Of Cabbages and Kings

November 28, 2008

Mumbai

Filed under: Across the Universe — Tags: , , , — Chinmayi @ 6:46 pm

The last 48 hours have been difficult. I have been calling relatives and emailing colleagues, emailing even people who are in touch with people who were near all the violence to see whether everyone is okay. The selfish relief that my friends and family and their friends and family appear to be fine is difficult to supress. It is however miniscule in the face of the horror and nausea that washes over me when I think about how around 150 violent murders have taken place over the last 48 hours. 

For regular updates:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ 

http://twitter.com/dina

http://ibnlive.in.com/

https://twitter.com/prempanicker

Articles:

http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/28/stories/2008112854791000.htm

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/27/asia/hotel.php 

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/27/asia/scene.php

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/27/AR2008112702709.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/28/mumbai-city-terror-attack-india (Suketu Mehta)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2008/nov/28/mumbai-terror-attacks?picture=340177689 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/28/mumbai-terror-attacks-india

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/11/28/mumbai-and-terror-the-day-after/

The last link has some information on the list of casualties.

November 26, 2008

Mumbai attacked

Filed under: Across the Universe, Personal — Tags: , , , — Chinmayi @ 9:09 pm

This seems to be a week for violence. Bombay is under attack as I sit in this faraway country and look up the next day’s reading material. The Hilton – which is brightly lit all night – looks tired and decrepit and has the army and the police swarming all over it. Arrogant powerful business-people are now frightened hostages huddled inside. People hurrying home after a long day’s work have died and their relatives cannot get to them because it is too dangerous.

A crowded raiway station, three (possibly four) of the most exclusive hotels and a busy central shopping avenue have been attacked. Machine guns and grenades seem to be flying about, there is blood splashed on the sidewalk and the most powerful and resilient city in my country is terrified and falling apart. A man that heads the firm that I used work at managed to escape from one of the hotels under attack. My friends are confined at their offices because to leave would mean to walk straight into restricted areas and gunfire. 

Tonight I will pray. That this madness stops. That more people are not hurt. That the retaliation is not worse than the attack. That the cycle of violence stops here and Bombay has time to heal as it has so many times before today.

September 13, 2008

Bomb blasts in Delhi

Filed under: Across the Universe — Tags: , , — Chinmayi @ 8:48 pm

Five bombs have gone off in Delhi, on Saturday evening in crowded places. A bomb was found in a popular children’s park, and fortunately was defused before it could do any harm. 

An email claiming responsibility for the violence was apparently been sent by a fundamentalist group twenty minutes after the attack. The email will probably lend a communal colour to the attack. As they react, people may forget that the bombs were at crowded places where people from any community might have been present and that the target was not any specific group but innocent civilians in general. 

I hope that this will not translate into retaliation and escalating violence or into unnecessarily repressive legal measures. And I hope that this senseless killing stops some time soon.

Terrorism 101

Filed under: Across the Universe, Random musing — Tags: , , , — Chinmayi @ 7:20 am

Amateur terrorists have little to fear in India. There may be plenty of tricks that they know nothing about but law enforcement agencies and the media will spare no efforts in helping them all they need to be trained professionals. 

Take the recent bomb blats in India. It has occurred to the Indian Intelligence bureau that the blasts, and all future terrorism might become very easy to pull off if the perpatrators take to using chinese mobile phone (which are apparently impossible to identify and track since they do not have IMEI numbers). Now most people might be selfish and keep that kind of information to themselves until they had figured out how to get around the problem. But not us Indians. We like to keep our terrorists well aware of all the new tools that are available to them. So we make the information public, and just to ensure that the updates do not escape their notice, we broadcast all of this repeatedly on national television. Now there’s generosity for you.

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