Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai Attacked: Message to a Pakistani Blogger

Saturday, November 29, 2008 15 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

A Pakistani blogger commented on a post which I have reproduced below. I felt that this was a pathetic indecent attempt at trying to spread a meme which I feel will be pushed hard in the coming days by Pakistan (which is fantastic at PR btw).

The comment:
"Homegrown terrorism is an alarming and very chilling idea. No country likes to believe that violent and armed insurgency and militancy has taken root in its backyard. Countries tend to put the matters at the back burner for as long as possible. India is ignoring the terrorists of RSS, BJP and Bajrang Dal for too long, and now it’s the time for the them to pay back. The recent attack in Mumbai sprouts from within India and is a reaction of Babri Mosque, Gujarat Massacre and scores of other terrorist attacks on Muslims across India.
The Pakistani Spectator"

I felt compelled to respond with a post:
Many in India are well aware of the threat from RSS and Bajrang Dal.They are doing their bit to make India worse, but the way India is structured does not allow any single ideology or religion or person to have unchecked dominance over the country. The reason why some of these goons cannot come out fully in the open is because the average Indian - Hindu and Muslim and Christian and Sikh and others - will see through it.

Sometimes we do get blinded, but we come around and that a Hindu dominated party has not been able to win a national election on its own is testament to that. While I fear this could change in a few months, I am also hopeful that there are checks and balances in Indian society to ensure that they don't run amok. The last 3 days, there has been nothing but restraint.

Many of us hate what happened in Gujarat, at Babri Masjid, and realise that we are an imperfect nation, and working to change it every day. We have made serious mistakes, but we are not in denial. We know that we have the homegrown variety of terrorism rearing its ugly head in the form of the Indian Mujahideen (an oxymoron), it's the wheel of Karma.

In this incident, Pakistan has been accused of being involved. India has said "Pakistan" too many times to be taken seriously and there has been no proof presented to show Pakistani involvement. So I will give the benefit of doubt, not because I believe it, but because my incompetent Government is not presenting proof if it has any - and probably for good reason.

I don't believe the Pakistani Government will openly indulge in such brazen acts unless they want Pakistan to be bombed into the stone age. And I think several Indians will be happy to accept a city or two as collateral damage for the greater good. But for every Indian who thinks like that, there are a lot more who will stand up and bury him for thinking so destructively. We don't have to worry about unstable generals.

I don't believe in a media myth and the romantic idea that people-to-people Indians and Pakistanis want to live with each other. We have been brought up on anti-Pakistan and anti-India rhetoric, and are biased against each other, but somewhere basic decency takes over and we manage.

If you think that people to people, "we are ok", then you have a big heart. And today I am heartbroken. My city was raped. I feel violated. I am fighting back tears and extreme rage. So shut your lecture up.

Here's what you and your country needs to do:

  • Stop obsessing about India. We have left your country in the dust in every respect because for all our mistakes, we kept inching forward. Go rebuild. You owe it to yourself.
  • If you are so concerned about the fate of Muslims in India, give them an offer to live in Pakistan and adopt them all. And I bet you this, there will be no takers. And guess what? you are not interested either. Stop pretending that you care about the Muslims in India.
  • Pressure your Government to hand over those who are roaming freely in Pakistan after committing atrocious acts on Indian soil. Stop harbouring terrorists who are killing all over the world.
And It's not MOMBAI, it's Bombay or Mumbai. Get an atlas. Preferably one printed in India :-)

Response to the previous post

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You are angry and I understand why. Some people asked for translation in a torrent of twitters, and being part of instant social media for a couple of days, I got carried away as I wanted to put out information as soon as I could.

The post was cheap and I apologize.

@SagNik: I ended up killing a fantastic online community because I took some things said here personally. But maybe this is my chance to resurrect TCP, not with sporadic posts but something regular, relevant. Something TCP. I hope I can find the motivation and keep the momentum.
@phuktya and phantom head: Sorry guys. My apology is out there in bold. Do you want me to delete the post? Because I will if you ask me to.
@sudhanshu: Anonymity gives a certain degree of safety and maybe even the chance to say and do whatever one chooses to. But 2-3 years of blog posts have shown that I did not misuse my anonymity. Anonymity is also humbling.
@sudhanshu: as for guts to speak out openly against Shiv Sena with my real name, I don't have the guts. How can I when bigger fish have not survived after criticizing them openly? When there is a huge population that will not tolerate any criticism of their "leaders" because they actually believe in the divisive agenda? When there are people who still believe in "uthao lungi bajao pungi"?
@ICC/Chandoba: Awesome stuff buddy. Just awesome.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Attacked: Rough translation of conversation of India TV with Terrorist

Friday, November 28, 2008 11 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

Terrorist: Who surrendered when so many muslims were killed? Our Masjids (place of worship) were demolished and we were not allowed to sleep peacefully. Our mothers and daughters were murdered/slaughtered. Now the commandos that come in, we will dispose them off and make their kids orphans.
India TV: : Where are you from? Which group are you associated with?
Terrorist: We are from Hyderabad and associated with Deccan Mujahideen
India TV: : What are your demands? What do you want to say? All of India is listening to you?
Terrorist: Be patient for a second (asks something to someone nearby)
India TV: : How many people are you and what are the places you are planning to attack?
Terrorist: Release all Mujahideen captured in India. We will let go of the hostages after that.
India TV: : How many people are you in OBeroi Hotel?
Terrorist: Why should we?
India TV: : WE just want to know to get an idea, to understand since you are fighting for your people?
Terrorist: We are 7
India TV: : IS that your only demand?
Terrorist: And don't trouble us Muslims in India. Do not demolish our places of worship.
India TV: : YOu are also people of India, you must love this country..etc. etc.
Terrorist: Yes, this is our country, but when our people are being killed no one was interested. Ok. Bye.

India TV: : This terrorist is lying. Pointing to inconsistencies in his accent and where he claims he comes from. The punjabi/Kashmiri accent. Pointing out how urdu words were being used.

Mumbai Attacked - A rare show of discipline and restraint

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All we have seen so far is confusion and tabloid TV. The media has shamed itself yet again by not sensationalizing everything, asking insensitive questions and going on and on about "the final assault". The politicians, our elderly leaders with one leg in the grave, PM Manmohan Singh, L.K Advani, Shivraj Patil, Pranab Mukherjee, have yet again shown how out of touch they are. But this post is about something else.

In the first few hours, the Maharashtra Home Minister gave out wrong information about the number of terrorists, but at that stage no one knew details and it was nothing more than a pathetic attempt at putting up a brave face. The Chief Minister addressed one press conference that was as ineffective as his 4+ year rule in Maharashtra. It became clear that no one was in charge.

During these past 24-36 hours, one interesting thing seems to be coming out. The security agencies and the politicians have been amazingly disciplined and restrained in what and how they have communicated via the media and other sources. Let me explain since it does not come across as obviously as the more brazen things that have happened.

While one was frustrated at the lack of information and the absence of a common face/name who appeared in charge, no one spoke to the media making any bold and stupid pronouncements. Not a single person. The politicians were shut up. There have been no embarrassing leaks that could have affected the morale of those in the middle of this tragedy.
The paper tiger and his junior versions have been kept quiet, a big thing considering they are not known to be capable of exercising restraint and it is obvious someone is shutting them up. Of course, they will spew venom later and are already planning to call for a "Bandh", but for now they are not part of this problem.

The two most relevant people speaking to the media were from the armed forces - the NSG DJ J.K.Dutt and Major General R.K.Hooda - and their comments were clear, crisp, without speculation, providing enough information without compromising their operation. Granted there was little for the authorities, politicians and otherwise, to brag about, but remember that these are people not known to be able to resist the temptation of scoring political points and making innuendos (one of them did fall prey to the temptation but more about that later).

There seems to be
a strict control over information that is getting out and whoever is in charge, seems to be doing a great job under unimaginable pressure.

Just hang in there and help us get through this.

It's 2.50 AM here, 7.20 AM in Bombay and I hope this ends soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Attacked - A Wednesday, of a different kind

Thursday, November 27, 2008 1 comments Share: Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook

One pundit on TV said "One more incident like this and people of Bombay will be very angry".

Why the hell are we not angry now?

Why is there no public pressure on politicians now? Why is "A Wednesday" just a movie?

Mumbai attacks - 24 hours later

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Confusion reigns. Labels are being thrown around - Mumbai's 9/11 and what not. Some honest reporting but mostly sensationalist, tabloid TV.

Advani trying to get political mileage and getting it. BJP/Shiv Sena likely to call for Bandh. PM gives a standard speech. VIPs are swarming all over - PM, Advani, Jaswant Singh, Shivraj Patil.

Kabhi nahi sudhrenge!

Some blogs
Kunal Sheth
Bombay under siege
Shaken, Stirred
The agony continues

Mumbai Attacked - Financial Capital or Disaster Capital of India?

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It started with the blasts of March '93. Since then buildings, the stock exchange, trains, buses and people have been targeted. Governments have come and gone, the city has been renamed and at least one vada pav sammelan has been held. The city is struck, again and again but no one ever quite brings it to its knees. Not the rain gods, not the terrorists.

It is amazing how we get back to work, ignoring our day to day problems, forgetting that meteors strike our roads throughout the day, overlooking that people fall out of overcrowded trains. Someone writes inspiring stories about the resilience of the city and its people, we pat ourselves on our back and get on with our lives.

Bombay is caught in a stampede, helpless, unable to escape the merciless rush of its citizens, its politicians, cars and rickshaws, its locals and immigrants, its intolerance and hatred. Bombay has been put on the defensive due to the indifference of corrupt politicians in Mantralaya and Delhi, due to its unpreparedness to handle any situation - natural or man-made. What was once the Financial capital of India has become the Disaster capital of India.

Soon, the vultures will move in. Politicians shouting for resignations, exploiting this tragedy. The sensible will plead for calm only to be called fools. The undecided will move one step closer to intolerance. The intolerant Hindu goons will blame Muslims. Some two-faced, some helpless Muslims will say "Islam does not preach this". Until it happens again and together we hasten the transition of what once was Bombay - Global, Safe, Welcoming, Tolerant, A city of dreams - into Mumbai - Local, Rotten, Intolerant, Unsafe.

Screw our strength and resilience. Let's just be human for once. And recognize that our resilience has stealthily turned into indifference, impotence. Realize how disconnected we are from the state of our city.

omething has to be done about this. I don't know what. I don't know how. Something.

TCP/IP's thoughts are with the families of 11 cops including Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, ACP Kamte. And the 87 dead, so far. And our prayers for those still stuck in this tragedy.

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