I am stick to my stomach as I write this, while also following the news online at NDTV and CNN-IBN, and on Twitter. Forty Sixty people may have been killed in five attacks in Mumbai (the death toll mounts even as I am writing this, and I am not even sure how many more are seriously injured). All the places targeted are public places – hotels (The Taj, Oberoi/Trident, Marriott), a hospital, a bus station, the main train station (CST), movie theaters, gas stations, a restaurant (Cafe Leopold).. it’s horrifying to read, and I can only imagine what people in these locations are going through even as I write this.
Some people, in India and elsewhere, seem to blame the police for lack of security and wonder at the fact that terrorists are able to strike at will in India.
I don’t think these attacks show any lack of security. Public places anywhere in the world are vulnerable even with the best of security. Can one body-search every person who enters a crowded train station or a movie theater? Or, for that matter, a gas station?
Mumbai is a remarkably resilient city, and has taken repeated serial bomb blasts in its stride. This is a really great quality in a people. You don’t want people living in a constant state of panic, or heightened terror. That is exactly what the persons who spread terror want. But it is hard to stay calm and go through life normally, when you do not know where the next danger lurks.
But why do terrorists target Mumbai again and again? For that matter, why do they target Indian cities repeatedly? CNN-IBN has a list of terror attacks just in the last few years in various cities in India. Yes, it’s a long list, and just goes to show how India has been targeted repeatedly by terrorists, far more often than any other country that is not in a war. Why is this?
Why are a peace-loving people targeted repeatedly? Why are hundreds of innocents killed?
Do the people who carry out these attacks this believe the West will turn a blind eye to terror attacks in India? Or do they want to create the impression that India, and Mumbai in particular, is an unsafe destination? Or is India just an easy target with its crowded public places?
This latest attack seems to be aimed at taking hostages, from what I hear, US and UK citizens. Again, I wonder what signal the terrorists are trying to send.
To the great people of Mumbai – my wishes are with you. Please stay safe.