I don’t think the Mumbai Terror Attack of Nov 26, 2008, is something that anyone can easily forget – not only Mumbaikars or other Indians, but anyone who has remote connections to India. (Probably the whole world, but I do not know how keenly the World followed the 60-hour drama which claimed a lot of innocent and brave lives.)
Indian Media (with a touch of pride, I suspect) called it India’s 9/11 (“Why does the US have all the fun?!”) and petnamed it “26/11”.
One TV channel carried discussions titled “Enough is Enough”, debating on whether Enough is really Enough, or there is more to Enough to attain the Ultimate Enough.
There were candlelit crowds around Martyr’s Monuments and War Memorials in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and elsewhere, grieving, burning posters of politicians who did not heed the Intelligence flimsies that had hinted at such an attack.
Heads rolled, Ministers were ousted, Resignations, Finger-pointing, Tough dialogue-deliveries and other melodrama were enacted. Everyone stirred and sat up with an excited pounding of the heart to hope (though History has shown repeatedly that in some cases, hope is a misplaced emotion) that a Change is coming. (The Change that did come, happened to land in the US.)
All that lasted for perhaps a month. Or two. People went back to their lives – except those who lost their dear ones, for whom the life that was ripped apart could never be stitched together again. If we start talking about them – the victims, the martyrs and their families – ten blogs won’t be enough.
The Politicians went back to their seats with a sigh of relief: Whew. That was tough, but that is now behind us.
And the lone terrorist who was caught (on camera and) by the NSG? Oh, he is right now enjoying life in some obscure maximum-security prison, stuffing himself with biriyanis and sipping soft drinks, reading books, appearing once in a while to a remote Indian court, weeping and grinning in the public eye, making contradictory statements that the newspapers carry on Page-1, managing to make an absolute mockery of Indian Judicial System, telling himself that “this is the life, back in the village it was Hell”, while folks around the world shake their heads in admiration at the justice even a terrorist gets in the Great Nation of India (he even has an Indian advocate to defend him!).
As always, six to eight months after 26/11, there was a dip in everyone’s interests because nothing worth a paise was happening, Kasab’s court jests retreated to inner pages and smaller columns, and there were other juicy scams, controversies, internal terrorism and gossip to worry about. All of a sudden, very close to the first anniversary, appears Mr.’Head’ley who apparently has a mixed-up Pak-American head on his shoulders, who had been agitating his friends to “retaliate against India” for God-knows-what. So the Press picks it up as well, as a First Anniversary tribute, and runs pages upon pages on him. Will this trail die out the way others did?
A lesson that the media was taught from the 26/11 episode was never to telecast live operations of the kind because the terrorists were getting a live feed of NSG’s movements, whereas the NSG did not have any way of knowing their location. But whether the media learnt their lesson remains to be seen.
God save my Nation.
Post Script. One remembers the justice that Saddam Hussein got; and he was not even responsible for 9/11.
God save my Nation. Seems only he can save this nation.
26/11 – perfect day to hang ajmal kasab. I have the feeling, we are treating him too nice. However we are indians-"adithi devo bhava"
On my Facebook page..a friend started me off with a thanksgiving thot for each day and I've been doing it religiously evey single day. Today I felt it tough to be thankful for anything. The images of tht day are chilling even now. However… I did have something to be thankful for. I felt thankful for that thing called forgiveness which helps us to move on. You will not believe it but I ahve been getting rejoinders to that of friends expressing anger and no forgiveness. But somewhere deep down inside…its our intrinsic nature as Indians to be able to overcome and move on. What has the eye for an eye policy of the west achieved. The hand that feeds the mouth has been turned against. I strongly and sincerely feel its not the way. We are intrinsically right even if we make unholy blunders. What can we do as citizens apart from holding candles and making a chain on this one day to give a bit of ourselves to make this world a safe place. Do we still believe in the power of the collective to really make a difference. If so… then let us be it.
Kasab should have been dealt with months ago. Whats the point in wasting time and money with him (like Thackery said, u'd posted in one of your previous posts).
BTW: I think Kasab was caught by the local police, way before the NSG even started to pack their bags.
1. Indian media called it 26/11 because of the belief that all thing 'American' is superior, so much for imagination and originality. Remember we have termed our film industry Bollywood and now I hear there's Kollywood and Tollywood too.
2. Obama made that – 'Enough is Enough' during his famous speech at the Democratic convention where he was nominated as the Democratic contender for the Presidential race, the media back there and I suspect here too went in tizzy, gushing the way he delivered those three words. So one more lame attempt to copy.
3. Kasab should not be hanged without a trial, however slow and ridiculous our judicial system is, but as long as we have this system, we should follow the rule of the law. If we don't, there's no difference between us and those primitives and please no trial by media, the fourth estate in India is as cynical and unreliable as the politicians.
I would not be surprised if more such incidents occurred in future though i dont like those incidents and hate. But lack of political will and vote bank politics ensure that to happen again. They are yet to take any decision to hang one convicted in the parliamentary blast and now Kasab is being fed keewab and biriyani. This is India and weak political systems. In the last ten years no conviction was done and nor anyone sent to jail or hanged. Shit! We as common men bear the brunt always and they ensure insecurity to our lives.
Dame it. Hang them if you have courage what's the use of remembrance when politicians out there in New Delhi have got different design in their minds.
GK & Jaggz, Thank you very much for posting your thoughts and opinion.
Shalini: There is (or should be?) a limit to our patience and forgiveness; but whether we forgive or not, we have to move on! Thanks for sharing your views.
Anup: You are right, the local police had arrested Kasab from Girgaum Chaupatty as he was fleeing in a jeep, and not the NSG from the Taj. I had forgotten! Thanks for pointing it out.
Nikhil: Your are right about Kasab's trial, but the thought that 31 crore has been spent on him makes our blood boil!
thatlovedflower: Let's hope that though it does not appear so, incidents such as these will not occur in our future or our children's.
Great summary of the events during the past year!
Crowds carrying candles seems to be the fashion nowadays, making people think they are doing something when they are really not.
The candle-carrying crowd from South Bombay could not be bothered to come out to vote in the Lok Sabha elections, though!
Here's hoping that such attacks can be thwarted in future…
Nice post, Jeena. Congrats for the Blogadda pick!
Manju: Thanks for your comment. I think, your first visit here? You are right, the candle-lighting has a certain charm that voting doesn't have.
Gopinath: Thank you!!