Tag Archives: Mumbai terror

CNN and my sore hand

I am happy that CNN is doing an almost end to end coverage of the Mumbai Shootings, but I wish they wouldn’t spin random stories and talk about people’s feelings and console with a crying reporter on air. I realize that being objective is a tough thing, but people asking the crying reporter how she was able to keep in touch with Americans and how she was able to console them is not reporting and definitely not something that needs to be done on air. NDTV is reporting that they are not carrying live pictures and live information about army movement to protect the troops and to comply with authority requests and the CNN reporter is going on and on about ow she is not being informed, how nothing is coming out and how it is impossible to make sense of anything. She was also talking about how the hostages became thirsty and could not drink tap water because they could possible die from contamination…and how it was a catch 22 situation.

It is a slow operation, and the commandos are showing they are more than capable of handling it, if only they were allowed to do their job. It is difficult to go room to room in a multi storey hotel , knock on each room, convince people to get out, all while making sure the casualty rate is kept low and as many hostages are removed alive. There was delay, and sometimes sloppy agreed. But there has to be some degree of understanding from the media and the people. If India refuses military aid from Israel or America, it has a reason, it is not something to be pitied. They make it sound as if we are being pig headed in refusing aid. India is a huge country with a huge population. If citizen rights were totally clamped and religion was totally prohibited from public eye, maybe things would be different. The west needs to understand that. They were shown to be incompetent too, after the WTC attacks prior to 9/11 and the other attacks, they still proved to be vulnerable. Britain showed itself to be vulnerable. Give us a break.

In the same breath, I think the Indian Government absolutely need to pull their socks up. This just will not do. As much as I admire the resilience of Mumbaikers, resilience should be shown in preventing another attack and not in forgetting the previous ones. There is an urgent need for Indians as a collective population to stand up and demand that the government pay attention, clean itself up and demand we be given a voice in the system. There is no meaning in pointing fingers, sitting under a blanket of denial and cry woe betide me or blame the colonial past. We need to move forward. We need to change the politics of the country. We cannot be running aorunf the congress , BJP circle. There needs to be a new India.

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The Killing winds of November

Being a non-Mumbaiker, I have always found Mumbai to have a sort of mad character to it. Compared to the calm of Coimbatore, it had a happy chaos to it. A chaos which people thrived on. I am still not sure if I love it or hate it. I do however admire it, a lot. The idea that so many people can live peacefully on seven island pasted together. Inspite of the many terrorist attacks and bombings and what not, it has managed to retain that beauty of its madness and yet yesterday and today, I wonder and actually hope it will change. Sometime it doesn’t take a lot for resilience to turn into apathy and when people come on TV or paper and say we will get through this or we will not let this stop us, does it at some level turn into, “Not again, this is horrifying, let’s hold a candle. Ok Done, move on”

Where are the Raj Thackerey’s of the world. Is he writing an elaborate post on how this is actually the work of Biharis and people who don’t belong to Mumbai. Why did Manmohan Singh not come on TV almost immediately, instead we get some sort of pithy statement from Shivraj Patil who looked as if he needed an aspirin and some Oxygen.

The Police were fighting with guns leftover from Colonial India and the terrorists with AK 47’s. They were running around in their thin khaki uniforms without bullet proof vests, without any protection whatsoever. Where is all the money that we give going. A mistake on the date on a trade challan gets the state border people so riled up when my father tries to do some honest business. They demand money and what not and yet, so many were able to get it with guns, explosives and bombs without people batting an eyelid. There are so many laws in this country and yet not one enforced properly, so many people and yet not enough to protest against the government and demand an answer, so many youths whose answer to these crisis often become fleeing to foreign lands. A democracy without people, a democacy without government and a democracy without legs to stand on.

US and British Citizens and being targeted. Israeli rabbi being held. Where were these governments when India was crying itself hoarse over terrorism nd they kept supplying weapons and supplies to various countries. How is the war on terrorism fought if a new cold war is being perpetuated and if arms sales are being encouraged.

Amidst all this there is Cyclone Nisha which not strangely enough is not on the front pages of either CNN IBN or NDTV when I checked a few minutes back. They are talking about the cancelled cricket matches, but this “oh No..not enough viewers. Why the hell are the 64 people in Tamilnadu less important than the 100 in Mumbai. Tamilnadu is the southernmost state in India. We are on the eastern corner bordering Kerala and the Bay of Bengal and have Srilanka to the south, and no not all of us are called Madrasis and not all of us eat Idli dosai everyday. It is irritating when people think India ends with Bangalore and think we are a separate country. Can you blame us if we have some irritation. I am not in anyway comparing a nature’s wrath to a few men’s dissatisfaction with life in general, all I am angry about is that it is in some way considered less of a news than anything else. So is news from the North Eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Manipur and so on. Half the people don’t even know the states that make up that region. What have they done. Is it Democracy if a fourth of the population are forgotten or if half the population are just not considered “INDIAN” enough.

My rant aside, this needs to be taken seriously. I mean people should not walk away thinking they are being resilient, they should stand up and demnad more, demand a better government “For the people, by the people and of the people”