Mumbai under siege – Day 3

00:55 – And it continues still.. the operation at Taj is stretching longer than anyone had expected.. in the moening yesterday, Taj seemed closer to the end than the others.. and both Nariman Point and Trident have both been secured a while back..

01:22 – I’m crashing.. in the hope that by the time I get up tomorrow, it would all be over..

13:10 – 3 terrorists killed at the Taj.. we’re hearing of plots to blow up the Taj.. RDX has been found.. sanitization continues..

13:28 – Pak has done a U-turn.. say they will not send over the ISI chief, instead a rep would lend up in New Delhi.

13:29 – NSG says the Taj is under their control.. they’re mopping up.

13:30 – Karkare’s funeral taking place..

“How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
– William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)

13:39 – The death toll at the Taj is very high supposedly.. 6th floor of the building are gutted and cannot be reached. There may even be danger to the structural integrity of the building.

14:30 – The terrorists planned to blow up the Taj. Large quantities of RDX has been found. It seems the terrorists underestimated the strength of the stone structure.

14:55 – The Taj Group says.. “We would like to make it clear that there is no information regarding any employee or contractual staff being involved in this terrorist attack as has been reported in the media.”

15:15 – There could be as many as a 100 bodies in the Taj.. shit..

15:19 – I’d hate to be Barkha Dutt’s camera man.. she bosses around too much.. you gotta give it to her for what she does and how she does it though..

21:37 – I haven’t been able to update this for a while.. but the only thing that I feel like telling you is a sentence that R.R. Patil, the Maharashtra Home Minister, said.. “itni bade shahar mein, ek aadh aise haathse toh hote hi rehte hain”.. how do you react to that? Why didn’t someone take of his/her shoe and throw it at this bast@#$d?

21:38 – 195 dead. Rest in peace.

21:40 – A report in the Times of India today talks about bullet proof jackets being available for our police only by the end of 2009.

21:55 – There were 4 terrorists at the Taj, 2 each at the Oberoi and Nariman House.

22:02 –
Lt. Weinberg: Why do you like them so much?
Galloway: Because they stand upon a wall and say, “Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.”

22:05 – Delhi voted today, by the way.. assembly elections.. I wonder..

23:40 –
I think it’s time to end this update now. And yes, like all of us, I’m glad there isn’t going to be a day 4. I had just started putting together a timeline on instinct, putting Gattu’s wi-fi to good use. And I ended up talking to so many people who hit my blog. Oh well, the Yahoo pingbox does have its uses and I have solved that mystery now. Because of my initial updates a couple of hours into that incident, a search for “Deccan Mujahideen” on Google showed my blog on the 1st page. The emotion I sensed the most that night was “anger” amongst strangers, people I didn’t know, united by only our concern around what was happening to our country. It’s over and the questions that haven’t been put to words till now will finally be asked. For me, the big one is where do we go from here?

There’s anger, a lot of it. But is it gonna lead somewhere? In the past 27 years of my life, I have not seen this country change. There has been anger earlier, remember Mandal? But in the end, status quo came and engulfed us all. Won’t it happen again? I can’t help but be skeptical. Cynical. I don’t expect our politicians to change. Yes, there are elections in 3 months, but do we have an alternative? I know you’d say we just sit and crib, we’re never gonna try and make a difference. But how? You need to be a Rahul Gandhi or an Omar Abdullah to get into the thick of things around here. Say, hypothetically, you did want to enter mainstream politics. How do you go about it? You obviously don’t wanna join the Congress, the BJP, the JD, the BSP or the CPI. So what do you do? You start your own party? How long would it take for you to win an assembly seat? Even a municipal corporation seat? And how many of those lines would you have to cross, how many compromises would you have to make to get there? These politicians, they’ve set up these huge, unscalable walls. It’s either their way or the highway. If you want to enter, you have to become one of them. And so the braver amongst us continue, they don’t enter politics but they do other small things, they add their half drops into the ocean but those huge, overbearing walls remain unscaled. Perhaps I’m just making excuses… but am I? Why is the “cost of entry” (in MBA lingo) so high? To join the system, why does it feel like you have to beat it?

So forget the politicians. And let’s just come down to the people. That is what gives me hope. Those Mumbaikars who are standing there talking of India being one, the Taj staff that put their guests above themselves, the commandos who went in there with minimal knowledge and got the job done, the soldiers who died protecting us. We are at war and yes, we shall overcome. And it will be because of these people, the random unknown common man who has his priorities right, who is ready to stand up and fight for himself, for his country and for his way of life

Dear fellow contrymen, do not forget it. I know it’s hard but do not forget how you felt that cold night in November when the Taj burnt, when they came in and violated our freedom. Do not forget that anger. Remember it when you sit at a coffee shop in a 5 star hotel. When you pass through a crowded train station. When you see that policeman with a laathi and wonder how he’s gonna stop a terrorist. Remember that he doesn’t have the equipment coz you didn’t fight for him and he’s still going to be the first in when the maniacs arrive. So fight for him. Fight for the police that needs better equipment, fight for our armies that need better intelligence, fight for our commandos that need better backup. Fight for our rights, fight for our lives, fight for those because of whom, even in this dark hour, we can hold our heads up with pride. Fight for those who fight for you. In the war against terrorism, every citizen of this country is a soldier. We have 200 martyrs today…

“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”


10 thoughts on “Mumbai under siege – Day 3”

  1. The tragedy is finally over… or is it?I can’ help but think what is the bigger tragedy. The fact that we lost so many lives or that the life goes on and in a few weeks we will be back to normal.No…. not this time…I agree Rahul…. let us keep this anger alive… ask questions to the “representatives” of the country who can politicize anything… throw these Bal Thackreys who are splitting us out of the system…. give the people protecting us their due…

  2. Yes, we are too tiny to change the system. But, if we could just be a little more cooperative and not crib about the security checks now onwards, be it at our work place or at any restaurant, that would be a great start to begin with. The next step could be to bring it to the attention of the respective authority if we see any lapse in the security, instead of just letting it go.

  3. Interesting point, Gattu.. and it raises questions that have been debated the world over post 9/11.. how many of our freedoms would we be willing to sacrifice to achieve that elusive sense of security? If there was a kilometer long traffic jam near Forum coz the queue entering the mall is moving bloody slow (coz they’re checking the cars), and you’re late for your movie because of this.. would it be ok?If you had to reach the airport 3 hours before the flight.. for domestic flights.. would it be ok?If all commercial establishments in your city had to shut off at 9 pm.. would it be ok?If authorities were given the power to tap your phones without a court order.. would it be ok?I could write another blog on this :)

  4. I agree, its a lot of inconvenience. And probably thats exacty what the terrorist want – that we feel the terror everywhere we go, but given the current scenario, the attacks (not just their count in last 6 months, their magnitude also), if this much inconvenience can save even one more attack, I think its worth it.

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