Today is November 26! A year ago at this time, the would be perpetrators of the most brutal terrorist attack on the City of Mumbai were on the way. Life in Mumbai was normal that day and so is today. What has changed after an year? Has anything improved? Does the Common Man feel safe? The sole captured terrorist is being subjected to the best of treatments! We wonder why is he still alive.
We know we are not ‘The Supreme Power’ but where is the supreme power and why doesn’t he do anything to stop such terror attacks? These are some thoughts constantly being echoed. Today, bloggers and our readers share with us their thoughts on the anniversary of the Mumbai Terror Attacks when we asked them ‘What kind of thoughts are running in your mind on the first anniversary?‘. Our profound thanks to all of them for taking time out and sharing their thoughts and concerns.
Mumbaikars do not possess the luxury of grief. Their concern is survival at any cost. But that instinct should not be confused with indifference. People are still angry at what they see is a lack of preparedness to counter future attacks. There is also a lack of political will to effect real change and reassure people that their lives are precious.
The so-called leaders are busy protecting their own lives and property instead of protecting the people! There is a lot of rage at how poorly the administration performed, post- 26\11. And there is sorrow at the large number of lives lost because there was monumental failure at all levels.
I’m trying not to think about the government the media or the Indian Judiciary. I can’t help but relive my own experience of that night and just be grateful for how lucky I am. I know people are upset and angry and there is always someone else to blame, but don’t you think that’s what got us here in the first place?
I am primarily thinking about how the Mumbai terrorist attack catalyzed the coming together of an entire ecosystem of citizen activism initiatives in the run up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Jaago Re, Vote Report India, No Criminals in Politics and Pink Chaddi come to mind. The people behind many of these initiatives are still working together to bring about change — small and big — by channelizing the energies of India’s connected youngsters.
For instance, I am helping Janaagraha build a citizen action community, to build upon the good work they did during Jaago Re. Every cloud has a silver lining, and this ecosystem is the silver lining in the 26/11 tragedy.
We did not want Mumbai to forget…
Are we alert while walking on the roads in South Mumbai today? Do we fear armed terrorists emerging from the darkness again? Even if the thought crosses the mind, the real fear is forgotten today.
Mumbai forgot while not-voting also. But that does not mean one is not angry with the media and the government. That also does not mean that if one were to see a suspicious looking man in a parking lot, holding something that could be a gun, one would immediately report him.
One isn’t sure who could be a terrorist. The suspect could be security personnel? And if there is sudden firing, running feet, falling bodies and screams – does each one of us know what to do?
I feel no matter how well prepared a country is, terror attacks cannot be completely ruled out. Every citizen, including all children should know what to do in a terror emergency. If we haven’t achieved this, then we have forgotten again.
On this first anniversary of 26/11 the families of the victims will once again feel the grief as sharply as the day it happened. Some families lost their sole breadwinner, some families lost a child, a parent, a brother or sister, a husband or wife. For these people the tragedy of 26/11 is not remembered only on the anniversary, it is something that they must live with every day of their lives. As we grieve for the dead, analyse the past and plan for the future we should remain sensitive to their suffering.
We remember dates and forget people. 26/11 is also one such date. As our history shows, every terror had worse rejoinder in the form of riots and massacre insinuated by political leaders. After a long time, 26/11 attack actually united us Indians but even with all the initiatives, things move only when rulers of our country choose to take action. We sent petitions, kept vigils but nothing really happened.
Last year around this time politicians were busy with the blame games and there was some reshuffling in Maharashtra government. Exactly after a year what do we witness? The same man sworn in as Home Minister and no one even questions that selection. Media too after getting enough mileage from the coverage moves on to the next prey and then exactly after a year comes back with the updates along with emotional tunes in the background.
A year back I wrote on my blog “Hemant Karkare, Major Unnikrishnan, all acknowledged ATS officials, brave NSG commandos, the valiant policemen and unsung heroes: I salute you, the brave hearts of India. This time I will remember.”
That is all we ordinary citizens can do. We must remember the people.
I feel that we have awakened and the common man at least has started realizing who are the people who work for them i.e. the armed forces and the police. The common man has also realized that politicians are not the true netas they are touted to be.
Of course, India is a vast country and the ripple effect will take time to show. The truth is that we have learnt and we shall not be caught napping again.
WTF, 1 year passed by, has anything changed? Have we hanged Kasab? Have we managed to punish the brains behind 26/11 who are sitting in Pakistan? .. NO!! We were very busy fighting over our imaginary friends and Which language should we swear in.
I think unless we sort the mess within our country, outsiders will always find it easy to attack us.
Thank you for sharing in your thoughts. We are constantly receiving more views and will post another entry soon. You can share your thoughts as well using the comment form below. We had a year back compiled a list of all bloggers who were live blogging and writing about Mumbai Terror Attacks. We received 123 emotions packed responses for that post. If you want to feel the pain and emotions, do read the responses.