26/11 Mumbai – What Do We Do?

This is the complete story of what exactly happened on 26 November 2008 when a bunch of terrorists attacked Mumbai. Commissioned by Channel 4, UK, award-winning filmmaker Dan Reed gets access to some highly classified never-seen-or-heard-before material. Terror in Mumbai tells the story of what happened when 10 Muslim gunmen held one of the world’s busiest cities hostage; killing and wounding hundreds of people while holding India’s crack security forces at bay.

[Source: MOB Magazine]. Forget all those ‘Never Forget 26/11′ tributes or candlelight vigils. All we need to do is to watch this amazing hour-long documentary (download, share, save, and get angry)  on what exactly transpired on that fateful day and ask questions of our political netas as what have they done in the past year to prevent such a tragedy. If the answer is silence, I would like our news channels to be silent as well; they already have done enough damage. If the news media cannot live up to its basic duties and responsibilities of speaking truth to power and asking uncomfortable questions then we aren’t interested in your disaster-porn exclusive coverage because journalism it is not. Indian news channels refuse to show this documentary lest it raise awkward questions about their role in the tragedy and unfortunately, it took an outsider to make this documentary. The media may get higher TRPs but respect, I’m afraid not. If only the media knows how and which questions to ask but all we are concerned with are Shashi Tharoor’s tweets and Raj Thackeray’s tantrums.

All those holding any kind of positions during the 26/11 attacks are back in the same positions after a brief hiatus (remember that looney, R.R. Patil?) But then why would anything change? After all, we had an election in the year gone by and people of the city voted for more of the same. So I guess all we can do is hold candlelight vigils, thank those unfortunate souls for standing in the line of fire and getting killed, and be thankful for not being amongst the dead. We have avoided death until the next terror incident. So what can we do – Ask questions, Hold leaders responsible, and Demand accountability, and Usher in change.

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  • Niket

    Or just ride to a nice local pub and have a drink.

    I am only half kidding. What terrorism hates is normalcy. There is a fine line of distinction between normalcy and indifference. We haven’t crossed that line; that is the reason to celebrate.

    • http://www.ipatrix.com Patrix

      I think we crossed that line long time ago. Today we are so indifferent to terrorist attacks that the only one we remember is the last one. The resilience thing looks fine and dandy when we returned to work after the bomb blasts in 1993. Now it is merely an excuse for indifference.

  • ms

    just 10 illiterate, mindless morons got away with mass murder. stop referring to it as an “attack”, it was only murder. don’t say 26/11. it was nothing like 9/11 – 11/9 to us. this was one of many terrorist activities this country experiences, common and predictable. it took only 10 freaks to show up our national incompetence and frailty. and i am sick of hearing about the “spirit of mumbaikers” who take every bomb explosion in their stride and continue with their mundane routine. it is their collective indifference and apathy, they know that the terror network is an integral part of their city, the underworld a big money spinner and local gangsters a source of income and creature comforts. it takes a truly brave man, to go into battle with insufficient armour, outdated weaponry and no proper training. all those who lost their lives in the line of duty, all their family members who will live out the remainder of their lives in sorrow and loss, they deserve a nationwide apology. they are not around to see their sacrifice diminished by political posturing, media mania, citizen callousness. every channel on 26 november 2009 featured their own news tape of what they recorded and relayed on 26 november 2008. this material should be used to bring charges against them for being responsible for security leaks, for warning the terrorists about troop movements and police measures.

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  • Jayant

    I am curious about your anger at the people of Mumbai who voted for ‘more of the same’. It didn’t appear to me that they had a genuine alternative. Unless voting in another bunch of murderous thugs (Hindu in name only, like these Muslim gunmen, and who were guaranteed to press the accelerator on another cycle of violence, going by their past history) seems to you like a sensible choice.

    I am not making any excuses for the incompetence of the Maharashtra government, merely interested in the implication that the alternative would have magically led to less violence being wrought upon a hapless population.

    Looking forward to a response.

    • http://www.ipatrix.com Patrix

      Trust me, I’m glad that Shiv Sena is not in power but this very distaste for Sena has made the Congress complacent. Any failure without accountability and appropriate blowback to their political future will be repeated. Mah.governments have fallen for far more flimsier reasons (remember the onion price crisis) so a major terrorist attack televised for more than 60 hours compounded not only by intelligence failures but also lack of response deserves elected officials to be booted out. If we continue to remain ‘hapless’, don’t expect the political parties to act benevolently.

  • Jayant

    Fair enough. But this is a circular debate. I am not from Mumbai but do know people in other parts of Maharashtra who chose to vote for the incumbents (including a former member of a certain ‘nationalist’ organization whose cousin lost his sanity in the last riots after being chased by a mob!). Their reasoning followed the broad contours of a ‘better incompetents than wilful aggravators’ argument.

    I don’t live in Maharashtra either and respect the Maharashtrians’ experience of collective trauma. Equally, I respect their individual decisions as based in a very subjective sense of how to absorb and respond to such an event. I have recently moved back to India (though I am writing this from elsewhere) and voted in my first local election; decisions to vote are made on remarkably complex bases here, unlike in Western democracies with a limited number of viable parties, issues and players. I no longer fulminate about their choices, seemingly rational or otherwise (to me). I am not for a minute saying that you are a ‘fulminator’ (far from it) but there are some professional fulminators in the Indian blogosphere who seem as disconnected from the reality of the women I work with in rural AP as anyone can ever be. Getting angry is all fine, but then the educated middle-class needs to support initiatives like Loksatta and other such emerging alternatives.

    • http://www.ipatrix.com Patrix

      I think you touch upon an important yet neglected reality here. Participatory democracy is lacking in India. All we think about democracy is voting every 5 years and then crib rest of the time. Having seen activist democracies at work, they work in engaging the people and keeping the government on its toes. Not only is the accountability standard strictly adhered to but the citizen, watchdogs, advocacy groups, and the press participate in this process. There are flaws but then it is a collective failure when things go wrong and everyone learns from their experience the next time around. An adequate system of checks and balances reinforced by a relatively strict law & order system might provide the change. How to go about it? I’ve no idea but am sure there are brighter minds out there who need to speak up.

  • Miral

    Its human tendency that we only sit and give suggestions rather than acting on it .We just curse other and donot see what we are about to . its our duty to see to that whats happening around us and keep a check on every strange things.