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India Remembers Horrifying Mumbai Terror Attacks

26/11. Image by Flickr user -g-r-a-c-e-. Used under a Creative Commons License

26/11. Image by Flickr user -g-r-a-c-e-. Used under a Creative Commons License

One year ago, Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital came under a well-coordinated terrorist attack that lasted for 3 days. Downtown Mumbai, or “town” as it is popularly known was the target of 10 young men who reportedly arrived by boats from Pakistan and attacked the railway station, the main artery for commuters and a series of luxury hotels, a popular bar and a Jewish home. At least 200 people died in the attack and at least 308 people were injured. All but one young Pakistani attackers survived. That lone survivor Kasab is in India and has been the primary source of information about the attack. Nobody has claimed the body of the 9 young men, who launched the attack and paralysed Mumbai.

Only one word, fear! Collage by Flickr user Keerthi. Used under a Creative Commons License

Only one word, fear! Collage by Flickr user Keerthi. Used under a Creative Commons License

For three days people around the world witnessed the brutal carnage unfold on their television sets. In hindsight it appears that the 10 young men were receiving instructions from a source in Pakistan on how to execute the attack.

Earlier today on the eve of the first anniversary of 26/11 the Government of Pakistan announced that it has charged seven suspects for organizing the attack. The seven arrested men have not pleaded guilty to the charge according to reports.

Madhavi at The Trajectory blog writes that Pakistan's actions comes after a year of “vehement denial” of the attacks. She continues:

“The most high profile name among those charged is Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, head of the banned militant group Laskar-e-Taiba.”

Madhavi's post has an interesting twist in the end when she asks:

“Pakistan has handed India an anniversary gift for 26/11 in the form of Lakhvi & company’s verdict; the people of India are still hoping to receive forgotten anniversary gifts. March 13th 1993, December 13th 2001, July 11th 2006, November 26th 2008…how many more strikes do we need before even a single mastermind of these terrorist attacks is punished by the Government of India?”

Nita at A Wide Angle View of India wonders why are the foot soldiers (the Mumbai police) being blamed for doing an effective job in staving off the attack? It is not the foot soldiers that need to be blamed, but the top politicians and security folks of Mumbai. She writes:

“So many died in vain, but not a single person has taken responsibility for the carnage. We need to mourn the dead, but we also need to ask for the answers. It is the top cops and the politicians who are to blame. For the lack of coordination and action. It is really pathetic and in really bad taste to see television channels blast the foot soldiers. Try and shame those poor unequipped men who had rifles that were rusted, men who ran helter skelter because they had no leader to direct them. Men who weren’t even sure where the terrorists were, how many there were, what they were up to. [...]

The foot soldiers in Mumbai had nothing. If some of them ran, let us not blame them.”

While there were lots of articles written and many recommendations made in the immediate aftermath of 26/11 not much progress has happened, writes Filter Coffee. He writes:

“Sadly, barring a few cosmetic rearrangements, not much has changed in India, and no one, least of all Mumbaikars seem to care.”

Nyaypati Gautam of India Story appears to echo the feelings of Filter Coffee about the lack of change in the past year. But, he wonders what it is that he can do to bring about some change? He writes:

“We continue to be as apathetic as before. If any terror strike were to happen today I fear that the same things would get re-enacted. I hope I have got it wrong but I have a dirty feeling that I am not. It is so frustrating. What can I do to channelise this anger in a meaningful way?”

Many people used Twitter to share news and express their opinions. Here are a few examples of those messages:

RodrigoRMorais: USA Today is saying “Mumbai commemorates one-year anniversary of terror attacks”. What is there to commemorate about?

aniljayakumar: A minute for Mumbai………….

NitinNDTV: all of us will forever remember 26/11,but let's not forget victims of earlier attacks & the brave men who continue to die in defending India

madhavgk: Politicians abused after 26/11 last year… politicians abused after 26/11 this year… nothing changes in Indian politics!

nsohanlal: 26/11 Jingoism on twitter today… Alas will be forgotten as a mundane Monday come Sunday!

For more background information on the 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks please go to our special coverage page.
  • http://joezachs.blogspot.com/ Joe Zachs

    There is a drastice reduction in the blame game. And its because they (authorities) have realised that the people are really angry and can overthrow them in a jiffy.
    Saw Mr Chidambaram on the TV fielding questions. I think he is doing a good job at the present difficult circumstances. Like he said “what you see is an accumulated neglect which has to be sorted out”

  • http://N/A Saqlain Kabadia

    The media can help in the fight against terrorism by making an optimistic overview / report on how effectively Pakistan is saying no to terrorism. Instead of remembering the Mumbai attacks which were accused to be that planned by Pakistan, the media can show the world how effectively we are fighting terrorism and condemn it. There will be no questions asked after the success in the Swat operation and now the ongoing activity in South Waziristan.

  • Pingback: Stones Cry Out - If they keep silent… » Things Heard: e95v1

  • M.V.Sankaran

    In the light of the above post, I am reminded of a book on anger management that analyzed the ‘ABC’ of anger management. Anger (‘A’) arises at the senseless violence of the perpetrators of the said tragedy and against the masterminds thereof. The belief (‘B’) is strong that Pakistan is the source from which such terror attacks take place. It is difficult to control (‘C’) the reaction thereto–to hit out at the ‘enemy’ country which is the haven for terrorists. But debate (‘D’) there has to be and discernment that not all persons in that country are our enemies and an equilibrium (‘E’) state has to be reached whereby remedial steps can be taken and justice vindicated by bringing the culprits to book. At least an endeavor should be made in that direction without further delay. Pakistan is under an obligation to do so.

    • masihi banda

      Sankaran,

      “The Draconian Monster”

      I tend to agree with you somewhat but not entirely. You are tackling something that is not so simple, or can be solved by your (A, B, C, D, & E) analysis. We are dealing here with a monstrous ideology that is deeply rooted in glorified terror and violence since the ancient of times. I am afraid, It can not be easily dragged and cured in a anger-management-clinic. This ancient belief in the Moongod Allah and it’s ruthless draconian rules of practice is just that. It is embedded in the hearts of every Muslim who is willing to die for it’s honor with a promise of seven virgins in heaven; it’s roots are so deep that only a revolution of gigantic proportions could bring it back to the civilized world. I am very skeptical however that such positive changes will occur in Pakistan or in the Muslim world anytime soon. These terrorists are shackled by their own deceptive belief system which allows them no freedom of reasoning. Unfortunately, this ideology has a potential of destroying itself and the world we know. This ideology mixed with weapons of mass destruction could manufacture a fatal cocktail of doom and gloom for all humans on earth. The signs of which are beginning to emerge all around us, even in India. Without a doubt, if unchecked this monster could devour the entire world.

  • Ramprakash

    All religions state the same underlying knowledge, though in different forms. I beleive that the paths(of diff religions) to be different but the the final destination of all these paths to be one.But, by a matter of fact, people fight over these paths. it’s jst like fighting for the peel of the banana than for the fruit itself. And I also beleive that evil people exist everywhere and they cannot be bifercated into religions, caste, race or creed. I cannot claim all hindus to be good and all muslims to be bad , or i cannot apply this rule to any other religion for that matter. So primarily, it is not just on their part, but we ourselves should also abstain from marginalising people based on their religion. But, at the same time, we should focus more on actually catagorising people based on their nature and deeds…primarily as good and evil. If we start dealing with things in this context, i beleive we can contribute meaningfully in creating a much better place for the humanity to thrive in

  • Ramprakash

    With regards to the mumbai carnage, i share similar feelings as most people do. But we also need to remember that those 10 youths were also brainwashed on the lines of their religious idealogy. In short they identified the fruit with itz peel than with the fruit itself.Actions on those lines would lead to more and more of negative vibes in the society.Instead of sitting at the top of the tree to find a solution, we need to get to itz roots. Thats where the real solution would lie. Remember the saying ”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. Harbouring negative feelings would lead to negative actions and further negative fallout. Voilence would lead us nowhere. We should get down to the root cause of all these problems and i beleive serious and meaningful dialogue in this respect would do the job much better as the other path(of violence) would only lead to the spillout of even more violence in the society.

  • http://None Murtaza Hassan

    The global image if Pakistan will not be improved till we get rid of extremism from the root. Majority of people of Pakistan are peace loving and tolerant and this needs to be exposed on global level through the help of responsible media.

  • masihi banda

    murtaza
    \Cleaning up the global image\
    The image of Pakistan is tarnished because of its Sharia laws. What makes it even worse is its blasphemy laws. When Quran boldly teaches to eradicate all the infadels, therefore it’s beleivers can not be considered peace loving or tolerant in any shape or form.
    I beleive the Pakistanis themselves have a greater responsibility to change their global image, nobody else is going to do it for you.
    Yes, the media could be biased at times but in Pakistan’s case it may not be so biased. The history of Pakistan’s terrorist acts speaks volumes.

  • http://None Murtaza Hassan

    @Maishi. You are wrong. The religion does not teach to kill the infidels. Islam does not teach extremism Just like Christianity of any other religion does not teach hatred. Islam teaches tolerant and one must go back to the scripture. Some Muslims as of today are on the wrong path and they must be addressed.

    • masihi banda

      murtaza

      You must be kidding me! Do you ever read Quran and Hadees and understand the Sharia laws, are you in denial, or are you one of those among many who memorize the Quranic verses and have yet to understand the meaning of them? Let me tell you Islam both in theory and practice has not shown itself as a religion of peace or tolerance. The evidence of that is everywhere in the world, just open your eyes and see, or ask your Immam. Most of the Muslims tend to play the blame game and continue to justify violence in the name of Allah.

      I could give you hundreds of suras as a reference of intolerance, but would you honestly read it, I don’t think so. Much of Islam is based on the teaching of pre-Islamic moon idol Illah; symbols (moon & star) of whom are proudly displayed on every mosque. For these reasons alone, I don’t think, I could be considered wrong.

      But I love your last statement Murtaza: “Some Muslims as of today are on the wrong path and they must be addressed.” I hope to God somewhere or someone can right the ship of Islam in believing that we are all children of God, and life is a precious gift of God. And no human being on earth has a right to destroy it in the name of God whether Muslim or Christian. Ameen.

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