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India: Kashmir and Mumbai

Categories: South Asia, India, Pakistan, Breaking News, Disaster, Governance, History, War & Conflict

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’ [1]. ‘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’ [2].

“…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?’ [3] He believes the BBC prediction has come true [4]:

“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’ [5], 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 [6] on the terror attacks in Mumbai, India on November 26, 2008.