|As I See It? 7-24
Sunday, December 21, 2008
By Manish Madan
Seeing 15-20 lifeless innocent bodies lying in a pool of blood in 'one single room' can be an eye opener for any sensitive human being but not for an inhumane, brutal terrorist spread across the world. Such is a glimpse of a larger picture that India's brave officers and its' citizens witnessed in the most recent terror attack while launching the rescue operations. People across the Nation and perhaps the entire world could only imagine it much to having a worst nightmare of their lives in the last 3-4 days. Acknowledged as a 'mother of all time terrorist attacks', it has shaken the entire world, the foundations of peace and prosperity, and people well beyond the borders and the man-created boundaries. More than 180 victims (including India's best of the gallant officers) were killed and over 350 people got injured during the terror attacks spanning non-stop over more than sixty hours. The number of dead victim also included approximately 22 foreign nationals succumbed to this horrendous acts of terror. Presenting data for those who are and will be suffering an emotional distress or psychologically depressed life post the terror shall only undermine the extent of terror, and therefore I shall give it a pass even trying to estimate.
Terrorism emerging as a global phenomenon has perhaps no rationale, no support from the global village we all live in, yet it finds it way affecting hundreds and millions of people today all across. India, an exponentially-economically rising nation is on a world map today, as one of the fastest growing-developing countries in the world. With the 11/26 horror in the country, it has once again put the nation on a world map, however, for all the wrong reasons - giving insecurity to ordinary citizens, inculcating terror in the citizens' life, and offering an unseen unparalleled fear in its visitors and tourists per se. However, History is evident for depicting India's prominence on tranquility and opulence, bilateral cooperation with its neighbors, condemning terror attacks to its core occurring within the world at various time points. To further boast, she has never initiated a war against its neighbors and has always acted in its own defense whenever struck by the enemies, only to emerge as victorious. Yet, once again today India finds itself mercilessly at the hands of heinous terrorists who manage to cause damage that cannot be priced. Make no mistake though India will strike back at the terror and ensure its promise of working proactively in the war against terror. As Martin Luther King said once, 'We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope'. Our most sincere prayers, remembrance of the victims and their families, looking ahead with positive energies, a much greater HOPE to rise together shall mark a new beginning in the process of uplift as ONE COMMUNITY, as ONE NATION, a NEW FORCE TO RECKON WITH.
Barkha Dutt, an NDTV journalist rightly noted that 'this event can be a nightmare for any government'. Indian forces (police officers, commandos, and hotel staff) fought very bravely to turn that nightmare into a memory that will remain forever within every citizen's heart and soul. Their fearless sense of duty toward protecting the Nation and its citizens embraced the officers to their last breadths dedicated to their mother land. Today, India stands together in saluting our 'NATIONAL HEROES'. We pay our homage, respect and honor their lives that were sacrificed in face of the terror that gripped our Nation. Hemant Karkare - chief of Anti Terror Squad, one of finest officers became a martyr after being hit in his chest by three bullets of the terrorists. Another Indian Police Services (IPS) officer Ashok Marutirao Kamte was killed while fighting terrorists at Metro Cinema in the city along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar who was also gunned down, as one of the worst terror strikes brought Mumbai to the knees . On 26th Nov. 2008, several iconic buildings in South Mumbai were attacked by terrorists. Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, a symbolic 100 year old landmark was one of the prime target sites where many people were held as hostages by the terrorists. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a valiant 31-year old Army officer while saving life of his fellow commando engaged in the cross firing in Taj Mahal Hotel lost his own life. He was a part of the operation launched by the National Security Guards (NSG). There will be more heroes emerging from this unprecedented terror attacks as the reports come by, but we reiterate that all sacrifices have left an indelible mark on our souls for the rest of our lives.
Post 9/11 attacks in United States the term terrorism got a new dimension; the whole world condemned it as a worst attack on humanity. United States created a Department of Homeland Security post attacks. With the most appalling 11/26 terrorist attacks in the commercial capital of India, Mumbai, it is again bound to give terrorism a new dimension - a dimension where the coldblooded social animals are well versed with the technology, meticulous in planning, well organized and perhaps highly educated as well to execute plans to a perfection. Einstein noted that 'You cannot solve a problem on the same level on which it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level'. Equivalently saying 'You cannot do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow'. That said, with a strong condemnation of the terror attacks, India will come up strongly and build up an infrastructure stronger than ever before to counter the evil deeds of the terrorists and this global phenomenon. Change is everywhere! There is another dimension to it, CHANGE - Climbing High Altitudes Not Going Elsewhere! All the county men will come up collectively to respond to the terror attacks, and Indian law enforcement shall exhume the seeds of terror from its core. As I finish up this piece, I must share with the readers that terrorism is for a day but peace will be forever! May peace and prosperity prevail across the great nation, India!
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising each and every time we fail - Confucius.
Manish Madan, Ph.D. is a graduate student in Criminal Justice at Michigan State University.
Reaction of an Indian Student Who Lives Just Two Blocks Away from the Mumbai
By Nikita Shah
We are Indian youth studying abroad.
From our villages and metropolises we travel far and wide in educational and professional pursuits; to make ourselves more adept, more worldly wise.
So many miles away from home...and it feels like in some strange sense, we are an endangered species in a land where we find ourselves huddling as a family of "resident aliens".
As a matter of realization, this distance in geography works in inverse proportion with our sense of belonging with our origins.
Here - alone and together, we are one.
We are one voice, one thought, one sentiment.
We are one in our affectations, our pain, our triumphs and our experiences.
As students of the very institution of life, as citizens of humankind, as individuals whose hearts beat to the rhythm of a collective consciousness; we are growing more wakeful each day. More restless to bring about a change. To remain hopeful, positive. To shape our endeavors in ways that will benefit our world.
The series of terrorist attacks across India and the most current blow to Mumbai city have unsettled and strengthened our spirits alike.
Our faith in the goodness of the world has escalated. Our faith in our selves is evolving.
We remain God fearing yet ready to be summoned at a call for immediate action.
There is way too much chaos in our world and thus a greater need for optimism. For clarity and justice in idea and deed alike!
Terror lasts only for a day but Peace is eternal. And Peace, in essence is Love.
We salute those who have dedicated their lives in service to society.
We root for those who are able to see method in the madness.
Our role models are victors who have triumphed to Love through Virtue not Violence.
We are Indian youth living abroad.
We are passionate by blood and we shall overcome, we shall overcome until there is nothing but Peace, Love and Tranquility in this world.
A time of crisis is a time for affirmative action.
Several organizations have collaborated efforts to be carriers of the change that is a call of the hour right now.
With the warmth of a 1000 candles.
Nikita Shah is a graduate student in Advertising at
Michigan State University.