Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, the financial capital of India, and the backbone of Indian economy, saw the worst of its nightmares come into reality on November 26, 2008. Some of its iconic landmarks were in flames and the city life came to a standstill.
How was Mumbai before this tragic incident? It was a city bustling with life. It attracted immigrants from different parts of the world. Some with a business idea in mind, some with a will to work, some to try their luck; thousands flocked to this city. With dreams in their eyes and an ambition to make it big, they came to Mumbai and made it their home. Being a business hub, Mumbai drew in the masses who settled in the city to make an earning. Since long, it has been home for millions and has greeted people from many distinct communities and diverse cultures.
On November 26, 2008, things changed for the worse. A series of ten coordinated attacks began across some of the major parts of Mumbai. Hundreds of innocent people were killed and many were held hostage. This was not the first time Mumbai had to face terrorist attacks. Back in 1993, this city had experienced a series of thirteen bomb explosions that destroyed the lives of hundreds of civilians. In 2006, this metro city, for another time, was devastated by the train bombings on the suburban railway in the city. But nothing could stop Mumbai. The resilient people of the city bounced back to life, each time a destructive force tried to suppress them.
On November 26, 2008, Mumbai witnessed the most destructive bomb attack. The resilience of its people seemed to have become an excuse for the political authorities to test the tolerance level of its citizens. Their level of patience seemed to have been taken for granted and it became obvious for the anguished people of the city to be outraged. It was natural for them to want to overthrow their political system for its incompetence in safeguarding the lives of innocent people. True, the Mumbai police confronted the attacks with great courage. Many laid down their lives for the sake of their nation. The Black Cat commandos were ushered in to Mumbai to rescue the hostages, which they did with true devotion towards their country and the countrymen. But were they backed by the political system? Were they sufficiently equipped to combat the severe attacks? I am afraid; they were not.
Who is to be blamed for these devastating attacks on Mumbai? What can be done to prevent further destruction? Does the Indian Government have a fail-proof action plan against terrorism? We have always been raising these questions and speaking about tightening the country's security. We have been talking about taking stringent security measures to prevent terrorist attacks.
But probably, it is time we go beyond this and look at terrorism from the perspective of psychology. What makes some people turn to terrorism? What instigates them to kill other human beings? It is high time we find answers to these questions and attack the root cause of a 'terrorist mindset'. It is time to eradicate terrorism from society. It is time to uproot the 'terrorist mentality' from this world. If someone can influence people to kill, why can't someone influence them to 'let live'? If someone can blindfold them in the name of religion, why can't someone open their eyes? If a section of society can be provoked to murder innocent people, why can't positive influence change their minds? Terrorism is no longer an issue between a few countries. It is definitely not about race and religion. It is a global issue that has to be tackled with greater sensitivity. Let us come together to banish terrorism from society and not just hope but also ensure for ourselves, a safe life.