Thursday, November 27, 2008


26.11.2008: A Wednesday (Is that any coincidence?)
Just as I was in the euphoric mood celebrating India's 5th consecutive win over England, a new alert flashed on my screen."Shootouts in Mumbai, 15 injured". Did not pay much attenton to it as it seemed to be some gang war going on from the description given alongwith. But soon the alerts frequency increased at an alarming rate. With eah alert painting a grimmer picture. The moment the words changed to "Terror Attacks in Mumbai", I decided to watch the streaming webcast of the news (No television at home, these are the times when you really miss it). I sat glued to the screen as the true magnitude of the events taking place about 40 kms from me came alive. Terrorists had attacked some of the most important locations in Mumbai including The Taj hotel and CST station. The pictures showed bodies being taken out of the Oberoi Hotel. And the details of the attacks at all the locations began to emerge. It was rivetting to watch but there was a sense of despair as I went to sleep. Just could not believe that this kind of thing could have happened.
Woke up today morning when the phone rang. It was a call from home. Soon there were a few more calls from relatives and friends. There was a general sense of shock among everyone I talked to regarding the events. On switching on the live streaming, more details emerged. The worst part was hearing about the deaths of the senior police officers involved in the operations. When I reached office, the mood seemed tense. The attacks seemed to be the only point of discussion with the work being put on hold. The entire day in office was spent reading the news and checking for updates. To see the pictures of the Taj Hotel on fire was specially distressing as it is one of the iconic images associated with the city of Mumbai. Anyways left office early when the news came in that everyone had been permitted to leave early.
Terror attacks have been carried out before in many places of the world. Mumbai has had to face serial bomb blasts in 1993 and 2006. There have been serial blasts across various cities in India this year, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Agartala... (seems to be an unending list). But the attacks in Mumbai this time have been different. Unlike earlier time when bombs were planted and serial blasts had taken place, this time seemed more like a raid, with terrorists with guns and grenades shooting, killing and taking hostages. They chose to attack the city's iconic locations like Taj, CST, Metro Cinema, Cafe Leopold, Nariman House... As I write this the attacks are still on and its been almost 24 hours now since they began. It has been one of the most planned terror attacks carried out.
There have been other repercussions of the attack also. The financial markets are closed. The England tour of India has been cut short. Chapions League has been postponed. (I support both decisions). Never before has there been such detailed coverage of Indian events across the world. Though this could be mainly due to the fact that there were quite a few foreign nationals amongst the hostages and those killed.
Now for my questions. I know there wont be any answers for this but still...
WHAT is the point of all these attacks? Does killing of non-involved people justify anyone's cause?
WHERE is our security mechanism to prevent these attacks? IF, we have any, that is?
And most importantly, WHY???????

No comments: