27 November 2008

Mumbai meri jaan

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was a proud Indian. Well, I still am. But I am also feeling like a sad, helpless and angry Indian today.

I have been watching the coverage of the Mumbai attacks since morning and not since 9/11, when I lived 40 miles from NY have I felt this type of urge to stay glued. The images are disturbing: bodies being hauled away by their arms and legs; militants shooting from a police van they abducted. The senselessness of it all is overwhelming.

The media coverage has been largely annoying. By covering it 24/7 they have certainly helped keep the public pressure on our police and political machinery. But their questions are really off putting. For instance: How many of the killed were foreigners? Really, does it matter what was the nationality of this person who died? People are dead. For no reason other than they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. This obsessiveness on part of the media to keep quantifying the causalities every time they get a mike near an official is exasperating. How about asking instead - Who is in charge of the ops? Who are the leaders spearheading the mission to rescue the hostages? I want a bio on all the cops who were killed because they died in the line of fire and they should be honoured for their commitment. For while we sipped chai and watched in horror, they lived the horror. I also want to know - Why aren't any of the cops and army marines I see wearing anything resembling a walkie talkie? Why aren't film crews respecting privacy of the common citizen who is trying to flee the hotels?

The debates on this incident have just begun. I'm just angry that they are all about the numbers and not about the people.

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