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Travellerr:MadHouse Mumbai

I often wonder how people live in Mumbai. The city is chock-o-block.
Streets congested to the brim, trains packed like sardines, people
living in houses that resemble a hens den, if at all they are lucky
enough to get a house that is. The unlucky 50% of Mumbai population live
in slums, where conditions, often, are unfit even for animals.

My most vivid memory of a Mumbai slum is the sight of the Mankhurd
slum, which can be seen from the windows of the local train traveling
the Harbour line. As the train approaches the slum, it slows down to a
crawl, as if to prepare itself for the gory sights ahead. As you begin
to take in the sight, you realize that the slum is not too far off. In
fact, its right next to the track, so close that the hutments are barely
a few feet away from the tracks! Children are playing, housewives
working, men folk staring at the passengers or playing cards amidst what
is literally, life in the gutter! Travel in India's economic capital is
harrowing at best. If you are an adventure sports buff, try traveling in
the Virar fast train at peak hour. If you survive, I can assure you that
you can survive anywhere in the world.

I once struck a conversation with a watchman of an ATM near Opera
House. It was night time and scores of people had occupied the footpath
at that late hour. The watchman said that these people were permanent
occupants of the street in the nighttime and that they worked the
streets, during the day. He wondered where they came from. I learned
later that he too lived in a slum in the suburbs, in conditions which
were only marginally better, in that, he had a roof over his head.

While I write this I am watching live visuals of serial blasts hitting
the Mumbai transportation network- almost definitely the handiwork of
terrorists. There is a definite sense that Mumbai has now almost become
used to events like this. Mumbaikars have learned to live their life on
the edge- one more blast is like just like another jostle at the local
station on their daily commute.

Its almost certain that Mumbai will record full attendance in offices
and the city will quickly jump to normal. Much has been written about
the amazing resilience of the Mumbaikars Psyche. Although laudable, its
high time Mumbaikars do not just suffer in silence and carry on with
their jobs. Its time to ask uncomfortable questions to our
representatives- what are they doing to avoid having Mumbai falling off into the abyss that is clearly staring in our collective faces.

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July 12, 2006 5:35 PM

The serial blast in Mumbai which was targetted at the commuters seems nothing but the handiwork of the terrorists who tend to take pride in killing innocent people irrespective of cast, color or creed. This had been a terrible facet of modern INDIA. What we have gone through through this terrorism goes unparalled across the world. Can anybody believe that almost more than 1,00,000 people have already died in the act of violence by these terrorist? This is more than all the wars fought by INDIA. How long can we tolerate this? This proxy war abetted by PAKISTAN is going on since 1948 and is still ON. It was earlier restricted to Kashmir but of late its has its fangs all over India. And no corner of India is presently safe.
They call themself JIHADI but are they really JIHADI. They call themselves ISLAM but are they ISLAM. I think they can't even be categorised as HUMAN leave alone being ISLAM or HINDU or whatever religion. The ONUS is now on our MUSLIM brothers to be INDIAN and think INDIAN and stop supporting this terrorism. PLease dont misunderstand me. I'm not saying that they support terrorism but its felt that it has got their MORAL support. Its an act to perpetuate communal violence like 1993 or GODHRA but kudos to MUMBAIKARS that they have flouted the very menacing design of the fanatics.
What a sight it was! I dont have words to describe it but one thing is sure it cant be gory, it was more than that. Bodies lying in pool of blood, bogies and station completely shattered beyond recognition, bodies drenched with blood, faces dripping with blood. No doubt those people succeeded in their design for creating chaos and fear among common people, disrupting the very lifeline. But its MUMBAI and they probably never have known MUMBAIKARS. They dont know of what mettle we are made of. Citizens were at their best of humanity and showed the very courageous and brave picture of MUMBAI and the people of MUMBAI. This was sufficient enough to defeat the very nefarious plan of the anti-indians.
At this point of time when the whole of India had a gloomy face, the citizens of MUMBAI showed that whatever may come, we will always stand by humanity and brotherhood. This gave a lot of people a courage and belief that the days are not far when we can get rid of the evil mechanism of terrorism. HATS OFF TO MUMBAIKARS!!!!
But here comes the very question as to how we can get rid of this:
1. Severe all the ties with Pakistan. There is no point being goody-goody with the Pakis. They hjave never been true to their own countrymen, then how can we expect them to be true to us.
2. Initiate massive combing operation in whole of the country.
3. All the people should come forward in assisting the government mechanism in making it a success.
4. We know that this was not possible without any internal help. No one could come to India and make such a master-fool-proof plan and putit into action without any internal assistance. There are people who call themselves INDIAN who are involved in this. We request all the people to come forward with their identities, no matter if they happen to be your nearest ones. This is because if this is not curbed now then you too won't be alive to see this world. Cut it down befor it becomes a CANCER.
5. Its not possible for the govt to check everyone and everywhere and there we come into play. Our role is utmost crucial. Be alert as to what happenning all around us. Anything suspicious (any person, any thing or any activity), report to the concerned authorities.
MOST OF ALL BE INDIAN< THINK INDIAN , THEN ONLY WE CAN SAVE INDIA. RISE ABOVE ALL POLITICAL DIFFERENCES, UNITE TO FIGHT TERRORISM. We have been facing this terrorism for the last 20 odd years in ASSAM and we know how difficult it is to lead your life under the very shadow of terrorism and anarchy.    



July 12, 2006 6:02 PM

THANKS Anonymous ! Do touch base to check viewers comments to your article.
Spread the word around so that your friends can read your opinion on this
forum :www.worldofindia.blogspot.com    



July 12, 2006 6:30 PM

I dont understand why people single out MUSLIMS? Yes, are Naxalites Muslims? Are seperatists inn the North-East Muslims?

The reality is that anyone who has been pushed to the limit can take to arms. Of course its not the 'right' thing to do- but try explaining that to poor farmers from Narmada who are now talking of taking to arms because the state just wont listen to them. Are THEY muslims too?    



July 13, 2006 11:25 AM

Are you really trying to say that there is no hand of Pak in all these?? Separatists are a different entity altogether. Whenever people are pushed to wall they react in the manner the separatists or the farmers or the NE separatists do but is it the correct way?? Talking about NE insurgency, do you know that what these people do.....they are being backed by china, bangladesh. Watever they looted from NE got deposited in one SOnali Bank in Bangladesh. So they are not separtist rather they are busy in filling up their own coffer. After sometime some of them would surrender and lead a life of a king with all the protections given to them by government. Then they will start a syndicate to make their illegal things legal. Moreover even though they surrender, people do fear them and hence they are able to make their way. Making money legally though leading a legal life. The people of Assam has seen through all these and so when the m,ovement stsrted they had the emotional backing but not anymore. They have squandered ASSAM or NE as a matter of fact in the name of separation.
In this case particular (MUMBAI BLAST), there is no hidden fact that these are the deeds of the nefarious means of Pakistan and its not that only MUSLIMS are involved.It might be so that people from differnt community might too be helping these terrorists. India is known to have JAICHANDRAS......
Its only that we should be proud to be born as INDIAN and should refrain from praising the fatherland. For everyone of us OUR MOTHERLAND (INDIA) should come first and above any religion , caste or community.    



July 13, 2006 11:28 AM

I do not doubt the foreign hand- pak or bangladesh. My only point is that we should not target INNOCENT indian Muslims    



July 13, 2006 6:01 PM

Who is targetting them? Its their deed thats getting them targetted. I too have many Muslim friends and i feel one of them when we mingle and i'm not at all targetting anyone like them. The only persons who need to be targetted is the person who is ANTI INDIAN no matter if he is Hindu or Muslim. But fate is such that Muslims find themselves on the wrong side of the line.    



July 13, 2006 6:50 PM

ya...u r rite bro, sad but true. i think we need to do more at the primary education level...as always start at the bottom    



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