Mumbai blasts...and careless whispers

It has been over 15 hours. Over 100 killed. Over 225 injured. 11 places attacked. Terrorists are still holed up inside some of these places.

It has been barely over 15 hours and everyone has turned into an expert.

I live in Mumbai. I know each one of these places.

This is the list:

Cama Hospital, GT hospital, CST (formerly VT) rail terminus; Taj Hotel at the Gateway, Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point, Nariman House Colaba, the domestic airport at Santa Cruz, the Metro Adlabs multiplex and Mazagaon Dockyard, Vile Parle.

Already, theories are being thrown around. It is disconcerting but unavoidable that the newspapers that came in late, naturally to front page this story, carried on its second page information about the Malegaon blasts in which there was this news item:

“Interrogation of Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey, who is in police custody till December 1, has revealed that the group was working to create an ‘Aryavarta Rashtra’ in India,’’ an ATS official said. talked about creating a Hindu Rashtra.

It is easy to put two and two together. After all, the ATS chief who was investigating that case has been killed, so have two other officers. And 14 policemen.

It is easy to say a lot of things. How could a boat filled with arms and grenades manage to get in? They are now insinuating the role of the underworld (something I mentioned during the attacks in other cities), but what does it say about our intelligence agencies? That arms can come in as easily by the underworld as narcotics?

What do the news channels mean when they say two terrorists were chased out of GT Hospital? Were they flies that they were chased out? Should not the security personnel have run after them and caught them or even shot at them and extracted information?

And then people want me to condemn the attack.

I won’t. I won’t because I will not dismiss off a tragedy, and the sick face of society, in one sentence. I won’t because every leader from the ruling party does it and means shit. I won’t because Opposition parties do it and mean shit. I won’t because groups as diverse as media gods and maulanas gather to condemn it and mean shit. I won’t because even those who we suspect as the outside hand condemn it and mean shit. I won’t because terrorist organisations rush to take responsibility for such acts and the ones who don’t condemn it and mean shit.

I won’t because I am not upto shit.

But I will make a few suggestions:

- Blog groups have sprung up; in the past some have been helpful in providing information. Let them not become another source of sensationalism. They have limited information because most areas are under curfew. Yes, they might be helpful for helplines and blood donation requests etc.

- The media is being kept at a distance, so what you watch on television is a distant image. Their job is to report based on flimsy facts. Why the hell are their giving their opinion? Someone said it looks like what has been happening in Jammu and Kashmir. What has been happening? AK-47 rifles? Grenades? No one heard of this before? They say these are the Fidayeen because they are willing to die. Every terrorist is. From every country and with any affiliation. Not everyone is smart enough to plan a whole operation and get members of another community to plant bombs.

- Do not let rumours run havoc and reach conclusions. Mobile phones are working.

- Politicians please stay out of this until things are a bit under control. We do not have the resources to take care of your security. There is no need for Advani to rush from Delhi; the BJP government is not in power here.

- Do not pay any attention to expats. They know zilch. They resort to half-baked truths if not outright lies. They are trying to connect with their roots and feel a part of the action. They are a sorry group of disgruntled people who create more fissures; they sponsor religious organisations; they start the blame game. Mumbai and India are not yours. Get that in your heads. Right now.

Your two-bit donations to some organisations do not make you Indian. Your stupid nostalgia for films and streets does not make you Indian.

And your analysis of the ground realities do not count, so shut up and stay out of this.

I can comment on the police, the army, the law enforcement authorities, the government because I am paying for their upkeep. I can comment on the citizens of my country, wherever they are and whoever they are and whatever I feel about them, because they are mine.

I can question them, but not judge them.

I have not asked any Hindu to condemn the role of sadhus and sadhvis. I have not asked the armymen to condemn the role of some armyman. I have not asked anyone to condemn Narendra Modi or Bal Thackeray.

Because I know that anyone can do that. I also know that most people want to go about their lives in peace and are being brainwashed.

I have not talked about the beautiful dome of the Taj Mahal Hotel. Why do these idiots not condemn those who have been weeping over it? Do you know that the hotel sent out a message that it is doing everything to protect its guests and staff and will bring the Taj back “to its former glory”? What kind if statement is this at such a time?

Who wants to see the fucking dome? Who? Some NRIs? Foreigners?

Yes, I go to that hotel. Yes, I visit the Sea Lounge. Yes. Yes. I am not their only patron. They make money because several Indians eat there, have coffee there. I am not asking the Government of India to sponsor my coffee. I am not asking some foreign agency to sponsor my coffee. I am not sponging on anyone. I am paying for my own coffee.

And don’t give me that crap about how India allows me to do so. India gains as much to benefit from my being its citizen as I do from being an Indian.

The day I renege on my tax payments or commit a default or crime, then the Indian courts can take action against me. No one has the right to question my nationality or my motives or of any members of any community only because you think the terrorists owe allegiance to a certain religion.

Certainly not those who stood in line to get their special visas to run away from my country.

Mumbai will survive and I am glad that the NRIs are not here. They do not deserve India.

India, good and bad, will be questioned by me. I will not turn a blind eye to its flaws. Because unlike you who come here for your annual vacation and take pictures of debris, I talk about cleaning it. I know I don’t live close to it, but the people I care about do. People who earn an honest living do.

Our helper took the local train and came to work this morning. She watched a bit of TV with me. She did not want to know whether I have condemned the act. That thought did not even strike her. I won’t mention her religion. For neither of us is that detail important.


  1. Raiders of the Taj:

    The classic Urban Guerrilla. Reminds me of the Black September raid at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

    Could it be a neo-Symbionese Liberation Army?

  2. Hi Farzana,

    It's been a while since I strolled onto your blog. The substandard reports in the media concerning the events in Mumbai left me hungering for an insider view. So here I am. Feels good to be back. Your articles really jolt me which is great because that's rare to find in the media.

    I can hear that you're upset and angry but I don't fully understand the context really. Did someone ask you to condemn the attacks (a weird request if you ask me because it means paying lip service and nothing else)? Was the person an NRI? Why this extent of fury against NRIs? And what I find more unusual, why the adoption of this rather one-dimensional "us versus them" view?

    I'd love to know if something specific spurred this outburst.

    Best wishes,

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  4. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the original terrorist who refused to for a complete population exchange between India and Pakiland.

  5. more dangerous than who has done it are the consequences and this may lead to an indo pak military escalation on the indo pak border...as they say " fear made men believe in the worst"

  6. Slightly different tangent, if someone hurts your child , would you ask his religion or nationality before retaliating ....same logic , whichever bastards did it and whatever their logic is or reason is or religion is or nationality , just f*** them .....time to smash their balls ....as simple, as it gets.....

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  9. ...what does one say? Am glad you're ok.

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  11. Hey Arjun, Pavocavalry and Zeemax..nice to see you here. Arjun's spy anna is here too.

    Farazna, you collect some really crazy characters here.

    I hope you are okay. Don't worry too much about apology or condemning this. This is clearly some trained outfits job and trained by some intelligence outfits most likely indian.
    Just read the disinformation coming from every where.

  12. For the soldiers of my country:
    Metallica - Seek and Destroy

  13. I have nothing much to respond to beyond the fact that, yes, I did react angrily and all expats were tarred with the same brush. Just as all Muslims are.

    I can choose to ignore comments, but not when the situation and emotions are volatile.

    There is no need to insinuate rubbish about a person you do not know and even less reason to LIE. I have never said Kashmir should be handed over to Pakistan; I have spoken for autonomy. It is my opinion.

    There are several such anonymous people who think they can say what they want. Most of them cannot engage in an argument, much less read complete sentences.


    I hope this answers your question.

    Anon who asked about her, she is a different one. However, please do not ring the rubbish discussions from elsewhere here.

    Thank you...

  14. a Isreali family was wiped out and their two year old son is an orphan now.The cult started by mohammed is the biggest scourge of modern civilization..

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  17. Arjun:

    And when Kashmir receives autonomy, it will protect its borders from three neighboring nations at war, a whole domestic network of terrorists, and a complete lack of any natural resources how?

    Tourism? Tourism will fund its entire existence, its protection, its everything?

    Autonomous and free Kashmir is the GREATEST pipe dream ever created. It needs to be split along the LOC, and half needs to be administered by Pakistan, and the other half by India. That is the ONLY solution. Not an ideal solution. Not the solution I would prefer. But the ONLY thing that is possible.

  18. There is nothing to gloat about an Israeli family being wiped out and a child being orphaned. But is is sick to use this as a scoring point. As though you care. If you did let us know what you think of those who have been orphaned in Gujarat...you know of the woman whose belly was torn open and her unborm foetus thrown out and who was raped.

  19. Orange Wristband question:

    It's not as simple as it seems.

    As I wrote in the above blog entry, India is now formally a member of the Global Jihad Targets Club. Let's see how they cope with it.

  20. Hi Farzana,

    Thanks for replying. I get it. I think.

    I missed the Kashmir autonomy post entirely. I will look for it now.

    Amazing though that a democratic suggestion like that can evoke such chagrin! India and Pakistan can bare their fists and gnash their teeth all they want. Both sides have screwed in their own sordid ways. But considering that neither are willing to even conceive of officially dividing the state (subject to approval from the local population), the issue of autonomy seems so far away. I doubt a single politician (indian or pakistani) could voice out in favour of the autonomy view or the separation view for fear of the end of one's political career. Are there any independent forums or groups in Mumbai that are pushing discussion of such issues, I wonder?

    - Anna

  21. Hi Anna:

    Just two posts above this one, because some mischievous people were taking my sentences in isolation, I decided to upload the full article on Kashmir.

    No politicians and neither country wants the Kashmir issue resolved. Period. It is as simple as that. The very politics of the subcontinent rest on this issue as also the 'use' of the army.

    Independent groups cannot bring about such drastic changes, especially not those sitting in Mumbai or Karachi. Also, most such organisations have a quaint idea of peace...I wonder when we will realise that gestures only work this much and no more.

    I am just glad that there are some people who do engage in a dialogue; this blog may not reach out to the world, but it makes me feel less isolated!


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