Friday, November 26, 2010

Mumbai is still Magnificent

Beautiful sight of Taj Mahal Palace hotel right across Gateway of India, reminded me of 26 Nov 2008 terrorist attacks. Suddenly I felt sad for all innocent people who lost their lives. Suddenly I felt sad for friends and families of security and police personnel who lost their loved ones trying to save others. Renovated within two years, Taj Mehal Palace’s restored parts opened on 15th August 2010, just a month after my trip.


Resilient and hard working people of India will continue to rebuild the shattered buildings, but several questions remain unanswered:

•For how long India will continue to mourn deaths of innocent civilians and not take a firm actions? My guess is not very long. India will try diplomacy first but knows how to use force.

•Is death penalty to a single terrorist caught during the act enough? How about the master mind(s) that planned this gruesome act? Assuming co-operation from co-operatives of terrorists sounds na├»ve but may be the first option.

•Safe or unsafe, Indians and Non Resident Indians will continue to live, visit and enjoy India but has Government taken concrete steps to improve the security? Increased security at hotels and airports certainly made us feel secure.

Your thoughts?

29 comments:

Harman said...

The security is very tight...most of the five stars..and on airports also BUT...there are still no corrective measures taken to slap the terrorists or create fear for killings...KASAB..that sample is still alive..and nothing has been done..WHY?is he national hero?? many soldiers lost their lives ...for what?their parents to see this idiot everyday?? and read his comments..I mean...he should be hanged..and a lesson for everyone ...Remember Saddam Hussein how he was hanged?it was in news all the time..publicly shown .."no messing around otherwise these are the consequences" was the message to everyone.
India has to be strong and put forces to use for slapping these terrorist coming from neighboring countries!!

A said...

@Harman,

I FULLY AGREE with you. Lived in cantonments all my life and have seen real soldiers and saw their sufferings...I endorse your idea...hang now...no messing around with us..message needs to be clearly sent.

Bikramjit Singh Mann said...

yes my thoughts i wentand saw all the places the next year it was sad but hey we are indians we will one day hopefully with good leadership get it sorted fingers crossed :)

NRIGirl said...

In all places I have been around in India, Bombay is one place where I didn't feel very safe.

I guess it is the crowd that worries me - It is too packed.

Hopefully a huge chunk of the economical growth is invested in establishing security around crowded cities like Bombay.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Such beautiful buildings, and yes, I remember the bombings and how sad they were.

Does India have the death penalty? And you raise an interesting point: is it effective to punish the small criminal that was caught when the masterminds remain free?

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

And where's this post about China? ; )

chitra said...

The commandos are getting trained to handle situation like 26/11 .the saddest part is, only 40% are having bullet proof vests. Money is wasted on unnecessary things. Only if a small percentage of that is spent well we would be in a better position .

Punam said...

Yes, it is this laid-back attitude of Indians that is disconcerting, but what can an average man do, except fear for his life?

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Brilliant post. I like what you have written in your comments section- hang now-no messing around with us- the message needs to be sent clearly.
And I also particularly like your last paragraph- safe or unsafe, Indians and NRI's will continue to live and visit India.
Yes, the government does need to take more concrete steps.

Neeha said...

We have innumerable tourists places,any time any place might be attacked.Increasing security is not an easy task and practically impossible.
But we need to take the maximum possible steps,so we don't loose our national heritage.

Choco said...

Security is not 'tight'. Checks made at the entrance of the underground railways in my city is such a sham. They just pick out random people and glance through their bags. Same goes for checks at the entrance of malls etc. How well trained are the local police? What kind of ammunition are they provided? What kind of facilities does people of the security force get? How secure is the average tax paying citizen?

Another disaster waiting to happen? I hope not.

A New Beginning said...

Brilliant post A, totally agree with you!

Whirlwind said...

nice post!!

Insignia said...

I am a hapless young Indian hoping for some improvement in our living standards.

dr.antony said...

Safety is an illusion.It is impossible to fight those who are willing to kill themselves to kill others.We have to fight the cause.And in our political set up,it is not possible.Minority appeasing is the main game of our politics.They will protect the minorities,who cares about the lives of others!

Ria said...

I don't want to comment on this topic coz i know there's no point in us discussing this....nothing can happen till the time we have country which takes security so lightly! Its sad that this happened but at the same time i cant say that this will never happen again.

I am sorry i am bitter abt this whole thing coz i live in mumbai and i have seen near ones go thru this ordeal.

Pop Culture Curry said...

One wonders, does increased safety make one feel safer or actually more aware of the threat and as a consequence make us a more afraid ? Never forget the aim of terror is to strike fear in the hearts of human beings - and with such questions, all we are doing is realising the desires and aims of these very terror attacks.

I am from Mumbai. I love my city. I cannot blame a government I was responsible for electing, if it has failed, it is because I failed as a citizen.

It is a easy to point fingers - the big question is what are we as citizens doing to change out country, our city, our attitude ?

A while after the attacks, there was a peace rally at the Gateway - I was there. It was amazing, powerful, the city came together in it power and resilience. But then the crowd started dissing Pakistan, a whole bunch of nasty sentiments rang out, including the desire to go to war. To me that represented the worst of the country. The need to rush headlong into blaming Pakistan, and wanting to fight with them. Yes the terrorists were Pakistani, No, we should not tolerate any of their bullshit, what we need is a game of skillful diplomacy. Not war and a bazillion riots in Mumbai.

Apologies for the ramble :D

SG said...

Nice post. We have to get rid of the corrupt politicians and bring on new honest ones.

sm said...

for rich class is great
about poor class is same.
death can come from any where.
so why to worry about place.
exception is war zone

R. Ramesh said...

i luv mumbai boss. a gr8 city with gr8 people from all over india and the world..salaam amchi mumbai..

....Petty Witter said...

Always interesting to hear of these things first hand - I am always shocked of how much we don't get to hear on the world news.

A said...

@Bik, I agree. One day things will be smooth in India. I am very hopeful.

@NRIGirl, Mumbai is very safe place. It is busy and a lot of people but I found it very safe. Terrorism is a different aspect. We were on the street in Mumbai at midnight and did not feel unsafe at all.

@Emily, In my opinion if someone wants to see historical buildings, Europe and India are the places to visit. Yes India has death penalty. Working on China post. It is on my list of things to do.

@Punam, hopefully things will improve.

@Kiran, Thank you for great appreciation.

@Neeha, I agree. We have a lot of heritage and we need to protect.

@Choco, I travel around the world and I think India still has more security than other places. But I agree we have to do more.

@Sana, thanks.

@Whirliwind, thanks.

@Insignia, I think people like you are going to improve India. You are already doing it. Being a technocrat with the knowledge of issues, you are working hard to improve your life and lives of people around you.

@Dr.Antony, I am not sure if minority appeasing has been the main aim of politicians. I was a minority in India and never thought government worked for me. With terrorism, there is no real cause. Terrorist don’t want to resolve any problem. They just want to fight. Kashmir problem has been discussed so many times but no one really wants to solve it. Terrorists have one goal, kill and get killed. Master minds need to be addressed and they are openly claiming to help terrorists. (See statements from Musharf). Indian government is trying diplomacy and will try force if required.
@Ria, I can completely understand your ordeal. Watching from outside is different and easy. Living it every day is so painful. That is why we salute everyone living in Mumbai.

@PPC, very good comments. India is indeed trying diplomacy and it might work. What if it does not work? You have to give credit that there were no riots or Hindu/Muslim violence after the 26/11. People are peacefully waiting.

@SG, yes. People will do it.

@SM, I agree. Poor people suffer more.

@Ramesh, I completely agree. Mumbai is an awesome place with very nice people.

@PW, always interesting to see what people are saying on the street.

BK Chowla, said...

Bombay is magnificent not because of Congis, it is in spite of them and only because of spirit of Bombay

Haddock said...

Giving corporal punishment to the one caught is of no use. Its the master minds behind him that need to be pulled up. Keeping up the pressure with international help is one way.

tanvii.com said...

We are resilient but I think we need to be more firm and believe more in action than mere policies. Most of us move on but the common man [who is was affected directly] I am sure is still bearing its burden!

Anonymous said...

Really , what "SECURITY MEASURES"???? There is no security measures taken for a common man in Mumbai. I am from Mumbai , and the truth is we face everything , people dying because of flooding during rain, what measure did government take for that. I didn't see any during next year flooding. OH yes we are mumbaikars and we faced with so called Famous Mumbai Spirit. Then comes Train bombing , the trains are empty for two days , again its filled with people, what security measures are taken , two police walas with danda or rusted ,old guns, ancient guns thats it. OK then finally comes 26th nov. Pathetically handled by police, because as our mumbai police chief said at that time, we are more used to handling dead bodies after an incident but we are not equipped to handle situations like this. We can not blame police for that, we had many heroic police officers who died in the line of duty. But again what security measures are taken. Five stars hotels are guarded ?? really ?? What about us the common man. The truth might hurt but we are still as prone to any terrorist attack as we were before 26th nov. and please I so strongly dislike it when people say we face it with "Mumbai Spirit" , in common man's terms it is called "Mazboori", we have to go to work and if we are going from Borivali to church gate what other option we have than take the train? how long can we avoid it? there is no other option. we have to live our daily life, with fate in the hands of God. Face it, we have no choice.
Yes , our Mumbai Spirit is that we help each other, be it rain flooding, train blast or 26th nov. we have a spirit to help each other.When we cling to the stairs of train , there are ten hands from inside the train pulling you. That is Mumbai spirit , which till now I have never seen in any other city.
Mumbai people are winners and mumbai government a Big Loser.

Sanji

A said...

Anonymous (Sanji),

I feel your pain. Honestly, your comments made me very emotional.

I was just a tourist there. It is easier for outsider to make judgments because they are not going through the real pain. I completely agree with you.

Though, I have no fact based means to agree or disagree, emotions/passions in your comments clearly indicate that you are absolutely right.

I believe every word that you wrote.

Thanks for posting these comments.

Shobha said...

No place on Earth is safe these days.
Safe or unsafe we all love our motherland.
Happy to be back here after living in many countries.
HOME SWEET HOME.

A said...

Shobha,

I agree. Home sweet home :))