Mumbai Massacre

Dressed to turn a railway platfor into a battle zone.
Dressed to turn a railway platform into a battle zone.

The cold-blooded Mumbai operation involving a batch of college-going-type terrorists has raised many questions, including competence of our government and intelligence agencies. I am, however, more concerned with the emergence of new terror tactics, witnessed by the entire world for over three days, starting Wednesday night. I am thus not only alarmed but I am, in fact, bamboozled.

This time, there is more to the harrowing accounts of survivors. There is more to Mumbai’s Hindus, Muslims and Christians standing shoulder to shoulder. There is more to Indians, Americans, British and Israelis weeping together.

You would notice that this time, there weren’t suicide bombers or booby-trapped vehicles when terrorists targetted several places in Mumbai. Their open but complex nature of the attacks was strikingly different from the sudden suicide missions seen worldwide. They were surely on a mission to kill and be killed, yet they engaged us for a long period, 60 hours to be precise. During this, they fired, killed, lobbed grenades, moved up and down, here and there, and showed their capability of creating a lot of damage and death before being killed.

Trained to engage security forces for hours.
Trained to engage security forces for hours.

To me, they resembled a small army sent into the heart of society with orders to kill and keep killing as long as possible.

Having studied at a military school, I feel that their coordinated attacks turned parts of Mumbai into a combat zone. And this zone was more dangerous because the desperate victims weren’t able to shoot back. It was more like a massacre which is more like terrorism fused with insurgency and guerilla warfare.

In their attacks, the terrorists inflicted both panic and horror; and inflicted them for a longer period. The selection of iconic targets also gave a message to all nationalities that India is a terror-prone country from which they should stay out.

There was also a message to high and mighty to avoid 5-star New Year parties and shun all events and celebrations that often make life a joy. Should we then give the terrorists what they want!

23 comments

  1. […] November 27, 2008: I thanked visitors on the first anniversary, and hoped they would continue to stay in touch irrespective of wherever they’re, whoever they’re. I realised many had become regular visitors as they’d comment frequently. Many would encourage me, inspire me further. I felt happy for I was successfully connecting with my readers rapidly. A day earlier i.e. on Nov.26, a small army had struck India’s financial capital Mumbai. Terrorists were shooting into the heart of society with orders to kill and keep killing as long as possible. It was for the first time in my journalistic career that I was not covering a story. The shootings were painful, and my sitting at home was no less. But, this weblog was there, for me to write. [Read the First Anniversary by clicking here & my take on the Mumbai Massacre here.] […]

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  2. very good article,
    hope these are not copyrighted!!hahaha!
    i`ll be using some part of this article in my board examination.(if they will give)

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  3. The only solution for all our problems including terrorism is Police reforms directed by Supreme court in 2006 which essentially means giving police independence from politicians and making them acoountable to public.

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  4. Honestly Neerjda, The common sentiments doing the round when the attack happened were that of angst and utter hatred and a very strong sense of revenge. Sitting in the bedroom and watching TV was all the more frustrating and the only thought that was getting rekindled again and again was wish I could be there and kick/kill those dogs of war. Having Studied in Sainik School made my conviction to act even more stronger and I literally took a vow that if I ever get into such a situation, will either come out having saved as many lives as possible and having kicked / killed as many perpetrators as possible or will rather sacrifice myself to the cause. I think its time for all of us to individually take responsibilities and act in such situations.

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  5. Neeraj,

    Please also go through an interesting article in New York Post by Ralph Peters (December 1, 2008).

    The American writer in his piece ‘Devils in Mumbai’, seems to have taken much cue from your views. Does he subscribe to your feed!

    Here are the excerpts:

    “As few as 10 terrorists armed with simple weapons tormented one of the world’s most vibrant cities for three days, inflicting 500 casualties – nearly 200 of them dead. No commandeered airliners were involved; no massive bombs, no radioactive material. All it took was one squad of committed-unto-death terrorists with assault rifles, grenades and a few rucksacks filled with explosives. It also took sophisticated planning. The attack – on Mumbai’s hotels, restaurants, main train station and a Jewish center – unquestionably involved an infrastructure behind the trigger-pullers. It wasn’t locally concocted. Islamist extremists hate India as deeply as they hate the United States. Those terrorists didn’t strike Mumbai because they couldn’t reach New York (although many others would like to), but because they wanted to harm and humiliate India. The terrorists had several goals: First, they just wanted to hurt India. Second, they wanted to embarrass the Indian government. Third, they wanted to damage India’s strengthening economy. The attacks on the hotels weren’t just to scare away tourists. The underlying purpose was to frighten off foreign businessmen and investors – to make India seem unstable and incapable of protecting itself. One of the grievances shared by Islamist extremists throughout the region and Pakistanis in general is jealousy of India’s remarkable progress from economic basket case to a sparkling center of yuppie consumerism. While India remains a bitterly poor home for most of its citizens, a fifth of them have been soaring upward, while more than half have seen their lot improve. Meanwhile, Pakistan tumbles ever farther behind, unproductive, paralyzed by corruption, torn by violence – and paying a grim price for restricting schoolchildren’s English-language instruction for two generations, cutting off the populace from the benefits of globalization. Indeed, jealousy is the great unacknowledged strategic factor of our time. Apart from being the world’s largest (if raucous) democracy, India shares a trait with the United States that infuriates Islamists shamed by the abysmal failures of their own societies: India is a success story. And Allah had nothing to do with it. You can’t reason with faith-drunk sadists. The terrorists who attacked New York City and those who struck Mumbai want to kill people. Slaughter is the only thing left that validates their faith.”

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  6. Nobody can satisfy a mentally ill person.
    You may try phycological treaments, it may work.

    Leaders need fame, money and sex….

    Years back ” God created man” …. Now ” Man creates God” ( Fortune prophet)

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  7. Try giving terrorists what they want and watch their demands going up. Just
    like business, Terror is now Global. India is drawn into an era of Global
    Terror. Problem is bigger than we can imagine. It will require many years
    dedicated work of experts around the globe before we can witness any
    reduction in its magnitude.

    Besides, we have seek out and neutralize the breeding grounds of terror
    within the country. Wherever you see some form of extremism being practiced,
    it is a breeding ground for future acts of terror.

    You see it isn’t a small thing that can be wished away. All of us have to
    sacrifice a lot before things could improve. We need to sacrifice all kinds
    of comforts that are obtainable by corrupt means. Can you imagine how big is
    the list? Can you imagine how many of us have to sacrifice those before the
    rest of the people would like to think of doing likewise? Would any one give
    up a chance obtainable by corrupt means for School & College Admission,
    Train Reservation, Tax Avoidance, Custom Duty Avoidance, Foreign Travel,
    Government Job, Postings in a job, the list is endless but the concept is
    clear. Sacrifice it or else!

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  8. BIOLOGICAL CANCER IS CAUSED BY SEVERAL FACTORS OTHER THAN HUMAN.THIS SOCIAL CANCER, CROPPED UP IN THE FORM OF TERRORISM IS CAUSED BY SELF SEEKER GROUP OF HUMAN BEINGS COMPRISING DONS, WITH HAND IN GLOVE WORKING WITH POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATES, AND TIME TO TIME PROMOTIVE SUPPORT OF MEDIA. UNLIKE BIOLOGICAL CANCER,THIS CANCER CAN ONLY BE TREATED BY SURGERY, VIZ. MASSACRE OF ALL THOSE INVOLVED OUTSIDE THE LAMPPOST OF GATEWAY OF INDIA. ITS PREVENTION IS TEACHING OF MORAL AND VALUE SYSTEM IN SCHOOLS. ONCE THIS CANCER DEVELOPS, IT IS RESISTANT VARIETY WITH UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOUR KILLING INNOCENTS AT ANY TIME AT ANY PLACE,THEREBY REQUIRING ONLY ONE TREATMENT, I.E. SHOOT DOWN ALL SUCH GROUP EN-MASSE. RECENT TERRORIST ATTACK HAD LINKS INSIDE THIS COUNTRY WITH MAHARASTRA/CENTRAL STATE OFFICERS AND OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY. IT IS BY ONLY ONE CASTE, VIZ. SELF SEEKERS CASTE, MAYBE MANY OF THEM BORN AS MUSLIMS, SOME AS HINDUS, SOME AS CHRISTIANS.

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  9. From people all over the world, feelings of great compassion are going out to the people of Mumbai.

    I feel a real connection with the people of Mumbai because our first film “Time after Time” was screened in Mumbai for the 7 Islands International Film Festival for non-violent resistance and global disarmament and peace, which was launched in Mumbai in 2006.

    The legacy of the Martin Luther Kings, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other lesser known and even unknown mass movement heroes was brought alive; strong anti-war commentaries were heard, seen and felt in the films dealing with the imperialist designs of the US on Iraq, the Israel stalemate, the Latin American problems, India-Pakistan brouhaha and so on. A universal condemnation of global terrorism got echoed all around.

    I am deeply saddened to see the impact of “globalization” and exploitation by corrupt speculators and the like undermining the fabric of magnificent Indian cultural heritage.

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  10. Bollywood is a symbol.

    It symbolizes the rise of western influence.

    I remember when kissing was against the law in Hindi movies.

    I always loved Hindi movies because they didn’t have all the sex and violence in them.

    Bollywood is evolving so fast with western customs, it even concerns me.

    India is a great country full of it’s own cultural diversity.

    I would hate to see it become so westernized, that the violence and pornography of the USA infiltrates your wonderful country.

    Because of the proximity to Pakistan, Mumbai is an easy target.

    It could have happened anywhere.

    Well, maybe not in Cuba.

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    • The Indian Government should have tightened its intelligence network when terrorists attacked Indian Parliament few years back. This attempt by the terrorists should be a warning to the security agencies.

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  11. Unfortunately, it seems to now be the case that unless “westerners” are affected, media coverage will be relatively slight. Add an American tourist or rich western busineesmen and suddenly the world is gripped.

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