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.


  1. I have been covering this pretty extensively as part of a world wide civilian media forum! I feel for India because i think of them as a whole as a beautiful innocent people!

    I hate to say it but wherever around the world this so called terrorism rears its head it has ties to militant Pakistan. Sadly this too is just beginning. Nothing is being won or list it is just beginning!

  2. This is certainly a horrible development...though perhaps not surprising given events leading up to it. I'm a bit surprised by your comment about Gandhi, however...though I can think of many reasons many contemporary Indians might not think on him fondly, I'm under the impression that he strenuously opposed the partition, thinking that it would only lead to...exactly what we're seeing now. Am I wrong about that?

  3. Dr. Jay, believe me, it was an eye-opening discussion for me on that long Indian train ride. don't forget that a Hindu fundamentalist assassinated Gandhi.

  4. true that he was opposed to the Partition, but both sides blamed Gandhi for the fighting....

    ""While Gandhi succeeded in creating and leading a people's movement, he committed two mistakes; supporting the Khilafat movement and making Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru the prime minister. The end result was that two enemies, Pakistan and Bangladesh, were created forever," he said.""

    from an article in 2003:

  5. lastly, some right-wing Indian politicians also blame Gandhi for the partition of India and Pakistan...they say that it came about because he was too eager to 'appease' the Muslim community.

    so who knows? all I know is that it was very interesting train conversation in the middle of the night racing through the Indian countryside.

  6. this is a very good ny times article about it




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