There’s a very high probability that all of you who read this blog know about the IED blasts across Mumbai yesterday that claimed 18 lives, injured many others and has understandably increased the stress levels of an already put-upon city. Just imagining a surviving Mumbaikar thinking “It could have been me or someone I love” and “When will it happen again?” makes me want to turn off this computer and go hide in a cellar for the rest of my days. They’ve been through five bombings in the last fifteen years and could just as easily flip out like we have and would. But, the resilience and the way they’ve come together in the last 24 hours. It’s humbling.
I am so glad my fellow Vatul, Harini, and hers are safe. She writes:
Near my house – a little shop open. Most businesses were. Even those that didn’t need to be. When terror strikes – and I have been back in Mumbai since 1994 and have lived through quite a few – there is this really inexplicable sentiment that kicks in – I won’t let the Bastards cow me down. It is not just me – every one I knew was out and about. And not strangely, not many of us got too much work done. The turning up was the symbolic F*** U – both to the terrorists and the system.
Sepia Mutiny has a collection of reactions to the blasts. Here are some that stand out and give Americans perspective, especially considering that happenings east of here are more crucial to our future than our all-Casey-Anthony-all-the-time “news” cycle provides. Some of it also sounds remarkably familiar in terms of how the government-public safety apparatus of some American cities work.
… Now that the USA and the west have come to their senses with regard to the reality of Pakistan, now that the USA will not pour more and more billions into Pakistan, now that the USA will no longer cover Pakistan’s back at the United Nations, now there is hope that slowly but surely the world, and India, can take action against Pakistan without having to worry about the reaction of the USA, the great protector of Pakistan for the last 50 years and more. The pusher to Pakistan the addict.
… Please remember that India has more than 140 million Muslims. For a Muslim population of that size, India is remarkably free of terrorist attacks.
… A lot of it has to do with the underworld take-over of Mumbai politics and even the police … Summary: a non-functional police and intelligence operation, mostly focused on extracting rent from real estate transactions, which are otherwise all “illegal” due to various bizarre rules and laws.
… the point is unless people get to know that region better, they are in no position to judge our 2012 [candidates’] readiness in combating foreign problems.