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India: Kashmir and Mumbai

India’s largest city and economic hub are now target practice grounds; much similar to Kashmir. “We’ve all been watching TV till our eyeballs were emanating radioactive glow,” pings a friend and freelance Photographer from Mumbai, who adds:

“Media coverage is par for the course. We’re a very crassly inquisitive race, so why should our media be any different? And we don't have any survival instincts at all, everybody's milling around in Colaba, while there's shooting and explosions happening at the Taj. Bizarre country, it’s not resilience its apathy.”

The well-known, yet unresolved problems in Kashmir, some believe have lead to cause terror in Mumbai. While some others consider the blame game an unfair opinion. Let’s take a look at some underlying issues that are plaguing the blogosphere.

Elodie21, has set her current mood as angry in her livejournal as she comments under the post ‘Attacks Continue’. ‘It is time for Hindu Terror groups?’ she wonders.

“..I read how one terrorist called a TV station and asked if Indians knew how many Muslims had been killed in Kashmir? Let’s ask these men back if they know how many innocents have been killed because of terrorists? This will never end… Isn't it obvious, while Pakistan plays dirty politics (there is no denying that they help militants enter India when their army fires to protect their passage by distracting the Indian army) and these jihadists kill innocents, Indians will be bitter? They will retaliate too, take it out on Muslims, this Islamophobia will build up. Its natural and it will happen – it is happening. Taking hostages, murdering people, will not solve anything. If it could have, it would have done wonders by now. But it will not. It only serves to heighten violent reaction towards innocent Muslims.  What these attacks will do is probably serve to bring the rightists to power. Like BJP. What they will do is create support for Hindu terrorist organizations. What they will serve to do is convince more youths like my friend, to join Hindutva. And they will end up worsening the situation for Muslims.”

But, do we really care, when terror strikes Kashmir and bomb blasts are an everyday affair? Rama is skeptical in his blog “Khamosh sa afsana” writing under the post ‘Cycle of Violence’.

“…we are human selectively. We are not shocked when a large number of people die or kill themselves due to starvation. We are not human when violence of such magnitude take place quite frequently on the streets of Kashmir and are undertaken by these very ATS guys. What were the demands of these pathological creatures? That killings of kashmiris is stopped? Mumbaikars have nothing to do with the other killings yes, they were chosen coz they count — their losses creates an impact. There is so much pathos in this country of ours. Disposability of certain bodies viz-a-viz the nationwide mourning of some”

At Idealistard’s weblog the post is titled ‘Mumbai attacks and Kashmir connection?’ He believes the BBC prediction has come true:

“I maybe the only one who is making this connection, but i remembered reading something about recent protests in Kashmir valley where Indian Security forces gunned down 40 unarmed civilians. What this program on BBC predicted over a month ago is chilling and right on the spot. I’ve included the BBC Article and highlighted the prediction of Al-Qaida style attacks in eventual transition of militancy.”

But in the end, Kashmir Portal is left with questions in the post ‘Only questions and concerns after Mumbai attacks’, that only time can answer. Here is one of the few.

“The Indian PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh, was quick to point finger to India’s “neighbors” (read Pakistan) and their involvement in the attack. Pakistan quickly replied that it was too early to put blame somewhere and stated that the Pakistani government did everything to stop the terrorism in its own country. Now it is proved (or at least alleged) that at least some of the gunmen had direct links with Pakistan. The blame-game has started. How will this affect the ongoing CDP (the bilateral peace process that partly deals with Kashmir, but also nuclear proliferation and other issues)? Was the purpose of the attacks to disturb this slow but forward moving process? Hardly anyone has noted that the attack happened on Wednesday, the same day as the Pakistani Foreign Minister went to New Delhi to continue the peace talks.”

This post is part of the Global Voices special coverage on the terror attacks in Mumbai, India on November 26, 2008.

  • bbd

    Muslims need to raise their voices and condemn Terrorists who stain them.

    We need to help those with legitimate claims and prevent Terrorism from breeding.

    True muslims must take the lead and Loudly declare they DO NOT support Terrorists who attack in their name!

  • dk shilshi

    Lets not prefix/suffix religion/community/region or country with “Terrorist”.Lets condemn it straight forward as Terrorist. Spoiled humane genes who destroy human being.

    There is NOTHING repeat NOTHING such as Muslim/christian/Hindu etc etc terrorist on earth. If at all used commonly today, he who uses has inevitably wrong mind set, who needs counselling.

    dk shilshi Mumbai

  • RK

    No cause is noble enough to justify the killing of innocent civilians. I have many Muslim friends and none of them have ever said to me that they are discriminated against as claimed by these terror groups. It is just an excuse.

  • I don’t think Pakistan can have done with without Indian sympathizers. The anti terror squad wasted its time looking into the Malegaon incident while it should be been concentrating on other things like preventing something like this.

  • Priyank

    India’s fight against terrorism

    Another attack on India. Mumbai is bleeding again. How many more attacks, how many more corpses, how many more sacrifices will it take for our leaders to act? I am fed up; I am fed up with this government, all politicians irrespective of their party. Something needs to change and it is not politicians but us who have to do this. Mumbai attack has shown the exemplary valour of our soldiers, our police and ordinary people. The only cowards in India seem to be our great leaders who are hiding in their safe haven in Delhi. The leadership has failed and has failed again and again. Are we soft state? Yes we are and here I would like to compare the speeches of Mr. Bush after 9/11 and our own PM, Foreign minister and the Home minister.

    “Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.” were the opening remarks of Bush.

    “The dastardly terror attacks that took place in Mumbai last night and today leading to the loss of many precious lives and injuries to many others have deeply shocked the nation.” were our PM’s word.

    Let’s compare these opening remarks. The opening remarks of Bush made it clear that it was just not any other attack but an attack on everything US stands for-: its citizens, its way of life and its very freedom while our PM called it just a dastardly terror attack. These opening remarks show he difference in the determination.

    “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve…. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America — with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could,” were the inspiring words of Mr Bush. I could not find anything inspiring in our PMs speech.
    “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them,” was clear warning to anyone who was harbouring terrorists.
    “We will take up strongly with our neighbours that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated, and that there would be a cost if suitable measures are not taken by them.” Take up? What you mean by take up. You are taking up this thing for last 30-35yrs.
    “we’re going to find those evil-doers, those barbaric people who attacked our country and we’re going to hold them accountable and we’re going to hold the people who house them accountable. The people who think they can provide them safe havens will be held accountable. The people who feed them will be held accountable. And the Taliban must take my statement seriously.” What warning are we giving to Pakistan?
    Why should every time it is India’s responsibility to avoid conflict and reduce tension? Why our leaders are afraid of escalating tension? War is already there, we are bleeding everyday. The only anomaly is that only one side is bleeding right now. I am not ready to bleed hundred of times I am ready to take a hit but I also want to hit back. Our armed forces have shown their ability again and again. I am sure they are capable of punishing Pakistan to such an extend that they would not dare to repeat this dastardly act. But our leaders are coward they are afraid that the any conflict can escalate. We are a nuclear weapon state as Pakistan is. If Kargil did not escalate why should an attack by India. Pakistan works with an assumption that whatever it does will not be retaliated by India because international community would come in to diffuse the tension. They know whoever will act swiftly and decisively will get the advantage. Now it’s India’s turn we should act swiftly and decisively. We should take the punitive action; we should hit them fast and hard.
    Pakistan Foreign minister has promised all help in the investigation. He has also proposed to form a hot line between head of intelligence of two countries. But first let them give us 20 most wanted terrorists that have found safe haven in Pakistan. No matter what Pakistan promises unless they will give us terrorists like Maulana masood and Dawood Ibrahim we will not consider them our friends. It is time now for Pakistan to take steps to diffuse tensions.
    What kind of Democracy are we living in? The most hated home minister is still there in his office just because of one woman. I will never be able to forget that video where our home minister was clearly more concerned about his spotless attire than the people who were battling for their life because he failed to do his job.
    None of us is perfect but we learn from our past mistakes. We learn and we do not make those mistakes again. But we seem to be repeating them every time. Let’s look at the common things in most of the terrorist attacks. Most of the attacks that are happening in India are serial attacks and there is about 30mins to 1hr or more between first incident and the last. Why don’t we have a system with the help of which we can warn all the public place in a city if an incident take place any where in a city. Why can’t we have an announcement system which could announce about an incident immediately asking people to leave the market leaving their vehicles behind and stay out till police have checked out everything? Militants are also attacking the hospital nearest to the place where first attack has taken place. Are we taking this thing into consideration? Why don’t we have a NSG type force in all the state capitals and large cities? How much will it cost? We can spend millions to protect our useless leaders why can’t we spend few more to protect people who choose them? And one question I want to ask our leaders why doesn’t the most elite force of our country have night vision goggles?
    Atrocities have been inflicted on our fellow citizens. Today we will mourn the deaths but tomorrow we should avenge them.
    There is no issue bigger than security so today I take a pledge I would vote for anyone who will promise to punish those 20 terrorists even if that means a war with Pakistan or I would not vote at all.
    Jai Hind

  • Jam

    What the heck!
    1. Politicians have started the mudslinging match.
    2. HT Channel second-guessing NSG commandoes operations. They are quoting Israelis could have done better job. Oh yeah. F U HT. Dont EVER EVER second-guess a real time operations from your studio.
    3. Government started pointing fingers to Pak government. Well, what the heck did you do to avoid this, Indian Govt ?.
    4. And, aftermath this is just going to be a flash in the pan. Reporters, politicians, government – nothing is going to change.

    It is the citizens and the security forces who bears the brunt. Jai Hind.

  • rama

    thanks for including my comment. it is good to be part of a debate while not making any effort to be in one. after reading the rest of voices, I only want to say that it was not my agenda and i hope some of the others realise that it is not about individualising perpetrators of terror just like we should not fix a religion to an act of violence. idealistic as it may sound, i think that is the only way fwd

  • Nabarun Guha

    Why is it that any act of terrorism is always linked with the kashmir issue?It seems that kasmir is being used by terrorists simply as a convenient excuse for all their cowardly acts.Terrorists nowadays are coming from the educated elite,so the previous excuses such as “oppressed and downtrodden people rising up in revolt”simply does’nt hold true anymore.It seems that things have reached a point where terrorism is being conducted simply for the sake of terrorism itself.Terrorism has become a multi-billion dollar industry with multitudes feeding off this hydra-headed monster and the only way of keeping this industry going is by more and more terrosist attacks.Sounds cynical?Well so be it!Terrorists do not have any ideology worth its name whatever they may think.

  • nh

    First and foremost I would like to ask why are Muslim youth so violent. We must accept the fact that these terrorists are muslims, all of us know that but don’t want to hurt our friends and countrymen.I am not pointing fingers at all the muslims because I have really good and kind muslim friends. These terrorists are brainwashed in such a manner that they are ready to sacrifice their lives. On one hand my heart go out to the parents of those terrorists who lose their lives in such an incident. On the other hand I want to ask how come parents are not aware of what their sons and daughters are upto. Are we as parents lacking somewhere in bringing up our children. We must instil in our children to respect lives and denounce violence when they are little kids. In my opinion we as parents has a big role to shape up our children’s mind and body.

  • jay

    nh: One part of the country we can have all the rights and pleasures of being a citizen of a country, at another part, subjected to human rights violations, kidnapped and tortured by security forces, and killed at will, no checks and balances for this power and authority granted to state agents “security forces”.
    No one would stand up, raise voice, try to prevent it, or even think it is wrong? our indifference to the civil and human rights of our own fellow citizens, makes them the target of brainwashing, turning them into terrorists.
    What is the remedy offered by the state to an unarmed civilian killed in Kashmir? will they get an apology letter and compensation the same compensation as the one offered to Mumbai victim?
    will all of us collectively stand up and mourn the loss of civilian casualty in Kashmir as the civilian loss in Mumbai?
    if not then we are not truly non-violent, not truly denouncing violence, we are marely selectively choosing and sanctioning death sentences everyday.

    Nationalism is a disease, which tries to tell you which kill is invaluable and which one is worthless.

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