Friday, December 05, 2008

Finding sense ...

I collate here some of the comments and excerpts from articles that I read after the Mumbai terror episode. Maybe, just maybe, as a group, these thoughts will make some sense amidst the confusion, anger, hopelessness and hate that has gripped the nation.

A placard during the public demonstration outside the TAJ Hotel, Mumbai:

Terrorists don't come by boats alone, they come by votes too.

Excerpt from Mark Tully's BBC column which I found at Itinerant :

The head of the anti-terrorist squad,
who should have been in the control
room, went to the front line and was
shot. Television crews were given
freedom to show pictures of the police
operations which could have provided
valuable information to the terrorists.
It's now also clear that there was a
serious lack of co-ordination between
the intelligence services and the
security forces, including the police
and the coast guards.

Excerpt from Shashi Tharoor's Time of India article :

Indians have learned to endure the unspeakable
horrors of terrorist violence ever since malign
men in Pakistan concluded it was cheaper and
more effective to bleed India to death than to
attempt to defeat it in conventional war. Attack
after attack has proven to have been financed,
equipped and guided from across the border,
the most recent being the suicide-bombing of
the Indian embassy in Kabul, an action publicly
traced by American intelligence to Islamabad's
dreaded military special-ops agency, the ISI.
The risible attempt to claim ‘credit' for the
Mumbai killings in the name of the ‘Deccan Mujahideen'
merely confirms that wherever the killers are from,
it is not the Deccan. The Deccan lies inland from
Mumbai; one does not need to sail the waters of
the Arabian Sea to the Gateway of India to get
to the city from there. In its meticulous planning,
sophisticated co-ordination and military precision,
as well as its choice of targets, the assault on
Mumbai bore no trace of what its promoters tried to
suggest it was — a spontaneous eruption by angry
young Indian Muslims. This horror was not homegrown.

Excerpts from Amitav Ghosh's article in the New York Times which also happens to be my last post :

This has been another terrible year: even before
the invasion of Mumbai, several hundred people
had been killed and injured in terrorist assaults.
Yet the attacks on Jaipur, Ahmedabad, New Delhi,
Guwahati and elsewhere did not set off chains of
retaliatory violence of the sort that would almost
certainly have resulted 10 or 15 years ago. Nor did
the violence create a sense of existential crisis
for the nation, as in 1984. Thus, despite all loss
of life, this year could well be counted as a
victory not for terrorism but for India’s citizenry.

But with each succeeding day, tensions are rising
and the natural anxieties of the inhabitants are
being played upon. Still, this is not a moment for
precipitate action: if India can react with
dispassionate but determined resolve, then 2008 may
yet be remembered as a moment when the tide turned
in a long, long battle. For if there is any one
lesson to be learned from the wave of terrorist
attacks that has convulsed the globe over the
last decade it is this: Defeat or victory is not
determined by the success of the strike itself;
it is determined by the response.

Excerpt from the post 'For Bombay' by Itinerant :

I also like to walk along the Marine Drive when
I am there with the surf hitting over you once
in a while, the stretch of road that resembles
a necklace.

If the walks feel too long, there is always the
local train to try out. Get pushed, push your
self in, stay plastered against other men till
you get lucky and the train clears up, then hang
out of the window and enjoy the salty humid air
hit your face. Watch this
Vivek Oberoi-Rani Mukherjee sequence from Sathiya
to enjoy a feel of the Bombay local train.

I have in the past and still continue to enjoy the
street language of Bombay. Apart from the essential
fact that I like it, like Bombay.The Mafia movies
from the Bombay Film Industry has for long fascinated
a whole generation of us. After watching the
movie, Satya, during my undergraduate days,
talked like the Bhai log's for a week and in
certain moments of life still break into the
'idhar ich aane ka' (come this side).
It is a wonderfully bastardized amalgam of Hindi,
Tamil, Marathi, perhaps Gujarati and has been
perfected in its streets.

He then concludes the piece with this line:

Finally, I would want to hope that all this remains the

To end, another except from the Mark Tully's article :

India is like a great ocean liner that pitches
and rolls precariously but never capsizes as it
sails through tempests in which smaller and less
stable craft would turn turtle.

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