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Mumbai Terror
A tale of two marches: two worlds or one country?

by Atiya Hussain

In the week after the attacks on Mumbai, I found myself attending two marches. The first and bigger affair was a bit disconcerting. A friend I met at the second march, which for lack of a better term I’ll call the Muslim March, said the first had made him feel it was some sort of party, as though India had won the cricket World Cup. I know what he meant.  Unlike the energetic, sometimes theatrical first march, the Muslim March was a sober, restrained affair.

Both marches were disturbing. In the mela of the first march, all I saw was emotion: anger, betrayal, shock, sorrow and above all, ‘we won’t let it happen again.’

The self-conscious Muslim March just made me feel sad. I am well aware that given India’s recent history – why just India, the world’s recent history has seen wars fought because ‘they hated us’ – it is something to be grateful for that, this time around, there doesn’t seem to be too much Muslim-bashing. As a Muslim, I have not been made to feel as somehow complicit in the immoral acts of extremists. Pakistan has been at the receiving end, and Indian Muslims have been quick to maintain a distance from the shootouts at the CST and Taj and Oberoi hotels.

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Anger Management

by Naresh Fernandes

Yasmin Shaikh was taking her evening stroll along Worli Seaface when a colleague called to tell her that a particularly violent gang war had broken out across south Mumbai. Shaikh immediately phoned her local police station to get more information. When they told the lawyer that the city was probably in the midst of yet another terrorist attack, Shaikh knew what she was expected to do. She contacted several of the 25 people who serve with her on the Nagpada unit of the Mohalla Committee Movement Trust and they spread out through their neighbourhood, putting up messages on blackboards on more than a dozen street corners asking residents to stay calm and urging them not to believe rumours. She spent the rest of the night calming anxious neighbours.

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Terror: The Aftermath

by Anand Patwardhan

The attack on Mumbai is over. After the numbing sorrow comes the blame game and the solutions. Loud voices amplified by saturation TV: Why don’t we amend our Constitution to create new anti-terror laws? Why don’t we arm our police with AK47s? Why don’t we do what Israel did after Munich or the USA did after 9/11 and hot pursue the enemy? Solutions that will lead us further into the abyss. For terror is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It thrives on reaction, polarisation, militarisation and the thirst for revenge.

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Gentle responses to terrorism - Micro Activism

by Dr Dayal Mirchandani

In response to the recent terrorist attacks The Behavioural Science Network is starting a discussion group for people interested in doing something positive. Tentatively we are calling this Micro Activism Anonymous (MAA). The idea behind this is that small groups of people can get together and do something constructive in a humanistic way that enables each one to make a positive contribution.

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Attacks are aimed at disrupting social harmony

by Deveika Bhojwani

As we remain in shock and grief after the violence that caught our city unprepared and unprotected, we must start focusing on some very vital issues to try and understand why we are being targeted over and over again. Last week was the 16th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It was a relief to see that day pass without any incidence. However, the aftermath of that one senseless act of destruction, has left such a trail of violence, that the repercussions are still being felt today. Our so called leaders and politicians still defend their actions and in the name of religion have fanned hatred and violence between communities, for their own political gain, trying to turn us against each other.

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