India: Bloggers react to the bomb blasts in Mumbai

Mumbai was hit by serial blasts today. Commuters in trains on one of the railway lines (Western Railway) were killed by bombs that went off in seven different trains. The blasts occured around 1825 hrs, which is the peak hour for commute in Mumbai, as office goers leave South Mumbai to go back home to the suburbs. Estimates suggest that the body count is around 180 as of now.

Within minutes, the Mumbai Help blog came alive with messages, comments and offers to help. The blog started last year to cope with the floods, and started to fill the information and communiation gap. This particular post asks readers to provide phone numbers of people they want to check on, or inform. Metroblogging Mumbai has been doing updates on the issue. This is an open thread on the blog.

Amit at India Uncut has a post with frequent updates as the situation changes. With the mainstream media reporting with the trademark cluelessness, More on Mumbai by Jayesh. Blogpourri comments on the smugness of a particular mainstream media news channel. NowPublic features images taken by a citizen journalist, Dharmesh Thakkar. Pajamas Media collates links from mainsteam media and blogs. At Indian Writing there is this dedication to the particular intimacy that can be formed on public transport:

To “train friendship”. To every kind of friendship. To remember those whom the city has lost, and to honour their memories by holding together and never letting the violence win.

Gaurav Sabnis grieves for the city and its people.

It's been a tough day for the city, and the tragedy has a slightly personal note for me too. I am fortunate that neither me nor any of my acquaintances were victims today. But Western Line is “my” line. I have regularly travelled on those very tracks. The idea that almost 200 people were killed along the very familiar landscape which is a part of my life chills me, angers me and saddens me.

Contrapuntal asks why Bombay? and looks forward, hoping that there is no backlash.

Why Bombay? Why always Bombay? Because it's big and successful, so if you can make a splash there you're sure to hit the big time. (Why does anyone go to Bombay?) Please please let there not be a backlash. I'm incoherent. I'm not trying to write an article ok? The trains, soft spot, so horrifyingly easy. It's a miracle it hadn't happened before. And now what? How do you screen every single person who gets into a Bombay train?

Waking up twice on the assumptions that are made in times like these. Ultrabrown has notes on the terror attack and screenshots of the coverage. The Renegade of Junk on right-wing bloggers in the US indulging in their standard fare.

Many right wing bloggers in the US are somehow trying to link these bomb blasts with their own domestic selfish pro-Bush agenda, as bongopondit pointed out in the comments. The rest are engaging in highly clueless analysis of the events. For example Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters.

Scout on being outside India at a time like this and watching the news on television.

People here feel sad about us Indians. They can't imagine a life where bombs go undetected and terrorism is something they talk about in political science classes. But for us, it is a part of life – inevitable. But being away from India puts things into sharp perspective for me, I see it both ways and it hurts that much more.

Dhoomketu on the blasts and what he learnt today. On the Ganga Mail reflects on the city.

That's the thing about Bombay: you don't have to go to the city to see it. Those into Hindi movies have grown up in it without even setting foot on it. That's why it hurts even a Bihari or a Bengali when tragedy strikes far-off Bombay. It is the surrogate hometown of every Hindi movie-watcher.

Dilip goes to one of the stations which was hit, and writes about a car that is forced to take in passengers. A flickr set called Black Bombay has been created to collect images from the blast sites.

Lame politicians as usual and please, no one talk about God. Suketu Mehta discusses the blasts in the city online at the Washington Post.


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