28 November 2008

India's 9/11

(BBC photo)

The tragedy in Mumbai is India's 9/11. Unlike America before 9/11, India has always known terrorism, but never of the scale that has been experienced in Mumbai.

Those of you who know me know that India is my second home, however, I have never been north, I've always stayed south in my beloved Tamil Nadu. a Tamil friend in India emailed me this morning to tell me how sad she is that westerners were singled out by the terrorists. my friends here have emailed me telling me that they will worry about me even more now during my future trips to India (I have two planned.) I appreciate their concern, but I think it is misplaced because I can die within the hour or next week or 30 years from now. I am not afraid to die, not anymore. I do not live my life in fear, although I know I will die in India. don't ask me how I know, I just know.

I've heard from various news sources that the authorities think the terrorists have ties to Pakistan but also to Kashimiri separatist groups. For those of you who don't know India's history, Pakistan was created out of the Partition. There are some who think that it was one of the greatest tragedies in human history. this was a brutal time in India's history with atrocities committed on both sides. many westerners look up to Mahatma Gandhi, but I can tell you that some Indians hate him for his role in the Partition. I had a long conversation on a long Indian train trip with a man who told me that many Indians hate Gandhi just like Americans hate George Bush. it was an eye-opening conversation.

Terror and suffering in this world are created when we believe we are separate from one another, when we do not see ourself in the other person.

My heart cries for Mother India, my India.