Days of our lives…
December 4, 2008 by Indrajit Chatterjee
Hotel Taj Mahal Palace
Mumbai burnt, screamed, writhed, and agonised for 60 hours from 21h00 on Wednesday 26 November 2008 till 09h00 on Saturday 29 November 2008. An official estimate of 11 terrorists, allegedly part of a little known group of terrorists called The Deccan Mujahideen, stormed Mumbai and its people, and left both devastated. The barbaric attack aparently originally planned to destroy at least 5000 human lives, setting a benchmark in “terrorism”, ended after taking a little more than 200 lives and leaving quite a few hundreds injured. The indiscriminate bullet-showers on the crowded Mumbai streets and bustling CST station, and the literal wars fought inside Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Hotel Oberoi & Trident, and Nariman House left the entire nation, or maybe the entire world speechless. The self-destructive genes of the species called Homo Sapiens Sapiens at their best!
Terrorism is a much discussed subject. Psychologists and Sociologists have wrote thesis after thesis on this. From religious fanaticism, social oppression, political mal-intentions, and underworld tides this dangerous style emerges and threatens to destroy the classical civilization as we know it. Why exactly – no one knows. It’s not exactly a war – because in a war we expect the enemy to strike from the front and we make necessary preparations to strike back. Even in a guerilla war, the groups killing each other are still combat forces. Here, it’s a matter of complete one-sided butchery. The most modern weapons used to take lives of most unsuspecting of people – someone returning home after day’s work, someone walking by the streets, someone going for a movie with friends, someone having a sip at their favourite drinks in a cafe, someone attending to customers in the hotel reception, someone cooking food in the kitchen, someone sitting down for dinner with house guests. We still wonder: what thoughts cross the minds of the terrorists at that time when they are pulling the triggers, being fully aware that the person who is going to die is not his enemy in any sense? We hear that these guys were brainwashed in their training camps. Fine. But are we talking about some sort of magic machines doing the brainwashing, or are we talking about hypnotism? It’s hard to believe that any amount of false propaganda or elating speeches can make a person – whatever may his upbringing and past experiences be – so remorseless.
People of the nation seemingly have now woke up. Politicians from all parties are facing a tough time to calm their followers down. Ministers are resigning pretending that excuses their lackadaisical attitudes demonstrated so far, which made our country’s defences weak and borders porous – but no one is bothering to cut a good summed cheque from their personal bank accounts where they have gathered millions for helping rebuilding Mumbai or caring for the people suffering still. The Cheif Minister takes a nice couple of hours of “terror tourism” inside Taj and Oberoi with his son and other friends, while the Deputy Cheif Minister says that events like these are common to expect in big cities like Mumbai. As days are going by, new information is coming our from everywhere. Intelligence says that Maharashtra government was warned even less than a week ago from the incident about possible attacks from the sea, on top of a flurry of other reports made earlier (ranging between March 2008 and October 2008), whereas Congress spokesperson says that not all informations are “actionable”. Politicians making initial statements about all parties sticking together during this time of crisis going into anti-rulling-party-rallies the next day. Events after events demonstrating all the more what level of socio-political vulnerability India is standing on. Why would a neighbouring scheming country not take advantage of this? Especially with the biggest gangster alive to help them plot!
Mumbai CST Station
However, hope is still there, as always, in the hearts of the mass. I just wanted to share this photograph taken in the CST station in the wake of the bloody incident: a human still gives his hand helping another fellow human who accepts the help so innocently and so dependingly. People are debating on whether to use the phrase “Spirit of Mumbai”. There is no spirit of Mumbai. Either it does not exist, or it exists for every place in the mind of its residents. The spirit exists for humanity. The spirit exists for sane consciousness – without which we would not be a leading species on this planet, we would not be “mankind”. That spirit, hopefully, will prevail. It, hopefully, won’t be turned down by any amount of malfunctioning genes scheming against it.
As a fictional alien once said, live long and prosper!