Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mumbai terror attack

I have been itching from past few days to write a blog entry, but was busy with assignments and project. Here is quick update from my side:

I will finish my application process tomorrow for PhD program at Rice University. Florida has won SEC championship game, and hopefully will win National championship also. My best wishes are with coach Urban Meyer and his team. I followed Florida games throughout this season and am really impressed by Tim Tebow’s dedication. For those who don’t know, Tim Tebow is University of Florida quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner with a GPA of 3.7!!! And yes, he visited Philippines for missionary work in his spring break rather than going to Daytona or Miami beach.

I intend to address issues that came to my mind after November 2008 Mumbai attack. Interesting thing is I have to write date along the topic name, suggests “There have been more”. There have been 5 bombing incidents within a period of 8 months (Dec 6 2008, Jan 27 2003, July 28 2003, August 25 2003). Then there is July 11 2006 Mumbai train bombing. In fact, I was outside the Malad station, returning from Java class when these bombing incidents occurred. I had to walk from Malad to my place, since trains and bus services were stopped to prevent further attacks. Here is listing of all the terrorist attacks that took place in India:

My heart fills with pain when I read and hear about this. As human being, I have extreme desire to end these kinds of attacks and bring peace in the world, and as a science student, I see it as a problem that it yet to be solved. I will try to address these emotions separately and hopefully, at end of this blog entry, I am able to put down thoughts that have been revolving in my mind (this is literal translation of an Hindi expression J ).

First, let me offer my prayers and condolences for those who have lost their lives. There was a candle light event at University of Florida campus. I was overwhelmed to see people from various countries (including Pakistan) share the same sentiments.

Now let’s address the issues rationally and methodically:

1. Is India prepared to handle terrorist attacks?

I believe Indian defense forces (which include Police) are capable to counter any kind of attack. But I must say we are not ready to predict such attacks. India does not have a centralized counter-terrorist plan (which should include local law enforcement agencies to RAW, navy and army). Efforts should be made to formulate such plan. It will require considerable investment in developing this infrastructure.

2. “Blame game” (as Mr Musharraf puts it) post-attack

I believe that both countries India and Pakistan cannot afford a war. Even if they could, they shouldn’t go for it. There is significant portion of people on both sides which hate other country and believe in war propaganda. These people were either victims of partition or war or probably are “brainwashed”. I use this term to generalize any kind of thought processes which is built up based on environment and which relies totally on emotions rather than logical and rational thinking. Both Pakistan and India have to make sure that such people are not the elected representative of people or into law enforcement.

I am sure that Pakistani government did not authorize this attack, but it is also confirmed that this attack was masterminded in Pakistan and Pakistani nationals were involved in this attack (See: Also, I disagree with the fact that it is just India’s internal problem. If there is a citizen of your country, who promotes terrorist activities, it is responsibility of the government to act against such person (even if he is from your intelligence services). I think Pakistan government should investigate into this and ban any terror camps.

Again, I want to summarize by saying, I do not believe in war, but I think Pakistan should make considerable efforts to eliminate terrorist camps in their region. Also, I think peace talks with Pakistan should be continued and efforts should be made by Indian government to coordinate with Pakistan government to take action against people involved in this attack.

3. Islam and terrorism

I respect Islam and think it has something wonderful to offer to world, eg: “Zakat” (alms-giving). But, I feel sad for people who misinterpret Quran and believe in killing other people in name of Jihad (See I am sure God will not absolve them of such sins. I have many Muslim friends who are very nice people. It is unfortunate that they are categorized because of these terrorist. I would like to point out the fact that Indian Muslims condemned this terrorist attack and even refused to bury the terrorists in Mumbai. Hanif Nalkhande, a spokesman for the Muslim Jama Masjid Trust, said: "People who committed this heinous crime cannot be called Muslim. Islam does not permit this sort of barbaric crime." (See

I believe any religion (including Hinduism) should not tolerate harming other people in its name. I am against anyone who is involved in Mumbai and Gujarat riots.

4. Responsibility of media

I think media should not abuse the freedom of speech and should be discreet in case of such emergency. I hate to point out that terrorist were watching the television which displayed all the movements of India defense forces, which may have delayed the operation and cause further casualties. (See

5. Assessment of manpower and equipments of Indian police is necessary (See I understand it is not a step function, but steps should be taken to ensure gradual progress of Indian forces.

These are my personal opinion, and do not intend to harm anyone or any sect. I also do not intend to finger point at any country. If you feel I have hurt your feelings or am being unfair or incorrect, please write back to me and I will modify or probably delete this blog.

I would like to conclude with two sayings:

“Eye for an eye would make the whole world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke.