BOMBAY’S RUSH HOUR ROCKED BY BLASTS (11 Updates)

Ultrabrown.jpg Breaking News in Bombay via AP:

Seven explosions rocked Bombay’s commuter rail network during Tuesday evening’s rush hour. The blasts ripped apart train compartments and reportedly killed dozens, police and Indian media said.

Though the chaos makes it difficult to ascertain exact numbers, how many have been injured, Indiant tv reports said that “the death toll could be in the dozens.” 40 80 100 105 137 163 172 200 people have died and 300 464 700 are injured. I’m sure that before I can even update this post, one of you will comment with the latest numbers; I sincerely hope that they are not high. I know, I’m excessively idealistic, but whenever I hear “Breaking News”, “Bombs” or “Trains” or similar, I screw my eyes shut and pray for miracles.

Television images showed injured victims sprawled on train tracks, frantically dialing their cell phones. Some of the injured were being carried away from the crash site. The force of the blasts ripped doors and windows off carriages, and luggage and debris were strewn about.
Pranay Prabhakar, the spokesman for the Western Railway, confirmed that seven blasts had taken place. He said all trains had been suspended, and he appealed to the public to stay away from the city’s train stations.
Bombay, India’s financial center, and New Delhi, the capital, were reportedly on high alert. Bombay’s commuter rail network is among the most crowded in the world.

Developing… :(

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UPDATE # 1

Though CNN is reporting that no group has claimed responsibility, the NYT has updated the article I originally cited with the following:

The blasts appeared to have come in quick succession — a common tactic employed by Kashmiri militants that have repeatedly targeted India’s cities.
The first explosion hit the train at a railway station in the northwestern suburb of Khar, said a police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
India’s CNN-IBN television news, which had a reporter traveling on the train, said the blast took place in a first-class car as the train was moving, ripping through the compartment and killing more than a dozen people.
…All of India’s major cities were reportedly on high alert following the attacks, which came hours after a series of grenade attacks by Islamic extremists killed eight people in the main city of India’s part of Kashmir.

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UPDATE # 2

MANISH IS OKAY.

The image you see above is from Ultrabrown; his post on this horrific terrorist attack is here.

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UPDATE # 3

CNBC’s reporter phones in to update the death toll: 100.

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UPDATE # 4

The Mumbai Help blog has resources, updates and a very important reminder that blood donors are needed desperately.

If you’re not shaken to your very core by this tragedy yet, perhaps this simple quote from that site will affect you as much as it has unexpectedly moved me (every other person on my team at work is a PWCer):

I’m so sorry

harshad borgaonkar from price waterhouscooper. His i-card was found amongst the debries [link]

My prayers are with all who were lost, those who are injured, those who are fighting to literally pick up the pieces and help, those who cannot reach family and friends and everyone else who is affected by this craven, calculated attack.

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UPDATE # 5

Bloomberg.com provides new and updated totals:

India’s commercial hub, was rocked by seven explosions on trains and in commuter stations yesterday, killing at least 163 people and injuring 464 in the nation’s worst terrorist attack in 13 years. [link]

There is now a wiki for the event and instead of lashing out scornfully against India’s neighbor, please note that it was created by a Pakistani-American in California named Sabahat Ashraf (via ASATA’s mailing list). SAJA says he “helped lead similar resource (sic) during 2005 Kashmir earthquake”.

SAJA’s contribution to blast-related resources–which includes a link to SM Alum Manish Vij’s Ultrabrown– is here.

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UPDATE # 6

Via Reuters, the grim reality of the wounded city, where predictably, they are running low on hospital beds as well as blood:

“Most of the patients have received burn injuries and are suffering from severe trauma,” M.E Yeolekar, head of Sion Hospital, told Reuters.
“In my entire career as a physician, this is the second destruction I have seen of this magnitude,” he said, referring to bomb blasts in the western city in 1993 which killed 250 and wounded around 1,000 people.

On whom we are praying for:

Hundreds of relatives frantically pored over a list of dead and injured outside the hospital, a scene repeated at many other hospitals, packed with people searching for friends and relatives.
Some of the people who entered a makeshift morgue were unable to identify badly mutilated bodies.

Considering some of the uglier talk on this thread and elsewhere, it’s important to remember that Muslims died, too:

“I spoke to him 10 minutes before he died,” said Haji Mastan, sobbing uncontrollably over the death of his cousin Mukti Mahmood Darvesh, who was travelling on one of the suburban trains.
“Why did it have to end like this? He was young and he has children.”

It’s always darkest before the dawn:

In another hospital, staff constantly mopped up blood from the floor as patients were being wheeled in by the minute.
“We collected scattered limbs with our own hands and put them in bundles and sent them to hospital,” said Santosh Patil, a railway labourer, as he stretchered in a mangled body.

First person account of an attack designed for maximum carnage:

“It was a deafening sound and before anybody could realise anything the roof of the train was ripped apart,” said Mukund Thakur, who was travelling to the northern suburb of Andheri.
“People were thrown outside. I saw limbs strewn around me.”

During our lowest moments, all we have is each other:

Local people distributed food and water among hundreds of people who waited for news from their near and dear ones.
“We are trying to persuade them to have something,” Gurpreet Singh Bangar told Reuters.
“In this moment of distress and tragedy, people don’t care for food,” he said. “But everybody has to live.”

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UPDATE # 7

More from the Beeb. Some commuters never had a chance:

An eyewitness at Mahim told the BBC some of those who had jumped from the train were run over by another train coming in the opposite direction.

Others were lost in the stampede which was inevitable, considering all the panic.

What price, for a life? Nothing can truly compensate for such a staggering loss, but…

The Indian railway minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, has announced financial help for the victims and their relatives. He said relatives of those killed will get 500,000 rupees ($11,000) each.
He has promised jobs for the victims’ relatives and said the railways would also bear treatment costs for the injured.

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UPDATE # 8

I know, it’s ten hours old, but this quote from the web chat WaPo hosted with Suketu Mehta, the author of Maximum City, almost makes me smile:

Washington, D.C.: As a former Bombay resident, I was pleasantly pleased at the way the city reacted to the bomb blast last time around. I hope the same sense will prevail this time as well — nothing defeats the terrorists more than gettting back to normal within hours of such an incident.

Every resident of the city — former or current — walks wounded today.

Suketu Mehta: Bombay is not going to be beaten down by these blasts. In 1993, the blasts killed 257 people; one of the buildings bombed was the Stock Exchange. The plotters were hoping to cripple the financial nerve center of the city. When the Stock Exchange reopened two days later, using the old manual trading system because the computers had been destroyed, it actually gained ten percent in the next two days. Just to show them.

Show ‘em again.

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UPDATE # 9

Mutineer Neha reminds me to check and then change the “tolls”. At this point, 900 people are either dead or injured (200/700). Have mercy.

The number of dead in the eight near-simultaneous bombings during Tuesday evening’s rush hour in India’s financial hub has risen steadily as rescue efforts uncovered more bodies and people have succumbed to their injuries.[link]

Meanwhile, the city kept on keepin’ on and Suketu Mehta (see Update # 8) was right. As one tipster wrote about the Sensex in our News tab, “Can’t touch this”:

Following the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai yesterday, the Sensex opened marginally (nine points) lower at 10,605…Early nervousness saw the index slip to a low of 10,550. However, buying emerged at these levels and the index rebounded into the positive zone.
Unabated buying in technology and select index heavyweights saw the index surge to higher levels in the latter half of the day. The index touched a high of 10,939 – up 389 points from the day’s low. The Sensex finally ended with a gain of 3% (316 points) at 10,930.[link]

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UPDATE # 10

More, from the Guardian/AP. While people once again board trains and the city limps back to its routine, hell isn’t over for far too many Mumbaikars:

Authorities say they do not know how many missing people there are. But Indian television stations are broadcasting pictures of dozens of missing in the hopes of helping relatives locate them.

You know how everyone knows or is related to someone in NYC? Same with Bombay:

“I’ve been searching for hours. I don’t know where else to go,” he sighed.
His colleague’s family lives in the southern city of Bangalore. “His wife called me up and said she hadn’t heard from him and we’ve been searching ever since.”
Because so many hospitals are treating victims, the search is difficult, Ahir says. Making matters worse, many with lesser wounds have been sent to the city’s many small clinics because the hospitals are overflowing.
“What do I tell her when she calls again?” he asked.

I hadn’t even thought of this heartbreaking reality:

There are also victims without families.
At a suburban hospital, a small boy lies unconscious, an oxygen mask strapped to his face. No one knows who he is.
“We searched him for identification, any photographs, but there is nothing,” said volunteer Shilpa Basin. “What if he was traveling with someone and they are injured as well?”

How many children are orphans now? If he wakes up, will this little boy even know where he’s from, what his parents’ names are, who he is? Heartbreaking.

This reminds me of Lower Manhattan, after September 11:

Gandhi, a college student, said her family had spread out to various city hospitals. “We’re taking his picture and showing it to anyone – to injured people, even to relatives of victims. Maybe someone will remember seeing him and we will find him,” she said.

Another horrifying problem: how do you identify someone after something like this…

Gautam Chavan, is fearing the worst.
“I saw how the coach had exploded, if that is the state of a rail coach, what chance do people inside have?”
Scenes of badly wounded people being brought to the hospitals upset him.
“What if we can’t recognize him? What if he’s not recognizable? When will we know?” he cried.

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UPDATE # 11

Via The Hindu: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri makes tactless remarks, which rightfully get condemned by India (and me).

External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Navtej Sarna said “no cause” could justify killing of innocent people…we find it appalling that Foreign Minister Kasuri should seek to link the blatant and inhuman act of terrorism against innocent men, women and children to so called lack of resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan”.

What did the Foreign Minister say exactly? Oh, just this:

Kasuri has said the “best way” of dealing with extremism in South Asia is to tackle “real issue” of Jammu and Kashmir.

Right, because that justifies the slaughter of innocents.

Noting that not much progress has been made on Kashmir problem, (Kasuri) said “incremental approach is good but now we must tackle real issues. And this is the best way of tackling extremism in South Asia”.

Of course it is. Kill first, talk later.

410 thoughts on “BOMBAY’S RUSH HOUR ROCKED BY BLASTS (11 Updates)

  1. Jatin, when exactly have bomb explosions in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh that have killed many been covered here? I’m not talking in the last 2 days, but in the last year.

  2. Dear admin, why are there so many articles in this website about the bomb blasts in Mumbai but NONE about bomb blasts in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh? Are the lives of people living in these countries considered less than those of Indians?

    Troll elsewhere.

  3. We had similar sayings here in NYC after 9/11, sayings that created a false sense of solidarity, an illusion we willingly embraced for the strength it gave us.

    Actually, New York has been an amazing city to live in since 9/11. No, not everyone is peaches and cream, but in general, there’s a sense of respect and boundaries that’s palpably increased. In my opinion. It’s a damn fine town, and our shared tragedy paradoxically made it even better.

    Maybe life will surprise us all and gift Bombay with a similar fate.

  4. i think hairy_d has a point. in india, the genocide in darfur got barely any attention in the media, especially by its most vocal commentators/activists who normally are very voluble on israel-palestine, u.s in iraq and other non-india issues. as far as I remember, darfur just didn’t register in the indian paper’s editorial or news pages, despite the huge scale of the killings and displacements. guess they felt people in india just wouldn’t care enough. have just read comments on the bbc where a white Briton complains that bbc 24 had virtually no coverage of the mumbai blasts, another white briton in mumbai complains that he agrees with mumbaikers who are complaining that the bbc is too pro-islam (and i’m sure muslims say the opposite), whereas bbc world probably had extensive coverage of the blasts.

  5. i disagree with kobayashi, manish and your (just to pick a few) postings that there is something insidious about the lack of indian focus in popular media. heck, it isnt like you particularly know about what’s going on in africa

    You quite literally don’t know what you’re talking about.

  6. Jatin, when exactly have bomb explosions in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh that have killed many been covered here? I’m not talking in the last 2 days, but in the last year.

    I don’t have time to entertain such an insulting, worthless question, but off the top of my head, here’s a post about bombs in Bangladesh and another on Sri Lanka. We cover news as it happens, not via some bizarre tokenist system where faux-equality is valued over logic.

    Do yourself a favor and go through our archives before you commence with the accusations.

  7. “Actually, New York has been an amazing city to live in since 9/11. No, not everyone is peaches and cream, but in general, there’s a sense of respect and boundaries that’s palpably increased. In my opinion. It’s a damn fine town, and our shared tragedy paradoxically made it even better.’

    that’s nice to hear because when i last visited it pre-2001 i found it to be the most insufferably rude, obnoxious place (with a few exceptions). what’s worse, the people seemed to be actually proud of their famous rudeness, as if it were a badge of honor or something. maybe i’ll actually venture back there now.

  8. that’s nice to hear because when i last visited it pre-2001 i found it to be the most insufferably rude, obnoxious place (with a few exceptions). what’s worse, the people seemed to be actually proud of their famous rudeness, as if it were a badge of honor or something. maybe i’ll actually venture back there now.

    i find there is a big diff. between public sector employees and private citizens. the latter are often mighty polite IMHO.

  9. have just read comments on the bbc where a white Briton complains that bbc 24 had virtually no coverage of the mumbai blasts,

    Not true. BBC 24 had continuous, detailed coverage of the blasts just like the other major satellite/cable news channels here ie. Sky News and CNN (the latter would alternate between the normal version and its India-based sister channel CNN-IBN).

  10. A brief comment on comments – the administrators of this site have done a good job of keeping the discourse focused and civil. If someone wants to start a flame war, they can always start their own blog (a point razib has made elsewhere).

    But, on the matter of the News tab, I do have to admit I was a bit surprised that 2 out of 3 articles I posted were deleted today. While National Review is not everyone’s cup of tea, it did feature three articles by three authors on the attack in Bombay. While some have complained about the coverage of the attack in teh American press, here was an American magazine that provided three well written articles. The article did not seeek to scapegoat India’s Muslims, and goes on to discuss the difficulty in America’s dealing with Pakistan. But, this blog has been good to me, even when I’ve been in the minority.

  11. “No – while the liklihood is high that it was an Islamic group like Lashkar or Jaish, it has nothing to do with modern day India’s feelings towards the Mughal era. India is the softest target in the world for terrorism, because terrorist groups (Islamic, ULFA, Naxals) know that the government will hold its punches. And if the point is ever reached that the gov’t has the terrorists on the ropes, these groups suddenly urge peace talks, until they can regain their strength.”

    I dont think it’s ill-feelings either, but rather just a residual connection of being ruled for so long, and having their institutions so entrenched in our own. Almost subtle and subconscious in nature, hell, half the city names are named after muslim rulers, to this day, many Indian languages use Arabic words in their lexicon verbatim… This severly complicates the relationship, making it difficult to police, etc.. I’m not defending it, just trying to explain it.

    With all due respect to the “let’s reach out to the muslim american population, because they’re american doggone it!” talk in this country after 9/11, It’s a safe bet to say that most people and probably most of the US government treats investigating mosques, freezing muslim charity funds, tracking muslim communities, etc.. as studying, infiltrating, and finally rooting out a foreign element.. and not policing within their own population.

    India doesn’t have that luxury. perhaps, unfortunately.

  12. Hairy_d -

    DonÂ’t know where you’re coming from and don’t want to. But just to set things straight, I never took the position that Indian news “ought” to be covered or that there was something insidious about it not being covered. In fact my position, if you can all it that, was the opposite. At the same time, I also understand that some people would feel a twinge by this lack of coverage. But who can say what captures one’s imagination, why the Titanic is popular in Afghanistan or why Darfur doesn’t matter. I don’t go about looking for logic in this world. I’ve long since finished mulling over the measure of man and have figured out for myself (I think) my own ethic or lack thereof. But good luck with your quest on this and try not to be sanctimonious about it.

  13. “Not true. BBC 24 had continuous, detailed coverage of the blasts just like the other major satellite/cable news channels here ie. Sky News and CNN (the latter would alternate between the normal version and its India-based sister channel CNN-IBN).”

    thanks for clarifying. i was just repeating what i’d read on bbc. guess she watched when there was a lull in the coverage.

    “…and private citizens. the latter are often mighty polite IMHO.”

    unfortunately that was not my experience, but perhaps it was just one of those times when everything bad happens to you. in fact, my mother was subject to such rudeness that, in retrospect, i wish i had given some of those people a good old zidane-style headbutt :)

  14. BrooklynBrown

    As for the sentiment, it’s nice and shows a people trying to show both solidarity and endurance.

    I might be taking this too literally, but I find the thought below somewhat disturbing. Is it ok if they attack someone else the next time?

    If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here

    Also,

    The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one – perhaps with greater vigor

    I hope we (at least Indians) remember and make sure that this never happens again. I agree that stoicism is a great virtue sometimes but I think this is the time for some kind of serious action.

  15. KXB, They don’t look deleted to me. Are you sure?

    “Ties that Bind” by Alykhan Velshi is still there, but “The Mumbai Blasts” by James Robbins and “Been Here Before” by Aaron Mannes were deleted. Unless it’s a peculiarity using Firefox’s web browser.

  16. While some have complained about the coverage of the attack in teh American press, here was an American magazine that provided three well written articles. The article did not seeek to scapegoat India’s Muslims, and goes on to discuss the difficulty in America’s dealing with Pakistan.

    Well the article that’s left was worth the read, though much of it has been said before. Much better than poignant snapshots about the flowers of Bombay, and how each community is like a petal, yet we’re all one flower…the silence on the liberal blogs is eye-opening, and just goes to show that if you’re an American concerned about India, you’re better off a Tory. The “rainbow coalition” of American liberalism seems to have a hierarchy of its own.

  17. Basil

    What bomb blasts have taken place in Pakistan, Srilanka or Bangladesh that have killed over 200 people in one go over the past year?

  18. KXB, I am using Firefox and I am able to see three news postings by you in a row that are all still up. Do you only see one?

  19. DonÂ’t know where you’re coming from and don’t want to.

    i shall share, nonetheless. I’m coming from a coffee shop, where i enjoyed a cornmeal muffin. it was very tasty. yum.

    But just to set things straight, I never took the position that Indian news “ought” to be covered or that there was something insidious about it not being covered. In fact my position, if you can all it that, was the opposite. At the same time, I also understand that some people would feel a twinge by this lack of coverage. But who can say what captures one’s imagination, why the Titanic is popular in Afghanistan or why Darfur doesn’t matter. I don’t go about looking for logic in this world. I’ve long since finished mulling over the measure of man and have figured out for myself (I think) my own ethic or lack thereof.

    indeed – logic is limited to a linear linkage between cause and effect. calamities can not be thus explained, try as hard as we do. that is where we need faith, the faith to persevere in spite of spite. a christian doctrine suggests that one’s life is to be founded on faith, hope and charity – as long as one has faith, one can hope and one can be charitable – should that one core pillar be gone, all is lost. logic doesnt register but i admit the paradox, because that discussion was a logical construct.
    now… are mumbaikars stoic or do they have faith, because stoicism requires logic, faith does not. I believe in the power of faith – not in logic. so i disagree, perhaps only on the semantics, on such descriptors of Mumbaikar character – they are people of faith, not of logic. logic can not survive in india.

    But good luck with your quest on this and try not to be sanctimonious about it.

    aww.. did you have to throw a jab in there. i was testy earlier, because i hadnt eaten all day.

  20. I wonder if he’s [Anderson Cooper] got brown assistants/producers.

    I think he’s just REALLY COOL… remember some of his bursts of outrage during the Katrina coverage, Tsunami coverage, and other events? I think he’s just sensitive enough to get upset, and just ballsy enough to say so on-air. Having read his memoir, it seems he has a genuine thirst to understand all people in the world around him.

    As for SpoorLam, my do paise is this: Like Stephen Colbert, our SpoorLam has resurrected the subtle brilliance of satire. Half the joke is people who don’t know it’s satire and think Colbert loves GWB…

  21. KXB, I am using Firefox and I am able to see three news postings by you in a row that are all still up. Do you only see one?

    I’m afraid so – even when I hit the refresh button. Weird that you guys can see them, but I can’t

  22. As for SpoorLam, my do paise is this: Like Stephen Colbert, our SpoorLam has resurrected the subtle brilliance of satire. Half the joke is people who don’t know it’s satire and think Colbert loves GWB…

    Personally, I think he is more like Ajai Raj

  23. heck, it isnt like you particularly know about what’s going on in africa

    How do you know this? There are regular commenters here who have real Africa connections: for example, Mischana, Kenynandesi – They are Africans of Indian origin. Or even chick_pea?

    Three of SMers know Africa quite well: Siddhartha, Ennis, and Abhi. Visit their blog or read about their background when they talk about it.

    There are others like me who have been to Africa and read quite about it.

    That quiz of yours: take it to Princeton, Yale, IITs, IIMs, Presidency College, Cambridge, and U. Toronto. You know who will come ahead: Presidency College (Calcutta). Read Amartya Sen for reasons. Pal, you one of a nerd.

  24. KXB, We discovered the problem and are working to fix it. It may take a while though.

    It’s all good.

  25. Bombay, have you changed? Vada pao at Dadar, Wednesday services at Mahim church, rink hockey at St.Theresa’s Bandra,the Sholay poster at Maratha mandir,Khajurao 5000 bottles piling up on the formica tables at a Wadala pub,the well dressed lepers lining up for lunch in Matunga,waiting in line at siddhivinayak temple dadar,my lucknowi roommate who insisted i accompany him for past midnight lassi,the near empty train to Malad on sundays to eat Goan food with an aunt,Wills cigarettes,wondering what mysteries Night Queen offered on the Andheri Versova road, the 163 bus thru central bombay with a top view of Falklands road,interviews in Nariman point offices, SEEPZ, nights at KEM with a sick relative, bed bugs, visas, the Goa bus from Dhobi Talao, the eternal mystery of transfers between International and domestic airports,those fish joints aka lunch homes,night long cards with my “shippie” buddies,the antics of Protima Bedi, Midday crosswords,those times I transit thru and want to stay a bit, looking over the cabbie’s shoulder to ensure he is reading the rate card correctly, buying used books at Matunga Circle,pao bhaji outside VT while waiting for cerificates to be xeroxed next door,Xavier’s babes ,all in the shadow of the Old Lady of Bori Bunder, chicken at Baghdadi’s, the denizens of the night behind Sterling, muggy dawn, heating bath water with the old stick and wire, like Maggie noodles or the sambhar bucket , the list goes on

  26. Ikram says:

    Aaron Mannes’ National Review article is particularly good, and the fourth paragraph serves as a response to comment #362. Worth reading.

    That article was indeed pretty good, as were the other two National Review articles. Not at all what I expected after the garbage I see on The Corner. Recommended, even for those who, like me, do not usually read the National Review.

  27. Kush – may I respectfully disagree a bit with your last point? #377

    Most people in most countries are not particularly knowledgable about anything outside of their own personal sphere (and I include myself in this description). If I read an Indian writing about the US (random article in random paper), sometimes I wince a bit. If I read an American writing about India (random article in random paper) sometimes I wince a bit. I don’t particularly find the educated elites of either country to be so superior to the other: they have different expertise. As should be expected. It’s hard to really know another culture/country well, even for us diasporans. I mean, one commenter in this thread posted a link to a conspiracy theory about CIA and the bombings! It’s not the first time I’ve read that sort of thing on an Indian website.

    Razib – it is a good article, and Ikram is right, the fourth paragraph is an important point.

  28. Oh, and to clarify, I didn’t meant to single out the Indian commenter with the CIA/Mossad/MI5 conspiracy link. The internets attracts this type, unfortunately, and you see plenty of American commenters making the same sort of comments.

    *The other day I was looking at websites for properties in Gurgoan/Haryana (my family is from Haryana) and I said to my mother, “those high-rises look like terrorist targets to me,” and she got totally freaked out. It gave me such a wierd feeling to think I said that comment, half-jokingly, just a few days before.

  29. So its now the day after and India is pondering on what next. I am glad that the usual reticent MSM in India has come out strong demanding action from the govt. especially in regards to our neighbour. It was a pleasant surprise that both the Hindustan Times (“It will be a long haul”) and The Hindu (“The challenges of maximum terror “) wrote editorials focused on the likely external origins of this evil attack.

    From Hindustan Times: “…The scale of the attack, and the countless tragedies it has brought, demands something more from New Delhi than the mere mouthing of platitudes. There is need to tell our friends in the war against terror that enough is enough, and that something needs to be done urgently about the jehad factory next door.”

    From The Hindu: “Dealing with the second challenge will be even harder — for its solutions lie far beyond India’s borders. Prime Minister Singh has repeatedly made clear his unhappiness with Pakistan’s failure to act against terrorist groups based on its soil. Islamabad has responded with flat denials of credible charges that terror training camps exist on its soil, and that it harbours criminals like Dawood Ibrahim Kaksar, the architect of the 1993 bombings. Such denials have begun to wear thin — and not just for Indian audiences.”

    (BTW, Mr. Yechury of CPI(M) fame still does not get it. His OP-ED in HT is more about India’s opposition party than about the gravity of yesterday’s event. As usual he wants to distract.)

    I hope people demand accountability and not just wait around for the next incident.

  30. Kush – may I respectfully disagree a bit with your last point? #377

    MD,

    I have a reason I said that.

    Society like India is a very bookish, argumentative lot. That is why I referred to Amartya Sen and his Argumentative India book. There is a term in Bengali for that – maybe, some Bengali will pitch in. Once my brother-in-law joked that a 19 year old in Amreeka is most interested in getting laid (should be), and 19 year old in India will spouting about Marquez, Karl Marz, and trying to win high school quiz.

    Walk into a coffee house near an IIT – there is an heated discussion going about everything. Why don’t you spend an afternoon in a coffee house near Hauz Kas, New Delhi. You are medical doctor, you have financial means, why don’t do the experiment I requested. I can help you if are serious about it. We will see how the chips fall. Can I please ask: Have you ever hung around 19 year South Asian kids in South Asia? Maybe, you have. I do not know.

    Last month in Delhi, I was arquing finer points of arms sales, world politics with 19 year olds. I have spent close to 20 years in American academics in one capacity or another and have chatted with freshmens etc. – their are priorities are different, that is way it is.

    In 2004, I used to discuss world politics with my bus driver in Hyderabad.

    Now, discussing the quality of Indian MSM, you are digressing. I can agree with you on that.

  31. B. Raman, again, a very credible commentator on Indian terrorism, has an expanded article up at Outlook – he is sticking with the Al Qaeda thesis :

    While the Pakistani organisations with their objective of “liberating” the Indian Muslims from the control of the Hindus have enjoyed some support from the Indian Muslim youth, the Al Qaeda, with its pan-Islamic objective of forming an Islamic Caliphate, had not enjoyed any noticeable support in the Indian Muslim community in the past. However, taking advantage of the anger in sections of the Indian Muslims over the developing relations with the US, Al Qaeda has been trying to rally the Muslims of India, including J&K, in its support.

  32. Kush, I don’t want to go to far with this on a thread that should be devoted to the topic at hand, but I was thinking about the experience my father has had as a math professor for over 30 years, in India and the US, and refeering the work and PhD theses of students from many countries. He says, and he’s talking about math here, that there are differences to Indian and Asian (in his case, mostly Indian and Chinese) students and they underscore differences in educational background. Both have strong points. His favorite anecdote is this: if he gives a long, hard, slot it out theorem to solve to his Asian students, they don’t tire, while sometimes the Americans do. If he gives a problem that requires creativity, something that he hasn’t discussed too much in class, the American kids tend to do better. Anecdotal, and talking about trends, but if you can share anecdotes, I can too.

    American kids mature later than their counterparts, intellectually. And maybe they think about getting laid more because some of them have ample opportunity to do so. Okay, enough. This doesn’t seem like the right thing to discuss in this thread.

  33. Society like India is a very bookish, argumentative lot.

    “society” is the a good word. people who go to IITs and read their marx are a particular type of indian i would think. but perhaps indians are smarter than bangladeshis.

  34. As for SpoorLam, my do paise is this: Like Stephen Colbert, our SpoorLam has resurrected the subtle brilliance of satire. Half the joke is people who don’t know it’s satire and think Colbert loves GWB

    Please! Can we stop comparing him to Swift and Colbert. This man has one joke and uses vulgar language to deliver it. Puerile humor is not my thing.

  35. Can we stop comparing him to Swift…uses vulgar language…Puerile humor is not my thing.

    Confidently asserted, as only one who’s never actually read the Reverend Dr Jonathan Swift can do.

  36. This man has one joke…

    Recurring theme is actually a comedic device. Whether repeating a previous punchline at the end of a set, or establishing the same one-trick style, it’s often a calling card. Some people like it– like Jack Benny, who found that a running, repeated gag let his audience feel they were “in” on the joke.

    and uses vulgar language to deliver it.

    I find SpoorLam’s verbiage to be anatomically correct, while perhaps overly illustrative, but he/she doesn’t seem to use profanity.

    Puerile humor is not my thing.

    well hon, you know what they say about opinions…

  37. Confidently asserted, as only one who’s never actually read the Reverend Dr Jonathan Swift can do.

    He’s no Swift my friend – unless you need him to be.

  38. Following (and supporting Mr. K, a quote from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”:

    I went into another chamber, but was ready to hasten back, being almost overcome with a horrible stink. My conductor pressed me forward, conjuring me in a whisper “to give no offence, which would be highly resented;” and therefore I durst not so much as stop my nose. The projector of this cell was the most ancient student of the academy; his face and beard were of a pale yellow; his hands and clothes daubed over with filth. When I was presented to him, he gave me a close embrace, a compliment I could well have excused. His employment, from his first coming into the academy, was an operation to reduce human excrement to its original food, by separating the several parts, removing the tincture which it receives from the gall, making the odour exhale, and scumming off the saliva. He had a weekly allowance, from the society, of a vessel filled with human ordure, about the bigness of a Bristol barrel. (link)

    So, uh, yeah, Jonathan Swift often worked the “blue” (or should I say saffron?) material too.

  39. Spoor Lam has the eloquence to write that or anything remotely like that? Ideology can apparently blind aesthetic judgment. :-)

  40. No, he’s no Swift.

    The Reverend recommended to the English upper classes that the breeding and subsequent eating of infants was one way of solving the Irish overpopulation problem. Swift was flagrant, scatological, infuriating. No “great” writer favored shit (that is to say, excreta) as much as he did, with the possible exception of Francois Rabelais. I guarantee you’d have hated him if he were a contemporary.

    Shri Lam is positively polite by comparison. But no satirist undertakes his task in the hope of congratulation.

    Now can the proper comment thread resume?

  41. I don’t think that there will be communal violence as a result of this bombing. I trust the good people of Mumbai (though the politicians are another matter, of course).

    I just read an article on Rediff, quoting the Indian Govt’s response to a statement apparently made by the Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri. According to Rediff, he claimed that “…claimed that incidents like the Mumbai bomb blasts were linked to non-resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan.”

    Did Mr. Kasuri actually say this? Has anyone else come across this statement by him? I’m pretty shocked that he would say anything along those lines, if only for reasons of realpolitik!

    Regards, Kumar

  42. A Londoner’s perspective (from Mumbai): http://james.cridland.net/blog/2006/07/nothings-happened.html

    There really is nothing more to say. In London, there was a small flower garden, and hawkish missing posters. Russell Square was shut for weeks after the bombings with ominous big lorries. Here in Mumbai there are no roads closed, no policemen swarming over the financial capital of India, nothing untoward. Litter bins haven’t been taken away; and the bombings haven’t been used as an excuse to stop autograph hunters or anything as ridiculous as that.

    If anything, it’s made me feel rather ashamed that we Londoners made such a comparative fuss about the 7/7 bombings last year: and I thought we’d done pretty well.

  43. Swift was flagrant, scatological, infuriating.

    Oh! I understand now. All you you have to do is use salty language and you shall become the next Swift! Thanks for the education Mr. K.

  44. This is a shameful act of terror, but we must look at the root cause of it. The babri masjid demolition and Indian state excesses in Kashmir are serving as fodder for misguided muslim youth