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Day 1193: Mumbai’s Aftermath

What I’ve been reading on the Mumbai attacks and their aftermath:

1.  SAJA Forum – Anil Kalhan posted on Sri Lankan perspectives on the Mumbai attacks and their aftermath, with advice from Sri Lankans on how not proceed in the wake of terrorism.

2.  Anti-History – Anil also pointed me to Rohit Chopra’s very well-reasoned Islam, Terror And The Failures Of The Intellectual Left.  There are many quote-worthy lines in Chopra’s essay, so please read it in full, but this paragraph stood out, especially because I’ve seen this happen in America since 9/11:

… Advocating or taking this position [, i.e. engaging strategically in self-censorship or refusing to criticize x or y community or actor keeping in mind the larger political issue,] does not make anyone an apologist for terrorism or violence, of course. In fact, in other forums, some of the scholars and activists who take this view may be quite outspoken in criticizing the actions of so-called Muslim states, fundamentalist organizations, etc. But their analyses of fundamentalism, violence, and terror committed by Muslims seem marked by a deep anxiety that the Right (American or Indian, as the case might be) will ‘coopt’ any critical generalizations about Muslims that they might offer. The same anxieties can also be seen in the views of many Indian Leftists on issues of Muslim fundamentalism, terrorism, questions of rights etc. as they play out in the Indian context. And to deviate from this Left line means exposing oneself to the charge of being a supporter, closet or otherwise, for American imperialism, capitalism, or Hindu nationalism.

3.  You Down With TRP? – In her recent posts, Harini rages against the sensationalization of the Mumbai attacks by Indian media, to whom it appears the CNN-style has been successfully exported.  Read Week 1 Post 26/11 – The Media as Pimp – Maut ke Bhadwe and Week 1 Post 26/11 – the Peddlers of Death – The Media.  Here, in New Orleans, E over at WCBF thinks “US coverage was dangerously sensational.”  Has everyone forgotten how far back in our heads we rolled our eyes at cable news reports during Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike?

4.  For those who insist that the Mumbai attacks are all about hotels, the West and killing Westerners, look at these pictures and then say that again to my face.  There are many Indians who died outside the five-star confines of the Taj and Oberoi but, of course, those aren’t reported again and again for reasons mentioned in Point 3 above.

4 comments… add one
  • liprap December 2, 2008, 8:41 PM

    Yes, I, too have been guilty of focusing on one small part of this huge tragedy…but I never forget that many more people other than those at Nariman House were hurt or killed in all of this…and I wish the news media would get their heads screwed back on (if they ever had ’em in the first place) and realize how many holes the coverage of this has in it.

  • Holly December 2, 2008, 9:34 PM

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been following the stories via Global Voices and read Chopra’s interestingly balanced commentary. Some of my own friends in India feel (as they have in the past) that Pakistan is subsidizing these actions (“it’s the fly that keeps buzzing around our heads… we just have to swat it”). The same stuff they said 6 years ago when I left them behind — forced to evacuate due to threat of war. They are far to the north and I wonder if the CNN-style of sensationalized reporting impacts the way they feel India should react. It all worries me to no end — particularly as U.S. politics and diplomacy seem so out of touch with that part of the world.

  • harini calamur December 3, 2008, 12:33 AM

    thx for the link back
    do you know on news channels people are proposing the equivalent of the ‘homeland security act’ and no journalist is asking questions…
    i wonder whether they are manufacturing consent ?

  • Maitri December 3, 2008, 3:33 PM

    i wonder whether they are manufacturing consent?

    Of course, they are. This is how it happened in America after 9/11 – quiet political opposition and unquestioning fourth estate. And so it begins.

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