Mumbai in mourning : express YOUR opnion

Posted by Maddy on November 29, 2008
I write this with tearful eyes as I watch the nation salutes its martyrs. The operation in Mumbai has come to an end after sixty hours. I have spent all these hours, like billion others in this planet, following what the enemy would call their most spectacular attack on Indian soil.
I am seething with anger and I am not alone. I have little connection with Mumbai , but does that not mean that I am any less angry.
I believe that we are a great nation with very competent people, but the defining hours from last two days have changed my views. How can so many competent people allow themselves to be ruled by a state which is so callous?
I have lived through this hell since my adulthood, first as a young sikh man who was a soft target for both the police and the militants during days of terrorism in Punjab.
I remember getting out of my house everyday and wondering if I would ever return back to its safety. The militants would drive and spray bullets on all and sundry on streets. Every loud noise would seem like an end. As a young Sikh, one would not know who would get you first, the police or the militants.
Twenty five years later, the grit and intellect of the people of India has transformed India economically. But, the same people have allowed its leaders to continue playing havoc with their lives.
The people of India have chosen to be swayed by leaders, who haven’t been able to provide the very basic that the civil society needs. Security, water, roads, energy and health and education. I have always been proud of Indian Defence forces. But our political leadership with its skewed thinking and narrow vote-based agenda., has reduced even that to tatters…..


……A nation can allow terrorists to strike once, maybe twice but to allow them to strike almost every month in some part of the country causing devastation and loss of human life is only a demonstration of a very weak and clueless nationhood. The fact that we can’t watch our borders and coasts using our enormous human resources (a billion and counting) and scientific talent befuddles me. It’s plain simple callousness. Nothing else explains why and how can we allow unauthorised men, arms and ammunition to be smuggled inside our country. Try doing that anywhere in the west or in china or even in Singapore?
The answers lie in bringing paradigm shift in how we govern. We need to create a brand new police force, greenfield law & judicial systems, national identity system and a much different bureaucracy. The Prime Minister needs to show the same passion and fervour as he did while taking this country on nuclear energy path. He would know that Energy security comes much later than physical security.
In next six months of his term he should do things to permanently change the dynamics of this country which will not win him the next election (and which in any-case he is bound to lose), but the nation will always remain eternally indebted and grateful.
Am I hopeful ? Yes , Do I have a choice?
Posted by Maddy on November 29, 2008

20 Responses to “Mumbai in mourning : express YOUR opnion”

  1. Sekhar says:

    Shekhar, I think we (our govt) should check how the US is able to manage its security which made it possible to deter any attacks on its soil.

  2. North says:

    As in any corrupt system which governs; it can be repaired! Maddy express’s logical solutions, and views shared by billions around the world! Without a good government, there is no safety. Without a good defence-force(army, police, etc.) there can be no negotiation. Those two “sources of corruption” must be tackled first.
    A corrupt government brings havoc to their homelands; the strike in New York on 9/11 resulted from the corruption of USA Government and Military Forces!!
    So yes, I totally agree with Maddy; that those two arena’s which govern a nation must be first addressed.
    I am in Canada – I am not Indian. But, I am a human being; and this diabolical terrorist attack in India; has brought me to my knees.
    Praying for all of us around the world,
    donnadoreen/aka-north

  3. Horst Vollmann says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    The same rage, anger, resentment you now express I felt when I stood 200 feet away from a pile of horror what once used to be the twin towers of the Word Trade Center. People had worked in there with all their aspirations, hopes and their daily ritual to return home to their loved ones at the end of the day. The almost 200 people who lost their lives in Mumbai had the same rights and the world should mourn them just as fiercely for they have died for a twisted, demented cause of a group of remorseless terrorists whose agenda is spreading death at a prodigious rate without any thought of the sanctity of life.
    When a little more than 7 years ago I had berated an inept government and had tried to stay clear of all the conspiracy theories that had begun to sprout like the uncontrolled growth of weed it had started to dawn on me that our lives would never be the same again and that a new era would begin, one in which the curtailment of personal freedom would reign supreme, in which the benefit of the doubt would no longer have any chance to be applied. New forces would take over that would rigorously ignore the individual rights of the ordinary citizen, all in the name of protecting us against the scourge of terror. Abuses abounded and they still do and nobody knows anymore what is perceived or real danger. The day may come when we need to be protected against an apparatus of out of control protectionism, when our drive for a modicum of personal freedom is smothered by the political opportunists who use fear for their unsavory purposes to gain power.
    I know very little about the day to day dynamics of your great country, I have only experienced it on my few journeys there and have developed a life long fascination with its culture and those people who have left an indelible imprint on its history. But I know that it is a giant that is no longer sleeping, economically, culturally, politically. It is rapidly a force to be reckoned with and its leaders may regrettably be lagging behind in their responses to the demands of a fast developing modern society. It always comes at a stiff price to be asking for a stronger hand, for greater security, for abuses of power will be lurking and the spectre of a civil war will never be in the far distance. But ask one must, to stop forces that only want to destabilize, to destroy, to weaken and to instill fear in the hearts of people who would like to live in peace, safety and harmony.
    I pray for your country, for the wonderful people like yourself who so passionately love it and contribute so much to the concept of humanity and who are an inspiration for me.
    With kind regards.
    Horst

  4. Sridhar Iyer says:

    Copying the security measures put in place by other countries might not be optimal. The population and the poverty makes the situation in India unique.. This really calls for a CEOish minister working on a whiteboard with IIT profs (or someone with similar intellect).. away from media. Media can ofcourse be used to spread misinformation but thats about it. (I am all for a free media but if people are given a choice between being in the know and being safe, I think they’ll choose the latter)

  5. Arun says:

    Well, The Prime Minister or his party or his opposition wouldnt get any mileage in improving the police force.. the voters that matter to him wouldnt know about it anyways.
    A quota system for that ‘very important caste’ which would give him an awesome Return On Investment,.. “Announcing 25% Reservation for anybody who belong to this caste/creed/religion”
    .. the yield here, my friend,makes more sense to him! Farm loan waiver, for instance, is one heck of a move to tap ’em all.
    Say like in the last TN Elections, free Color TV’s were promised if the DMK came to power. They won it hands down. Voters are smart. Not like you and me. We dont vote. We analyse, discuss and fume. We neither get that reservation seat in college or a nice free Color TV. We end up getting killed when the terrorist strikes.
    Mumbai, where I live, bleeds today. Things will be ok for sometime. It would continue to bleed when the terrorist is back again.
    As per Security..Wishful thinking… Politics is a tragedy and a comedy. Depends on how you see it. Don’t expect anything out of it. Sad but true.
    And Maddy, your post really made me uncomfortable and hopeful.
    And shekhar sir, your opinion on “Why” of the Terrorism really made me think. People like you can help India a big way. Do help out.

  6. AJ says:

    Eyes full of tears at the Hawan followed by Peace Prayer. Numbed with the visual, thoughts,
    Watching the nightmare, watching, reading it all ..
    India needs to learn and implement a lot from US, how they secure and make citizens to be part of community, to be part of the system.
    One such example is Community classes, Leadership classes … I’ve personally been to many of these and have seen results.
    We all need to learn and implement back home.
    Most people visit US but don’t take much back to implement. I’ve met many politicians, leaders here and been talking about it with them AND will continue doing so, until the CHANGE India and Indians deserve for a secure, Human country, world. Indians have done proud worldwide and needs to work to implement in India. India and US together had been my wish for 10 years, now its happening. This is the ONLY hope for Our World…
    Now we need to make sure that this is happening.
    Together we stand with everyone in this hour of grief, loss and Salute our Heros of today, all who gave us independent India.
    This is the moment India, Indians, and ALL who care for Humanity to act.

  7. AJ says:

    Enough is Enough
    END 9/11
    Its proud to see young generation standing up at this moment, willingness to come forward, participate.
    Watching some of the news showing Youth, conveying the message loud and clear, “Fire on the brave bodies of brave Heroes is, Our hearts are on fire”
    The hope for future is all talented, achievers (Shekhar, Amitabh, ALL likes who care) to help, guide new generation to be part of the Humanity… Shekhar, please plan your next movie to convey the clear message…
    Enough is Enough
    END 9/11

  8. you have said it all sir.
    hope is all we have.

  9. Himanshu says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    What I am looking for is overall greater emphasis on accountability as well as visibility. First, I would like to see a more visible armed police presence all over the major cities – here in New York there is a 40,000 police force just in Manhattan and Mumbai(especially south Mumbai is our Manhattan). Secondly there should be an extremely efficient command control center – it should be operational 24/7 in all major cities with clear instructions on authority and execution procedures. The police should have there own SWAT teams(commandos) besides the NSG which are under central control. Besides that there should be a fully functional ATS webiste with daily/weekly updates, people who we are looking for, numbers to call (everyone should know where to call to give a tip or submit it online). The website should also give updates on tracking the solving of past cases as well as prediction of any potential threats. In additional to that the police needs to work with intelligence in proactively rounding up any cells within the country ahead of time and based on even the smallest intelligence – that would go a long way in deterring them. That’s what the Scotland Yard is doing – they round up people based on the slightest of intelligence and release them if found innocent and that makes plots easier to foil. This should be the main issue in the elections just like food, clothes and shelter that have been issues ever since independence – more people need to vote based on this reason. There should be a anti-terror department in addition to the Home Ministry just like the US formed the department of homeland security with its own minister so that they can exclusively focus on one task. Besides that the coast guard as well as the BSF on the borders with Pak, Nepal and Bangaldesh need make them very secure and the best forces posted there. Most importantly the police should be better trained and one should feel safe to talk to them everywhere in the city – here in NY I love to talk to them and they often address me as Sir and give me directions and help with other things. I feel so good and feel very safe around them and we need to develop something like that in India. And lastly we need to take the help of media and start a national dialogue to access what is driving people to take such actions – let the viewers respond with suggestions and create a national solution.
    What I have said above is a start and with inputs from hundreds of brilliant minds in the country we can definitely come up with a sustainable solution.
    Best Regards,
    Himanshu

  10. AJ says:

    Rally in support of victims of Mumbai Terror attack …
    Dear Friends,
    Join To Pay Homage to the Victims!
    Join To Salute the brave Soldiers of India!
    Join to Condemn the Terrorism!
    Join along with family and friends!!
    We, the coalition against terrorism, share our deep sorrow and anguish atthe recent gruesome terror attack in Mumbai. A Vigil is being organized to pay homage to the victims and their families and to urge the governments of India, US and other countries to pro-actively and comprehensively counter this menace.
    Let’s all gather to express our solidarity with the democracies of the world in this war against terror and pay homage to those innocents who lost their lives in this most savage terror attack since 9/11.
    What: Rally in support of victims of Mumbai Terror attack
    When: Sunday Nov30th, 2008, 2.30pm
    Where: Intersection of Market St. and Powell St., San Francisco
    Organized by the Coalition of Community Organizations United Against Terrorism

  11. AJ says:

    Rally in support of victims of Mumbai Terror attacks and to value Humanity, precious Life on our Planet Earth …
    Let this be a start, motivation for people from all backgrounds, around the world to stand together to fight Terrorism which is against the whole Humanity.
    Everyone needs to find time to organize it everywhere and act for Humanity, Peace …

  12. AJ says:

    Thank You Himanshu for conveying the useful, importnat info for some to start thinking …
    Let this message be spread and not lost here on this page.

  13. ruchi says:

    i am crying dont know what else to do sitting here in usa

  14. Harnoor says:

    Dear Shekhar, I have been following your blog and its now almost a habit…not so much because you are a name people are familiar with, but because you do not mask your opinions in political garb and feel the same as many people I know do.
    As you have been, we all watched this real time drama unfold. As I picked up the paper today, all I saw were funerals and cremations….and it made me as sad as I probably felt walking the streets of Ahmedabad after the earthquake or the Godhra riots. The problem is not that we dont have passionate leaders. Ahmedabad was swayed and turned into a land of mass massacres only due to political motivation. by very able leaders. the problem is that we have too many leaders trying to do too much …and only things that will help them get votes next time around. I do believe that we have a very able defense force and I thank all those who were involved in this operation as well as others who ensure I can sleep peacefully at night.

  15. Sid Singh says:

    Shekhar, what will define our future is what will happen 6 months from now.
    The answer to these 3 questions are critical IMO:
    1. Will the government create a detailed report like the one here (http://www.9-11commission.gov/) and make it public?
    2. Will people, or even the press, download such a report, if published, read it in full, and then try to understand and discuss it?
    3. Will the government itself implement any and all suggestions in the report to prevent future attacks?
    What I have noticed in India is that people do not really understand an issue before forming an opinion.
    For example, people will form an opinion of a book or movie without watching it, or without making an attempt to understand the context of what offended them.
    Another example, people will debate the implementation of the recommendations of the Mandal Commision without reading the Mandal Comission report.
    This leads me to believe that:
    1. Such a report will not be published or made public.
    2. Even if it is, no one will read it, even the press.
    Instead, we will make excuses (blame Pakistan). Even if Pakistan is responsible, it is still our job to make sure this doesn’t happen.

  16. sqn ldr arun says:

    when will our own weak netas will hold this country to ransoms by not making us a strong nation and no nonsence nation as one.they use the police force as their own servants thus denying a modernisation of the force. because once the force is modernised than they may not dictate the terms .

  17. Maddy says:

    There is this wonderful piece written By Tarun Tejpal,who lost his friend in this carnage.
    http://www.kidvai.com/windmills/TT%20on%20RM.pdf
    A great read !

  18. Tanu says:

    I am extremely shocked, upset and deeply saddened with the unfolding of 26/11.
    We actually watched the entire Mumbai blasts on TV and felt so helpless…it was really horrifying and disheartening to see my people in such a state of despair. Those appalling, cruel and sadistic monsters that call themselves “terrorists” are nothing, but mere cowards preying on the innocent and helpless people of our society.
    I would like to salute and extend my heartfelt condolences to all our brave “Indian” heroes who fought selflessly, with immense valour and dignity to protect our people, obviously well aware that their lives were at risk. My deepest sympathy also goes out to all the innocent civilian lives lost during this tragic and sad occasion. May God comfort their families and help them overcome this great loss.
    I would just like to say to all those COWARD TERRORISTS out there… YES, INDIA WILL STAND AGAIN! WE, the people of INDIA, will build a nation filled with love, peace, dignity and pride amongst our people. We will triumph over these so called “TERRORISTS”!

  19. Subodh Abbhi says:

    AN APPEAL TO THE EDUCATED
    As an educated upright, affluent Indian have you ever thought that when you do nothing on:-
    ? Seeing papers of foreigners/ strangers being checked without any check on their bags.
    ? Seeing Policeman armed with bamboo sticks guard vital installations.
    ? Seeing and hearing news of sub standard bullet proof vests being supplied to those who guard us by risking their lives.
    ? Seeing and hearing news of four gunmen arriving in a boat, landing near a national landmark; killing over 200 of our fellow men trapped in buildings and public places besieged by gunmen spreading terror.
    ? Seeing on Television our Legislative Assembly’s and Parliament being filled by men and women whose antics would shame a fish market gathering.
    ? Seeing and hearing news of our public servants murdered by elected representatives, when they fail to cough up the extortion money demanded of them for a birthday bash of the Chief Minister of the area.
    As India’s young, educated professionals you can be accused of a kind of secession ism. While the poor vote in droves, you often sit elections out. You move into gated communities, sequestering yourselves from the country around; work for foreign firms in industrial parks that do not depend on the State for electricity and water; and insulate yourselves from the smoggy air and potholed roads in your sleek sedans.
    When you pay no attention to public life, you get what you pay for.
    In an earlier age of scarcity, the educated concentrated, understandably, on themselves, not on saving the world. But they continue to do so in an age of abundance, as the quest to make money overwhelms other quests. The young long to be bankers and programmers, not intelligence analysts or generals.
    But two hundred of your fellow countrymen are dead – for no reason except that they were at the wrong place at the wrong time – and you still get up the next morning, behave and act is if nothing has happened, you have already been defeated… To say that this is the spirit of Mumbai is to speak a lie.
    … the enemy has broken your spirit – the enemy has taken away the tears that should flow – the enemy has subdued the rage that should boil over – the enemy has already won over your soul – a soul that feels compelled to go to work the next day and pretend as if nothing has happened.
    Where did we the descendants of Arjuna get this spirit? How do we change this spirit?
    The most intriguing plan to bring about this change may be the revival of an old, failed idea; that India be run by its brightest, not dullest, bulbs.
    ? Let us reflect on this today and pledge to save our present and future generations from mis-governance by coming forward to take responsibility and bring about a change.
    ? Let us start by ending the year 2008, without any celebrations as a mark of respect to the valiant commandos, policeman and employees who gave away their lives to save the lives of trapped innocent people.
    ? Let us organize prayers meeting in our Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques and Churches on 1st January,2009, to pay homage to these martyrs and seek wisdom and courage to face the challenge posed by those who want to demolish our spirit by spreading terror and killing innocent people.
    ? The money saved on New Years eve celebrations can be used to provide for the families of those who laid down their lives for keeping the spirit of India alive

  20. raj says:

    Please watch this entire stuff..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuzbhX3_L8Q
    Some where down the line, we are responsible..This video will tell u why..

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