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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Remembering the heroes of 26th Nov (the day when Mumbai, nay India was under siege)

As the day comes, its bitter memories stark one’s mind – a day when the Nation was held to ransom.  We grimaced, those affected were resilent, we all expected that some concrete thing would happen to ensure Justice for the victims, solace for the Nation and some tough action preventing recurrence.  Ajmal Kasab challenges, goes through all the procedure, figures of expenditure in maintaining him keeps going up in crores… but where is the stern action  ??
Remembering the heroes of 26th Nov (the day when Mumbai, nay India was under siege).  

India, as a Nation is given to kindness – we don’t believe in the theory of ‘Retributive Justice’ – here punishments are not proportionate response to crime.  There is always talk of ‘innocents should never be punished – in the process allowing hardcore criminals escape unscathed’ – the legal system is not intended to bestow satisfaction or phychological benefits to those aggrieved – whether an individual, a group, society or the Nation at large.  Hence, criminals and militant groups in whatever name can even challenge the Nation – targetting common man and even the Parliament !!

There are times, when the common man who is always called upon to bear all the troubles and tribulations feels frustrated but is helpless – in such times, one certainly feels, that ‘let the punishment fit the crime’ is ethically correct.  A normal person committing a crime in a fit of rage, might deserve support from the legal system – but should the State go on extending all benefits to somebody who waged a war against the Nation remains unanswered – but the benefits are too visible through the practice !!  - there need not be the code of Hammurabi but certainly there has to be stricter interpretation of even the existing Law. 

Today – 26th Nov –  a day when Mumbai was under siege 3 years back.  On this day [26th Nov 2008] there were coordinated shooting and bombings across Mumbai by Islamic attackers who came from Pakistan.  The only assailant alive -  Ajmal Kasab later claimed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's ISI.  In an attack spanning 4 days,  164  Indian lives were lost and 308 were wounded’; and that includes some top Police men and Military who valiantly fought and but for whom the loss would have been of a much higher magnitude.  Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai: at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital,the Nariman House Jewish community centre,the Metro Cinema,and  more.   India's National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the death of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks.

Leopold Café

Ashok Kamte – one of the many valiant.

The attacks were widely condemned, the Indian government said that the attackers came from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan. On 7 January 2009, Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman officially accepted Ajmal Kasab's nationality as Pakistani.  A trial court on 6 May 2010 sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on five counts.

Apart from the valiant officers and jawans who lost their lives, there were Police officers and common men, who were injured badly getting bullet injuries.  Some reports do suggest that Govt. had not taken care of them in the best manner possible.   While people have lost track of the crores spent to keep the lone attacker alive, should not the Government spend more on its heroes who contained the damages and lost their lives in the process !  Is it not the duty of the Government to ensure that infrastructure is made better ensuring prevention of any recurrent attacks ?  Should not security be beefed clearly conveying message that ‘no more of attacks’ would be tolerated ?  Has anything of any sort happened ?  Is not our coastline still vulnerable, despite what was demonstrated so badly on that day. 

We say that common public have shorter memory – but what are the Rulers doing ?  Only relishing that ?  perhaps – if it is a stray incident, it would remain  fresh in the minds of everybody and Govt. would be keen to avert such disasters –  Looking back 26th Nov was perhaps not unique – there have been so many acts of terrorism – may  not be of this magnitude – no, it is not unique to Mumbai even !!

In 1993 (12/3/1993) a series of 13 bomb explosion shook Mumbai (then Bombay) – resulting in more than 250 fatalities.  The attacks were reportedly coordinated by Dawood who cosily lives in Pakistan.  – after the 26th Nov, again in 2011 – this time 13th July 2011 – three bombs exploded at different locations in Mumbai at  Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West localities. So, bombings go on, people will talk for some time and perhaps something bigger or otherwise turns away their attention !!!

We ape the Western World, especially US – we take pride in eating hotdogs, sandwiches, pizza and coke.. US was also under attack – Sept 11, 2001 – was a black day for them when four passenger jets were hi-jacked and crashed into the Twin towers, Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania.  Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda, and in 2004, the group's leader Osama bin Laden, who had initially denied involvement, claimed responsibility for the attacks.  Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. Numerous memorials were constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York,  and in an adjacent place  another World Trade Center is estimated for completion in 2013.  US takes pride in its Operation Neptune Spear which eliminated Osama bin Laden at a far off place from US (in Pakistan) on 2nd May 2011. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. Excellent post, apt and intriguing.

    Much to ponder.

    Thanks for the post amidst cricket fever.

    Jai Hind....

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