire article here.

Suketu Mehta: Amchi Mumbai

Suketu Mehta writes a lovely Op-Ed in the NYTimes.

Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction. From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it. I once asked a Muslim man living in a shack without indoor plumbing what kept him in the city. “Mumbai is a golden songbird,” he said. It flies quick and sly, and you’ll have to work hard to catch it, but if you do, a fabulous fortune will open up for you. The executives who congregated in the Taj Mahal hotel were chasing this golden songbird. The terrorists want to kill the songbird.

 

Continue reading here.

Reactions from the Blog World

In the whole news cycle about the terror attacks, the blogosphere has been ignored a bit. Here are a few must-reads.

Prem Panicker

As I stepped into the elevator, it struck me why that hug felt odd. The wife wasn’t hugging me. She was trying, in her own helpless fashion, to hug this wounded city that has been home to us for 19 years. I suspect similar scenes, similar gestures, are playing out across homes and hearts throughout Mumbai.

Rahul Bhatia, a good friend [and ex-Metblog Mumbai blogger]

 It struck me then, and by struck I mean a deeper realization, that men like this care for nothing, for no human effort or endeavor with meaning, and they care not for the struggles and ambitions and dreams and so much pain that every man woman and child has come through to survive life, for theirs is an unthinking effort of destruction and despair, and there is no talking to them, for we cannot even be from this planet.

Amit Varma, a good friend [and ex-Metblog Mumbai Author]

It struck me then, and by struck I mean a deeper realization, that men like this care for nothing, for no human effort or endeavor with meaning, and they care not for the struggles and ambitions and dreams and so much pain that every man woman and child has come through to survive life, for theirs is an unthinking effort of destruction and despair, and there is no talking to them, for we cannot even be from this planet.

Udayan Tripathi

But we can’t naively carry on. To enjoy life like this, made up of the things we savour from vibrant cities like Bombay, we need to be protected. 94.6% of sixty thousand respondants at NDTV.com say it is time for India to enact stringent laws to curb terror. That’s quite a mandate, but I believe they are wrong. They suggest following the example laid down by the United States after the 11th of September, 2001. This includes a Department for Homeland Security and a Transportation Security Administration. Security is a wonderful word. At times like these, reading it in bold typeface across buildings and on cloth seals pinned to the shoulders of frowning men, it make us feel safe.

Dina Mehta, a good friend 

 
Embedded video from CNN Video

Under Attack: In Images

Some mind-numbing images of the past two days.

A reporter talks on her phone as smoke is seen coming from Taj Hotel in Mumbai November 27, 2008. Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the top of the landmark Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday and heavy firing could be heard, a Reuters witness said. (REUTERS/Arko Datta)

A reporter talks on her phone as smoke is seen coming from Taj Hotel in Mumbai November 27, 2008. Large plumes of smoke were seen rising from the top of the landmark Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday and heavy firing could be heard, a Reuters witness said. (REUTERS/Arko Datta)

Check out all the images here. (Note: some have graphic content)
[Hat tip: Dina Mehta via Facebook]

Mr. Terrorist, What A Coward You Are!!!

By Noshir H. Dadrawala

I had flown in from Hong Kong around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday 26th November and had planned to leave for Sri Lanka the same night. I had broken journey in Mumbai only so that I could attend the new Parsi Punchayet Board’s meeting with Mr. Nusli and Mr. Ness Wadia. I left Neville House around 9 p.m. and went home for a quick bite before continuing for the airport. As I was about to leave, news about the terror attacks began to filter in. Initially it looked like only two of Mumbai’s best hotels in South Mumbai were under siege. But, soon enough there were reports of two blasts in my own neighbourhood in Mazagaon. The taxi that blew up in Andheri was reportedly headed for the International Airport. My travel program reluctantly had to be aborted.

Continue reading here.

CNN Talking Heads Spew Utter Nonsense

CNN International has some security “expert” being interviewed by another stand-in newsreader. They are showing a video of a NSG commando shooting his rifle one-handed. He was shooting into a window at Nariman House where the terrorists were holed up. 

The security expert was all over himself criticizing how this was so shoddy and he could not imagine any police officer in the US doing something so amateurish. 

He then goes on to say that he is shocked that the city had no plans for the hotels and other buildings that were easily available to the Command Center.

My one question to this asshole….have you forgotten the disaster that ws Hurricane Katrina. And I dont mean the natural disaster, but the one that was created by the inaction of the government in New Orleans.

Where does CNN get these jerks as talking heads.

Go to Your Travel Agent, Buy a Ticket, Go to Mumbai

CNN International is interviewing Jonathan Ehrlich. He was at the Oberoi on the night of the attacks and escaped down 18 floors and jumped into a cab to the airport. He was being interviewed from his home in British Columbia, Canada.

His concluding statement made me swell with pride as a Mumbaiker

Jonathan says 

“I urge everyone to go to their travel agents and get a ticket and go on a vacation to Mumbai. It is an amazing place and the people of Mumbai are the most amazing people in the world. The terrorists are the worst scum of the world and that should not stop us from going to the beautiful city of Mumbai”

(The above is paraphrased a bit)

Reality Show: Terror Mumbai

I got home at around 10pm on Wednesday night. The television was blaring its usual cacophony of detergent operas and soppy suds. Then a relative called to tell us that ‘something big was happening’. We flipped through the channels in quick succession, passing a panel discussion on the consistency of chewing gum (or something that seemed to stretch on similarly), an 80s potboiler complete with gyrating Govinda hips and a tear-jerker selling the benefits of pension plans.

Then we landed on the news channel band. And there it stayed and hasn’t moved since.
(more…)

The Day After: It’s Not Over As Yet

Mumbai awoke this morning (for those who did manage to sleep) to reports of commandos being dropped from helicopters onto the critical locations under attack. There was also a mention that the Taj Mahal hotel was secure but that’s something we heard around midnight yesterday too and it turned out to be a hasty (and inaccurate) wire, since there was still firing coming out from there. Several hostages from Nariman House were either rescued or managed to escape during the course of the night. The media, while hanging around desperately for soundbytes and real news manages to catch a glimpse at the most of the action and tries to piece some sense of it, often going in the wrong direction.

Later this morning, there was a sudden buzz that (more…)

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