Some More Thoughts

1. When a news program has the punchline “No bias no bull” , you can be assured there is only bias and bull. Wolf Blitzer’s prime time coverage of recent events was as full of bias and bull excreta as one can fear for. The predominant theme that WereWolf Blitzer kept harping on was these attacks were most probably committed by agents inside India (needless to say the full moon gives him visions of truth) and that Pakistan is innocent (but Al Qaeda, an agency that has no connection with the Pakistani administration may be connected).  What India is saying is irrelevant as India’s knee jerk reaction is to blame Pakistan —however the US blaming Taliban (the then-government in Afghanistan) for 9/11 within hours was not knee-jerk of course. They know better.

Full prime-time coverage is provided for the Pakistani ambassador to the US and the Pakistani prime minister to do their “Ooooh-we-are-so-hurt” spin as the Werewolf throws up soft lobs to help them get the point across. And why is CNN so willing to push the Pakistan line? Well CNN gives it away themselves when the expert says that if Pakistan is occupied in a confrontation with India, that would be the worst thing that could happen to US interests.

Which once you think of it is fine.

After all CNN is an US channel and will think of US interests which is now aligned with Pakistan.

What that does not explain is the consistent theme throughout the evening to ask “How good are the Indian security forces?” with one host (not Werewolf) saying she was shocked to see how an Indian commando was firing at the Jewish center and how do we know “whose bullet” killed the Rabbi !

2. In the war of public perception, India is once again the loser. While CNN perhaps may not have even wanted to get the Indian point of view, seeing the Pakistani PM and Ambassador talk one had to grudgingly respect their ability to spin like Abdul Qadir and come up with a tone of mock sincerity which was almost convincing. In other words, they were doing their job good as did the kind General. The only soundbites emanating from India from an official source was our man Manmohan Singh staring into deep space, his voice trembling,  speaking robot-like with all the menace of a benign grandfather gently admonishing you for breaking the corner of his thin arrowroot biscuits while serving tea. Not that the PM is expected to froth at the mouth and yell, but as an expression of the national mood, it was way short of the mark. To put it mildly.

3. India’s point is not that the Pakistan government planned the current attack. Perhaps they didnt and in ant case such a claim would be impossible to prove. The contention is that 1) Pakistani territory was used to plan and execute the attack and 2) that sections inside the administration, perhaps acting in their own capacity, or actors whose unmolested presence in Pakistan is proof positive of tacit official support, were the brain trusts behind the endeavor.This was exactly the kind of involvement that Taliban had in 9/11. Yet it was considered perfectly ok by the international community to hold the Taliban (and Afghanistan) responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center.

4. At a time when we have a number of foreign invaders in the country, many of whom are possibly loose out in Mumbai or elsewhere in India (cause we have no idea as to how many there were in total), it was heartening to see our TV channels articulate this national fear in terms of Amitabh Bachchan having to sleep with his gun below his pillow. Now to be honest, all of us dont have guns. To be even more honest, if the terrorists do come for you with their fancy guns and devices, the gun below the pillow wont do much good—perhaps you wont even be able to bring the gun out before the terrorists have done their deed. Unless you can keep them distracted with macho Bachchan dialogs like “Hai kisi maa ke laal me himmat, jo mere saamne aaye”.

5. It’s time we made a national pledge. Not to go after Shivraj Patil or his bandhgalas.

The thing is this. He tries his best. It’s just that terrorists are so afraid of him that they run away before, like a stream of light, he arrives just in time.

Before I could reach there, the terrorists who had attacked one of the hospitals, the Cama Hospital, had left and those who attacked the railway station had also left,” Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said.

Don’t worry. This time perhaps the terrorists got away. The next time they wont.

134 thoughts on “Some More Thoughts

  1. Well said, GB. The anguish I felt at seeing our PM voicing those verbal innanities at a nation provoked, made my blood curdle. This is our ‘date that shall live in infamy’. What shall be our reaction to it? It’s anyone’s guess. I’ve expressed similar sentiments in the poem below.

  2. I do not know how to deal with the self-obsessed American media. If they called me on their ill-informed and fanatical “US interests”-oriented “news”, I could make my thoughts public.

    But till then, it is best to ignore; possibly by not even wanting to know what they think. Seriously, who the m.f. is Wolf Blitzer?

  3. the giant sleeps

    A violent sound,
    Death abound;
    A mother weeps,
    The giant sleeps.

    No time left,
    Promises unkept;
    Fear creeps,
    The giant sleeps.

    Faraway lands,
    Fettered hands;
    Village Burned,
    Giant Unturned.

    The myth divides,
    Love subsides;
    Intolerable bleeding,
    The giant sleeping.

    No end in sight,
    Fight or Flight;
    Vision blurs,
    The giant stirs.

    Giant, Awake?
    No Escape;
    Dreams help me cope,
    I have but hope.

  4. I’m watching Larry King right now and the panelists are talking about the possibility of Pakistan and even Dawood Ibrahim’s hand in the whole mess. So its not a bad showing of perspective of their part. They’re handling it pretty well IMO.

  5. @Footballnath: Peter Bergen talked about Dawood also. But in the case of Wolf, he summed it repeatedly in a pro-Pakistan way. And that ultimately was the impression the show conveyed.

    Plus Larry King has Deepak Chopra. Do you think anyone takes him seriously?

  6. Not that anyone cares about Fox News broadcast, but I was shocked to see them show the headlines ” Mumabi burning, gangwar or terrorism?” also the crappy news reader was saying,” the security guards were incessantly firing at the hostages??? what the?

  7. @ GB
    Agreed on the Blitzer and Chopra part, Blitzer’s just a career cable newsman who has to spin things to make them palatable to the average viewer. But you have to give a dinosaur like Larry King some credit for working the “alternative” Pakistani angle.

    They even had Chopra on King yesterday as the attacks broke and there were a lot of WTF moments. He was talking as if he was on Oprah and acting like this was India’s fault. Again, pandering to the lowest common clueless cable news viewing denominatot.

  8. good one greatbong.
    yeah people should stop watching tv. they are being ridiculous all around… and sound like frogs…
    i did not realise they had that to say about amitabh bacchan. thats too funny.
    radio channels are making us sing Saare Jahaan Se Accha in unison here. in some ways i am happy to live under that delusion despite the obvious ridiculous-ness of it….

  9. GB: you missed Raj T, and Madam Patil. Raj T has happily gone into hiding and Madam Patil, curtails her official engagements in Indonesia because V.P Singh has kicked the bucket and does not deem it necessary to cut short her visit and come back because there is a war being fought in Mumbai.

  10. And here comes the mighty economist

    Cant Indian government put it straight on the record, these are Pakistani nationals.

  11. The terrorists who attacked Mumbai were far too trained in combat operations. Pakistan will be a culprit surely if its discovered that the training indeed happened in that country. Who knows the exact nature of involvement of ISI in the training operations ? Even the slightest passive involvement is a clear case of assault on India. Till such a point that a clarification is made, India should sever all its ties with Pakistan.

  12. Bull:BullShit::Moron:Wolf Blitzer

  13. things have been steadily getting worse and worse to the point that we were kind of used to bomb blasts and stuff happening everywhere. we were getting into too passive a mood.
    maybe we will now dish out some of the old ultraviolence ourselves. violence is bad even if it is for good of the people, but maybe it is time we attacked first rather than wait for things to happen to us first.

    let the foreign tv channels say whatever they want about our police, but maybe our people will now understand the threat the police face and the bravery they show in the face of danger.

    this is probably the lowest point that we have reached, we can only hope that things get better from now on.

  14. don ayan de marco November 29, 2008 — 6:07 am

    Spot on GB! The PM gave a very uninspiring speech which I thought was an exercise vocabulary that one is taught in class 6.

  15. The Amitabh segment was seriously the low point. There is no way in hell you can justify saying that the greatest impact of this tragedy is that Amitabh Bacchan has to sleep with a gun under his pillow. I mean, WTF is that all about? How is that even relevant to anything? Thats almost as bad as Modi and Advani spouting their rubbish, or that jackass from BJP who tried to head out to the Nariman House.

    It was heartening to see the pakistani FM and general being lambasted by the media on the national TV, but equally disappointing to see that the PM and the leader of the opposition can’t work together.

    And of course, given how Obama views India, its no surprise how the current crisis is being viewed across the western nations, with Nigel Inkster on Times Now mentioning that there is nothing to suggest that these guys could be related to anything from Pakistan, even after repeated claims of links in Karachi (of course these claims weren’t backed by western sources, and hence, were suspect, unlike the WMDs which everyone knows are hidden beneath Iraq’s oilfields).

  16. I was surprised to see Israel condemn the handling of the rescue mission. If any body deserves appreciation during this bizzarre time, it’s the collective security body. It’s the body of people who put themselves in the line of fire and take those bullets. It’s the body of people among whom was major Unnikrishnan, a few years my senior during my school days in Bangalore (Though I was in a different school, Sundeep’s sports prowess was well known among school going kids in Bangalore).
    What would the Israelis rather have ? A thoughtless attack into the building which kills everyone, much like their own hairbrained operations we see time and again ? Or a nerve gas attack into the midst of hostages a la the Russian cinema house ?
    I think the Israelis were foolish to have made a statement such as ‘the operation was handled incompetently’.

  17. This is truly a very disturbing situation. I will add a little using my knowledge of some very elementary diplomacy and history.

    First, we need to be realists. IMHO publicly pressurizing Pakistan will yield nothing concrete. Let me repeat that again. Nothing. We don’t have the means to achieve this at all and more so when US national interests are so closely hinged on a stable Pakistan fighting for her.

    We tried that six years back and lost a lot of money and achieved practically nothing. Even today, the demand for ISI chief’s visit to India had to be muted.

    Pakistan is a binary state at this point – one the old school intelligence guys who never want peace with India at any cost and the other the actual state which could be eaten up completely by jihadis. The more we appear overtly belligerent to the state more these two parts are likely to crystallize together.

    As GB pointed our before, terrorist will eat terrorist and if I may add – eat a lot more as well.

    More we give in to a populist policy more we would loose flexibility and surprise. If we demand something drastic from Pakistan at this stage publicly and follow up by real military threat, I bet all the sympathy(such things from developed nations last till their national interests are not hurt) for us from the world will change into something which we won’t want –

    1. More internationalizing of issues.
    2. More attempts to ‘pacify both sides’ and US and other countries playing big brother.
    3. Entire region will be dubbed unstable and that includes our country.
    4. Our developing ‘strategic-depth’ in Afghanistan might be compromised.
    5. ‘Home’ grown terrorist theory will come more under the microscope. The last thing we want for the world to think is this is some pissed off mujahideens from deccan shooting people to take revenge against indian ‘discriminiation’
    6. Non-proliferation lobby will come back to haunt us by repeating the dystopia of nuclear holocaust in the region ad nauseum

    According to Henry Kissinger, whenever faced with an alliance of tough nations against you, be cautious and less bellicose but relentless in pursuit of national interest. Let internal contradictions wreck the alliance and weaken them. Just last month Pakistan was already reeling like never before and yet India was not even in the picture.

    At this point, some of our national interests are quite clear,

    1. Secure borders and improve domestic intelligence. There is no need to make a flash-bang here – we can start this work immediately.

    2. Make every attempt to de-hyphenate from Pakistan. Look more mature and more secure. Every attempt to assure that the region east of Pakistan is safe. Keep blaming and showing elements within Pakistan rather than the government directly. That puts the failed state label even more starkly on them. Promise to respect with their offers of help even if for purely cosmetic reasons.

    3. Pursue every avenue of widening the work of Pakistani intelligence through closer relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian states relentlessly.

    4. Cooperate more with international powers behind the scenes and pursue ruthless foreign policy based on national interests rather than ideology or sentiments (NAM, sending soldiers to congo, ratcheting up tension with China without reaching any conclusions, old and tried imperialism lectures and such other B.S.)

    5. Serious attempts to find a peaceful final solution to Kashmir issue once and for all. Taking all sections of political spectrum into confidence will help.

    6. Try to modernize foreign policy on the above lines but always remember it is no substitute for real economic and military power. After all, since Bismark, all international relations take place through realpolitik – or power politics, not emotions, lectures or outrages.

    7. In the end neutralize Pakistani threat once and for all by deft balance of power and realpolitik.

    No other country serves a better example of this than China after Sino-Soviet split of 1969. It cleverly neutralized Soviet threat through successful realpolitik with Pakistan and US. It never had to fire a gunshot and the era of detente began with Soviets on the negotiating table with US. China never suffered the fate of Czech or Hungary or Poland (see Brezhnev Doctrine) while facing a powerful neighbor bent on a regime change. In fact, it was so successful that it has outlasted even the Soviets.

    May souls of the dead and especially our brave security men rest in peace. Exemplary job under most trying circumstances. But shame to our political leadership. As they say – such lions for such lambs.

    Btw, I am still waiting for human rights activists to come up with the usual statements. Since I have seen Rahul Bose’s antics personally, I was not surprised by his reaction. But thats another story.

  18. Why is Patil still there? I just don’t get it. Why?

    Has the Congress gone mad?

  19. “with one host (not Werewolf) saying she was shocked to see how an Indian commando was firing at the Jewish center and how do we know “whose bullet” killed the Rabbi !”

    That almost made me throw my mug to the TV screen. Thankfully that other ‘gentleman’ (a former SWAT guy was otherwise telling how shocking it was to see Indian security personnel not knowing how to handle the guns) on the line told it could have been a diversionary tactic. But then he kept saying in no place the gun is taught to be fired like that.

  20. The NYT ran the headline yesterday:”Indian forces fire at Jewish centre”. Or something like that.

  21. 29 out of 40 terriorists are reportedly from pakistan(and whats more..reportedly the rest are from Bangladesh)! Till last week I was all against this “knee-jerk blame it on your neighbors” stuff! I was wrong. Its time to call a spade a spade!

  22. @hades
    I think it was ‘stormed’ not fire but I may be wrong.

    On a different note, it looks like even our elite forces lacked some basic equipments. IMHO, some kind of thermal imaging, chemical grenades or even flash-lights (they were saying everything was in pitch darkness) should have been there.

  23. I doubt it was stormed It was something incriminating.I’n not sure what the actual words were though.

  24. don ayan de marco November 29, 2008 — 8:30 am

    @ ech aar manager: will RT acknowledge that some commandos who have saved his ass dis tym wer north indians.

    Also the journalism was callous and careless showing live every move the commandos were making including the shot when they landed on nariman rooftop by helicopter.

  25. ^^^

    And our dear Patil saab told the terrorists at what exact time the NSG were arriving.

    And I agree. There should be a media black-out in times like these.

    Even that motherfucker Irfan should not have been allowed to speak to India TV.

  26. I think Patil will sink Cong like a stone in sea in the coming elections

  27. I don’t understand why whenever there is a crisis, every fool & his colleague feels an uncontrollable urge to vomit out banalities, cliches and outright inanities. Why do they have to say anything at all. Why can’t they think things through and respond with actions and solutions.

    You can read some of the bizarre stuff in the last few days at

  28. Looks like the NYT backtracked: fire at jewish center&srchst=cse

    I’ve read the same article with this headline: Indian Forces Fire at Jewish Center

  29. Just search for ” fire at jewish center” in the NYT page

  30. “A society goes down not because of the action of its bad people but because of inaction of its good people”

    How true

  31. @hades
    yes u r right. though nyt has an article implicating pak groups now. though it is hard to convince anyone to believe why the civilian gov. would get involved in brazen deep shit like this.

    I also think this attack showed more of a coordination and system failure than intelligence. Seems like NSG commandos were deployed after 6 hours and arrived in BEST buses to the scene. The MARCOS did not have the maps of the hotel. In such circumstances it was a heroic performance. What is worse is, the media managed to show the entire chaos in national TV thus greatly magnifying the effect. Though I think in a perverted way, that was necessary. If this doesn’t wake up our country, probably nothing short of annihilation will.

  32. pakistan is this like this kid who is stocking firecrackers to annoy his neighbours when he finds sparks in his own home

  33. What is ironic is that whenever i log onto this site, one of the ad’s i see (at the top right) is the below one

    Muslim Bridges
    Love & Justice can defeat terrorism Islam Beautiful & Peaceful Religion

    Makes me want to gag.

  34. GB,

    Totally agree with the views on CNN coverage. In one occasion, the news reporter repeatedly played the clip of an NSG commando firing at the Nariman House and claimed that he was exposing himself too much,harming hostages and that it was a wrong form of military operation. Even in that grave situation I could not help but crack up and yelled at the TV screen “Girl, you are an effing newscaster and these are elite commandos, trained for combat and have been involved in many wars. Shove your ignorant and arrogant opinions”

  35. @ shouri

    The next time you accuse us “pseudo seculars” for this mess, you can do the following things:

    1. Articulate your arguments
    2. Keep the caps lock off
    3. Come up with actual reasons on how Pak, Nuclear weapons, this attack and secularism are connected instead of just shouting spewing rhetoric.

  36. Sorry for spamming, but can anyone with some sort of combat knowledge in this board explain why lethal gas were not used ? Wasn’t there a situation in a Russian school few years back when the commandos used some sort of a nerve gas. Although it actually turned out to be a disaster but are there any sort of milder forms of nerve gas that can be used ? Also why does our “elitest” commando units have no thermal imaging device or night vision ?

  37. Very true!! and there was this female on CNN whose response , when told that the commandos were fighting with the terrorists (possiblt only one) in the Taj,was “ ..just one terrorist…why cant they go and overpower him??!!!” WTF.

    Also, in the Wolf episode you mention, the way they had used one survior’s (Jonathan from Canada) statement to suit their own ..higly irresponsible. Idiots.

    @Dipesh…forget abt Nerve gas blah blah..they dont even have good bulletproof jackets…there was this article in TOI.

    Oh look at TOI – it says “9 million readers turn to TOI for mumbai attack news” insensitive is this!!!

    oh I’m Mad at all this. grrr.

  38. Hi

    New York times has a fairly different take from what you are suggesting… They say American intelligence informally say, its a Pakistani group.

    Also, i watched cnn for close to 50 hours, and i felt some of your comments are a bit stretched – i thot the individual news anchors showed some restraint in taking no sides. No denying the hypocrisy of the americans, but perhaps not entirely meriting a post in this case.

    In fact, Peter Bergen came on CNN today to say that India has been fairly responsible in reacting to Pakistan terror attacks.

    just thought i should mention a differing view point.

    ps: i love reading your blogs btw.


  39. This is why we were attacked..explained by TIME November 29, 2008 — 11:19 am

    A highly “enlightening” article in the TIME, CNN titled “India´s Muslims in crisis” explains in depth how the Muslims in India bear the brunt of “institutioanlized discrimination” which, they claim, would ofcourse lead to such acts of “muslim rage nourished by a long sense of injustice”,8599,1862650,00.html

    Some highlights from the article..
    1. muslims in india have shorter life spans than hindus, and a far worse life style, and lower paying jobs!

    2. The authors take great pains to explain how the muslims have always been at the wrong end of the stick. On the 1857 revolution- “…Retribution was swift, and though Pandey was a Hindu (he is the guy who started it all by killing his boss), it was the subcontinent’s Muslims who bore the brunt of British rage”
    The article further shows how during the british rule, the british and the Hindus discriminated against the Muslims..!!!!

    3. While still explaining the causes which lead to the attacks, they write “Kashmir has become a symbol of profound injustice to Indian Muslims, who believe that their government cares little for Kashmir’s claim of independence”

    4. commenting on the banning of SIMI and LeT “Those incidents exposed the all-too-common Hindu belief that Muslims aren’t really Indian.”

    5. The whole article is replete with several WTF moments, but the best is saved for the end- when a “gentle mannered scholar” at the Islamabad institute of POlicy studies is quoted as- “We [Muslims] were the legal rulers of India …In 1947 they should have given that back to the Muslims.”
    The authors elaborate that this sense of injustice is at the root of muslim identity, which of course drives them to terrorist attacks against the brutal state….

  40. now…the turn to show sympathy still make money….
    have just received a mail from one of the video sites paying condolences and asking if by any chance i have captured video of three days or terror on mumbai….i shud share it with thm and be a CITIZEN JOURNALIST….wish i cud tie hands and legs of the sender of the mail and put loads of red ants in her nose/ears/a***
    i have never seen such shamelessness….

  41. @hara hara bom bom…and wht abt the one who is caught alive….why nt burn him alive at gateway of india and live telecast it…just to send a message
    bt no…aftr all human rights bhi koi cheej hai….we will paalo poso him….and thn u know wht will happen…..miss roy wud already have started negotiating with the publisher for her next book…

  42. Just saw on the news channels that the ever incompetent patil has stated that 1) there was no local hand in the bomb blasts and 2) that the attackers intended to kill 5,000 people.
    While the first is clearly a ploy aimed at the usual minority vote bank, the second statement is just to make this national shame and tragedy seem like a victory i.e instead of 5,000 people, only about 200 were killed. The sad thing is that pseudo seculars will play on this while a lot of other people will actually swallow this crap.
    Wonder what makes patil qualified to make such statements. These inefficient, inept and selfish politicians have still not been able to get a fix on either the number of terrorists, so wonder how they concluded that there was no local hand. And when they havent even determined the total number of casualties, how did they arrive at the number of 5,000.

  43. don ayan de marco November 29, 2008 — 1:05 pm

    @savitha bhabhi: the one who is caught is our next afzal guru

  44. Hey GB!!

    So the siege is over & we’ve won! As if this is WWII & Allied Forces have cleared Normandy(or whatever, you get the point i suppose). People yesterday were rejoicing at the freeing of every hostage & killing of every terrorist as if they were Pakistani wickets in a thrilling chase, thus losing the perspective.All hugs & emotions just like a routine Hollywood movie where heroes (as always) rescue the Statue of Liberty.
    How pathetic!
    Worst of all, since yesterday, SMSes have been floating with messages of ‘lighting candles’, ‘wearing black in protest’ & what not! I guess we are mocking at the sacrifices of all the brave men who died there. This is shallow, showy patriotism at its worst.
    While i dont advocate armed revolution, i do want to see people angry. THAT is conspicuous by its absence. All are so self-centered here that none of them feel that their motherland has been robbed of its pride (little of which was left anyway).What are we waiting for? This disgusting notion of “turn the other cheek” Gandhism will see us buried someday. I am optimistically pessimistic about this.

    “Science can find cure for all diseases except apathy, the worst of all human malaise”- Helen Keller

  45. as i type this there is a Strings, paki rock band, concert goin on in pune.. guys are like “do u hav extra tickets?” about it……. m i over-reacting??? or just goin mad…

  46. @ Soham

    The Israelis are the best in the world at tackling terrorists. Their nation wouldn’t exist today if that wasn’t the case. So, when they say, “the operation was incompetent”, i think I’d listen to that pretty seriously.

    @ Parth

    One must learn to differentiate between the terrorists nationality and the nation state and its people. For eg. in the London 05 bombings, there was a Jamaican terrorist. The British government didn’t fire upon the Jamaican government then, did it? I seriously doubt that the government of Pak had any clue about these 10 guys who attacked mumbai. And bands like Strings need to be encouraged. Coz they without a doubt love India and would have despised such an attack just as much as you do.

  47. @Rohit

    Thats wot we have been doing for years. ‘Music for Peace’,
    Cricket for Peace’.. it doesn’t seem to be working is it? Ofcourse, Strings would love Indian (n Indian Rupees). Matter of fact i love Strings too. But this doesn’t seem right; whats are these nationals doing about their nation’s policies. Why is LeT heads walking and talking freely in their nation? Do they have any say?

    If Love is not working, i think we should turn to Hatred. Get over this showy friendship towards them. Those 10 guys were educated upper class kids by look of them. Why were they not tracked searched by their educated nationals (assuming such brainwashing, training will require them to be out of their homes for long)?

  48. bharath wrote : “this is probably the lowest point that we have reached, we can only hope that things get better from now on”.

    Well, that’s what I keep thinking and have been thinking since the 90’s, but no, not in India, it’s not going to get better in my life-time and I’m 43.

    What was particularly depressing is the eye-witness account from VT saying that armed police were there but were too scared to fire at the 2 terrorists who were calmly shooting everybody.

    No wonder the crowd cheered the arrival of the military.

    Bombay police – don’t rely on them for anything serious.

    Aravind Adiga’s final paragraph, writing in The Times, is especially apt..

  49. Everyone goes after the Home minister after every blast. At least in this case, it was not his job to protect the country against external attack. And he is at least doing a decent job on one part of his duty – that of maintaining internal law and order. Despite so many provocations, there haven’t been any serious riots anywhere. But what about the National Security Advisor which is also a cabinet level post? What kind of advice has he been dishing out if the national security has been breached time and again on so many fronts?

  50. “The only soundbites emanating from India from an official source was our man Manmohan Singh staring into deep space, his voice trembling, speaking robot-like with all the menace of a benign grandfather gently admonishing you for breaking the corner of his thin arrowroot biscuits while serving tea.” – you put things too lightly these days.

  51. I feel completely agitated and angry like millions of Indians at this time. I don’t even feel like reading/writing anything so will try to keep it short.

    These guys have hit us before and will keep hitting us harder in future also as long as the eunuchs are in power. There is nothing new. Since 1947 we have only voted for and chosen eunuchs to lead our country who only talk and talk and talk and do nothing.

    Top cops, commandoes and armymen will keep sacrificing their lives so that these bloody leaders can keep playing more blame games.

    Our leaders don’t have the balls to take any concrete step.

    Now, again for the first time, I feel ashamed of being an Indian and frustrated that I can do nothing about it.

    These bastards will keep invading and screwing our country and all the leadership will keep doing is playing blame games and worrying about vote banks.

    The anguish, frustration, helplessness and anger made me literlly cry while watching the proceedings on TV. They really did. And I have no idea what to do about it.

  52. Mohan:

    Dont blame the National Security Advisor.
    He is not the one begging for votes at Iftar parties.

    While riots have been averted by quickly putting the blame on Pakistan (the usual escape route), it is important to understand that google maps alone cannot provide the level recce and planning, the Islamists needed to carry out such a well coordianted attack.

    Yes I know, people dont want to hear about fellow Indians, Islamists being participants and logistic providers, because then we cannot take the easy way out anymore; of blaming the unreachable Pakistan.

    The participation of local Jihadi sympathizers, may or may not come out in the open, depending on the election results.

    But one thing is certain, the people of India have to realize, this is more than Pakistan. or Dawood.

    This is a society performing its religious duty.

  53. I fail to understand why does it bother you so much what CNN is saying about india. Did US care what other nations thought of it when it went to war against Iraq and Afghanistan?. Why should India care? Isn’t it enough insult that a handful of terrorists hold fort in middle of your economic capital for more than 60 hours and kill nearly 200 hostages? What more proof of failure of intelligence do we need? Whether we like it or not, India is a weak nation and it’s this weakness that they are playing with. It’s like bullies picking on the weak kid. Unless India grows some balls and uproots the root of terrorism by any means necessary( arundathis of this world be damned). If that means we have to do profiling, so be it.

  54. Great Bong you need to seriously and urgently request NYT, CNN, BCC etc. to print your article.
    Please don’t wait for Indian government to be media savvy.
    You were awarded last years best blogger, you have the all the credibility required.
    Please !

  55. “Aisa nahi hai. Itne bade shahar mein chhota hadsa ho jata hai. To total failure nahi hai.” such is our dear Shivraj Patil’s opinion.
    I mean is this a “how to morph a SRK dialogue” session?!

  56. @ saswati

    The most insensitive WTF comment was made by RR Patil,the home minister of Maharashtra and apparently his poor knowledge of Hindi has been attributed to the great soul being misunderstood

  57. @Rohit,

    We need to bust this myth abt Israelis being the best in tackling terrorism. No one denies they are good. But this legend created by the western media and the incessant novels and other books and reports abt this apparent invincibility of the Israeli intelligence and commandos really needs to be punctured.

    The Israeli commando operations in Palestine have the highest rate of civilian deaths and other collateral damage. A militia group, Hexbollah, f***ed the Israeli army and chased them out of South Lebanon a year or so back.

    So if the Israelis comment on the Indian commando operation, i suggest u dont listen to them but show the finger to them

    And for what its worth, we need to show the finger to entire world and just go blast the shit out of PoK and all the ultra infested regions.

    The Pak Govt’s control is limited to a radius of max 2 Km arnd its offices. They have no f***ing control over their own country. Someone needs to do that job asap.

  58. Shivraj Patil was hilarious. SO they left before he reached there. Hmmm. That begs a question. Is he so slow that he could not reach Taj/Oberoi/ Nariman House for 60 hours?!

    The NSG did manage to exterminate the bloody pests in what was a very difficult operation, but the point is they had come with the intention to die, except the werewoif in blue patch black T shirt fellow – They succeeded in doing what they came here to do. They spread panic, terror and insecurity amongst the Indians like never before

  59. And GB,

    If u have ur opinions abt FOX or the CNN, i do not think its much better at home. The Indian press and their fake expressions of emotions, their pathetic attempts to “empathize” with the “common man” make us cringe too.

    Sometimes u do not know whom u wanna kick-off the face of this earth first… politicos or the media ?

  60. And Btw,

    I am not sure if you guys know that Pakistan employs around 7-8 high profile Lobby groups/PR agencies in the US … and India – just 1.

    So you know why CNN and NYT may have a pro-Pak tilt …

    Americans are no better than ‘hafta’ extortionists dressed in smart suits, and will do anything you lobby them for, right from the politicians to the media …. Basically a bunch of dogs who will lick up to anyone who throws the bones to them. eg: Saudi princes.. so even though Saudi Arabia contributed to the max no of terrorists in the 9/11 Twin towers attack, the Americans havent let out a squeal yet …

    Firms in the US actually mention the amount they spend “officially” on “lobbying” in Washington DC …eg: Fannie Mae, AIG etc …

  61. The biggest problem with these fanatical, brainwashed and religiously motivated terrorists is that they are on a suicide mission where they ultimately hope to die (and dont hope to escape after commiting their dastardly attacks like normal criminals).
    Now for a normal person, the fear of losing his life, either in such an attack, or post the attack (which is the maximum punishment the law can award), is the biggest (and perhaps only) deterrent which would make him desist from participating in any terrorist activity.
    This does not hold true for these terrorists on suicide (fidayeen) missions, so effectively there is nothing India can do to deter them.

    Therefore the Indian nation has to create a deterrent strong enough to prevent terrorists from attacking us. We should adopt the policy of killing not only these terrorists but also their families and relatives. The terrorists might not care for their own lives but once they realise that their killing of innocents will also mean endangering the lives of their families, they will not be as willing to volunteer for these suicide missions.

    If the killing of a few family members of terrorists responsible for killing thousands of indians can prevent such attacks in future and avoid the potential loss of lives of indian citizens, we should wholeheartedly adopt this strategy, and damn all the human rights activists and pseudo secularists.

  62. The procedures for dealing with the Islamic ultras from Pakistan. Bangladesh and India should be many layered – start with tightening security, spare no Muslim involved in any attack or even provocation, garner international support for planned, lethal strikes against Pakistan and finally create an identity for our nation which would say that our secularist beliefs are no deterrent towards our ability to protect ourselves.
    A cursory look at most Pakistani communities in orkut & reactions from pakistanis on youtube to indian patriotic songs will make you realize that the so called educated young Muslims in Pakistan believe that it is their divine right to rule India and us Hindus.
    So the pseudo secularists who believe/claim/pretend that giving more freebies to Muslims in India would alleviate the situation should start thinking of a new bunch of lies for their survival

  63. Following up on the gas question and related to entry strategy, pictures made it seem as though entering the Taj Palace was very difficult due to one or 2 gunmen. Cant a tank or armoured carrier be used to draw fire and get troops inside? We had grenades and firing , no rocket launchers though!

  64. RR wrote : “Sometimes u do not know whom u wanna kick-off the face of this earth first… politicos or the media ?”

    Which begs the question next time they try and blow up the parliament, how would I feel ?!

  65. @Gretbong: Isnt No Bias No Bull by Campbell Brown?

    Wolf Blitzer ( has his own similar show.

  66. Anonymous,
    How about writing something sensible or making some pertinent point instead of writing an inane comment?

    Talking of reality checks, why do you think this is not realistic? Or are you one of those who probably believe that turning the other cheek a sufficient number of times will shame these suicide bombers into loving us.

    It is people like you who delude themselves and the saddest part is that you have a vote.

    Lastly, just for your information, forcible consumption of pork is something that actually happened in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and also in Afghanistan.

  67. Ok, I wanted to address a couple of points here. Some of us have been rooting for dictatorship, violation of human rights, and death to “pseudo secularists” like me. But wait for a few days, cool of your head and think. Isn’t this exactly what the terrorists want ? To convert a democratic, constitutionally progressive nation into a scared, knee-jark banana republic. Ask yourself what makes you proud to be an Indian citizen. For me the answer is simple – democracy, the notion of equality, progress. And to remove it all and engulf ourselves in a spiral of violence is nothing but self destructive. What gives you more pride ? – The uplifment of poverty of millions of Indians or the death of a couple of crazy loonies across the border ? The economic prosperity and growth of India is tied to several factors – a healthy democracy, well formed institutions, enforcement of law, etc. These are the factors that makes a country an attractive investment destinations. Not a banana republic.

    What are the terrorists up to ? They are at war with the “State” of India. Not with the Hindus or Muslims or Jews or Christians. To that end, India has to react as a state and not as religious and ethnic groups. And a destruction of a state is complete when its constitional freedoms stop functioning, its citizens are at war against each other and basic rights are denied.

    So be careful in what you wish for.

  68. @ anonymous

    that is really quite a suggestion..

  69. No Bias No Bull is not the motto of Wolf Blitzer show but of the Campbell Brown show. Yes, there was a little bit of bias but to suggest that it was completely biased is ridiculous.

  70. Greatbong, this and the last 2 posts have been very well-written. You echo my thoughts in each one of them.

    @saswati: the person who’s made that idiotic comment on how such one-off things happen in a big city, and so it’s not a total failure was not Home Minister Shivraj Patil. It was Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra R R Patil. To even say such an inappropriate thing, Shivraj Patil will have to sound a little less robotic I think.. which seems rather unlikely anytime soon.

  71. @dipesh…. what about the terrorist who is caught alive…who knows, he turning into afzal guru part 2 might well fetch another booker prize for a fellow indian (???)

  72. look at this
    India’s PM and external affairs minister talk of pakistan link
    all TV news channel shows the all-so-obvious pakistani link and the CM of Maharashtra says that the nationality of terrorist is unknown

    cant they speak one thing

  73. The coverage of the whole incident over the last few days showed exactly where the loyalties of various English TV channels lie – not surprising considering their ownership. After switching back and forth across many English channels the only channel which I saw was taking a pro-India view point in the whole thing was Times Now and Arnab in particular.

    The other channels CNN-IBN and NDTV24x7 seemed to go out of their way to cast aspersion on India in many ways while fawning over Pak officials in a sickening manner.

    Even as we speak, CNN-IBN is focusing on the martyred Maha ATS chief’s investigation on Malegon and how he came under political pressure for that. How is that what is relevant to the issue now?

    Given their extra-ordinary interest in Cricket and their ability to spin, they should leave “journalism” and join IPL 20×20. They will exactly fit in that circus

  74. @dipesh
    the question for upliftment, progress, equality and growth will come only when the basic need i.e. security is there. when u dont have security, my friend what growth are u looking for ?
    So if for sake of security, you need to kill “crazy loonies” across the border, then its worth it.
    if u really think that the non-violence is the “only” solution to violence, then you need to read some history.

  75. I read the post ‘9/11’ and then this. While I share your frustration and angst, I beg to differ on few important issues:
    1) I believe the motive for this attack could not be simplified as ‘Jealousy’ against India. I believe Mumbai happended to be a theatre here, but the act was universal in its intent / message, not based on indian theme. Lets look at the list of interest groups in Pakistan which operate with in the radical Islam sphere :
    A) Pakistan based radical islam groups- These are your ‘hate india’, ‘free kashmir’ groups with sole aim of driving India out of Kashmir. Jiash.., Lashkar etc. ,fall under this group.
    B) Taliban – This is a regional group, but differs from others in the level of its objective – of regaining Afghanistan into its hold. Its prime enimity is with Afghan Government and with other non-pusthun tribal groups. It abets Al-Qued’s scheme as a pay back for the help in war against soviet.
    C) Pakistan based power groups – These groups comprise of Warlords, Mafia, Tribal groups, enthic groups (Baloch etc.,), Sunni/Shia groups and political groups.. all with militant wings -not so much interested in idealogical aspects of islam but in their own power.
    D) Al-Queda with a motive of estabilishing an empire that would bring back the ‘glorious’ days rise of Islam and its occupation of continents. To achieve this, they aim to first build a credible force to challenge and threaten the western powers before managing a final show down. It is important for them to make sure that they unite all kinds of islamist radical groups towards this goal. This means that you need to entertain the groups at tactical level while achieving the strategic objectives. (For example, Congree cannot state elections based on its arguement on Nuke deal. To win state elections you have to go by state politics. Some times you need to tactially approve some measures that may not be important to you, to make sure that you keep the ‘state’ group happy which would help you wins the state, which ultimately would pave the way to reach the centre). Al-Queda has similar demands too. They need to keep the local groups happy and going.
    E) Finally Pakistan state run ISI, Army intel groups. Objective of these groups is to keep India in check, conduct tactical wars against it and in this process, support any thing that helps them carry these out – be it acting as liaison in Soviet-Afghan war, help the raise of Taliban to achieve ‘strategic depth’, provide safe heaven to Dawood, instigate Bangladeshi’s against India etc.,
    F) Then we have players from rest of the world acting to ‘protect’ their own interests – Saudi, Iran, West, China, India etc.,

    Pakistan government has had affairs (with or with out approval of the majority) with above groups in varying combinations, at different times, for different tacical reasons through its ISI / Army reps.
    Blind faith, Guns, Money, Drugs, Ballet and ultimately Power drive all these groups not necessarily in the same order and combination in all cases. Over past 60 years, all these palyers acting tactic / strategic goals, acting at regional / international level – has created such a complex web of issues, it is so difficult to keep track of who is doing what, when and why. However when it is perpetrated in India by pak based groups, we can narrow down the motives / strategies. Even in that case, it is not simple ‘jealous of India’.

    But the events primarily after 9/11, particularly after Bhutto’s assasination have made it clear that Pakistan is indeed in a pathetic situation. It does not have control on these groups any more. The circus is over, beast is out now.

    2) Pakistan recently witnessed an attack on Marriot hotel. We need to see the similarities and analyze the bigger things at play in both these incedents (Marriot and Mumbai). in my opinion, motives are the same in general, have sublte differences at regional level (tactical differences). In a way, long term objective are the same while short term gains are different.

    I know the general reaction to this is -‘who cares how pak is now’. My point is the situation is complex and while it poses so many challenges to us, it also offers some opportunities. We need to capitalize on those, be politically-street-smart: make sure the objectives of others align with ours out side the house, beef up our own internal security inside the house with strong political will. We can afford more security now. We dont seem to do any of these and simnply blame others with out any political / military / economic / good-will clout on them. It does not work.

    From security stand point, our Country is in an unenviable position with Chaina on shoulders and extremists pulling hands and golbal powers pulling legs. It is indeed very sad state of affairs that even with democratic rule of law we have not been able to build a secure, confident nation thanks to our interpretation of democracy. Any good lawyer knows law is blind. Our politicians know ballet is deaf. If you manage to get 51% of ‘polled’ votes, you are a winner. It does not matter what that 51% really says / means.

  76. @Mahesh,
    Your analysis of the motives of the islamic groups is spot on …

    While you may have your reasons for suggesting that the terrorists are at war with “the State of India” … let me tell you that RAW & defence analysts and former generals of the army think otherwise. In their view this is a part of the consortium of radical Islam the sole objective of which is the reestablishment of the Islamic rule on the world (meaning eliminating Hindus,Jews etc.).. something which is far deep rooted and can’t be eliminated by the “social upliftment” of Muslims in India. Look at the comments of the “gentle mannered scholar” from Pakistan as reported by someone above.

  77. No bias no bull is what Blitzer kept on saying throughout Situation Room that day.

  78. @Mahesh

    Absolutely true. If the current organized government in Pak (civilian/military) fails like ninepins its going to make our lives even more difficult. We must remember IC 814 when we didnt know what to do with Taliban.

    That’s why we need to act like its a question of our survival. Much in the same way we would if it were a threat from a powerful hostile country. And our politicians don’t even need 51% of vote. They can rule with much less and affect our policies. The combined vote share of Lalu and Mulayam (and other openly SIMI-philiacs) would be less than 20% and yet they can set the agenda.

    I think that this may be a stepping stone for more carnage to follow. I can’t believe that just 10-15 gunmen held the entire city to ransom.No state has any fundamental right to exist, and if we don’t act soon, we may not exist either.

  79. @greatbong

    you have deleted my previous comments which were neither hateful nor abusive but just stating my opinion…i had predicted a general massacare of Hindus in a lot of previous posts which had been deleted…well sadly it seems that these massacares will just keep going up in scope..i will keep raving like a mad man..and u will keep deleting these comments

  80. @Shouri,

    They were hateful in my opinion. And so is this comment which is why first part to Dipesh is removed. If you want to rave “like a madman”, go elsewhere. This is my blog and my space and my terms.

  81. @dipesh: God forbid, if your parents were on the casualty list and then God himself comes down and shows you his two closed fists a la Morpheus in The Matrix. Each fist contains a wish, but you may take *only one* of them. One hand contains economic upliftment for the backward in your country, and the other wish is that he grants you godly powers and you can become invincible while you go ahead and avenge your parents death. Which one are you going for, dipesh, the blue pill or the red pill?…
    You don’t have to answer me, its said a person can fool everybody but himself, so answer yourself instead, coz as a son I think I already know your answer.

    One more thing is that the gas used in the Moscow theatre siege is a derivative of fentanyl, though the Russian authorities never quite spoke in clear. Its good, but a few things… see the Russians had about 100/150 casualties in that Moscow theatre siege, only 2 were killed by terrorist bullets, the rest by gas. What if there were babies, infants, expecting mothers inside the Taj? So not everything works everytime. However, the least they could have had was a blueprint, floor-by floor , room -by room, night vision, and a little more planning.

  82. “If the killing of a few family members of terrorists responsible for killing thousands of indians can prevent such attacks in future and avoid the potential loss of lives of indian citizens, we should wholeheartedly adopt this strategy, and damn all the human rights activists and pseudo secularists.”

    @JB :– Am i reading right? how on earth do you think are you better then these 10 guys who caused the mayhem? These are the saddest days of our history & what you say is just making it sadder for me. I had tears in my eyes when I saw Hemant karekar’s funeral & when they showed Captain Unnikrishnan’s family but I was as enraged by the terrorists as I was a few days ago when a certain political party was blaming Hemant karekar for being “partisan” in the previous terror invetigations but now the same bastards are signing his prasie and offer him 1 cr for his life. The best news over the last couple of days was that of Mrs Karkare refusing to take the money from these bastards.
    It is said “we get the politicians we deserve” and reading most of the comments here, I am not surprised that we have such morons ruling us!

  83. @Parth,
    something interesting you may want to know – search for ‘Sandeep Unnikrishnan’ on Orkut and he is the second entry in the results (Manesar, Haryana). Click on his profile and view his favourite videos. Most of them are by ‘Strings’. Ironic?

  84. RR,

    “Sometimes u do not know whom u wanna kick-off the face of this earth first… politicos or the media ?”

    Oh that’s an easy one – the media. I have a lot of respect for some of the politicians, but none in the media. I wish the authorities had ordered shoot at sight for 2km radius around all three of those spots and shot everyone of these mike and camera wielding idiots. The way they were crowding around that narrow alley near Nariman house while the operations were going on was disgusting.

  85. Graduate Student in the US November 30, 2008 — 1:53 am

    The overall response in the US media (and academia, I’d add) is not surprising at all. For someone who has spent 5 years in graduate school in the US taking Social Science classes I have squirmed when professors teach in class about the “terror” unleashed by the Hindus since Independence on the Muslim minority. The independence struggle and nationalism are projected as a movement dominated by the “Hindu” majority that has subjugated and suppressed Muslims. They glorify Syed Ahmed Khan who was “right” in urging Indian Muslims in not participating in the independence movement. Jinnah was “right” in his actions having being pushed to the wall by the Congress leadership. They teach about Hindu atrocities on Muslims during Partition. Even the image/idea of “Mother India”/”Bharat Mata” draped in a saree is a “Hindu” icon (she resembles a Hindu goddess) which distanced minorities, particularly Muslims. They argue that the singing of Bande Mataram by “Hindus” as a warcry of independence despite the fact that it was unacceptable to Muslims since their religion forbids the worship of anybody except their god further alienated the Indian Muslims. So much so they have taught in classes that Kashmir should go to Pakistan since it is a Muslim majority region. I fail to understand how this argument is different from the Hindutva ideology (they so vehemently criticize) that India is a Hindu nation because the majority is Hindu. The demolition of the Babri Masjid, Bombay riots, Godhra, Sacchar Committee Report only reinforce their larger argument that Muslims in India are a deprived, subjugated lot in India. For them the divide is plain (and simplistically) clear: its Hindus vs Muslims NOT terrorism vs a secular democratic state. The Indian Muslim in India, according to them, is a scared terrorized group which is now raising its head. The “Hindus” called for this terrorism to be unleashed on themselves. Almost as if “Hindus” are paying for years of their communal sinful past. (The more I listen to this rhetoric the more I feel its fundamentalism of a different kind. Almost as if Hindutva reversed!)

    People in CNN that we are listening to here are acquainted with the above rhetoric/”argument”. That is what they know. Now listen to the two videos from YouTube of the phone calls made by two of the Mumbai terrorists to an Indian TV channel. You will find resonances of this very same sentiment of Muslim deprivation and subjugation by HINDU India in their reasoning. The battle between “Hindus” against “Muslims” perpetrated by the British Raj, propagated in US classrooms to hundreds of undergrads (and grad students) each year finds an ugly metamorphosis in the minds of these terrorists. For the CNN guy and the American academic this then becomes the moment of “see I told you so!”

    I denounce any religion (Hindu or Muslim or any other) which teaches or promotes shedding the blood of innocents as a method of retribution. May we as a nation be able to rise above religious classifications and demarcations and build a strong, modern progressive state that we are so capable of and deserve to be.

    In peace

  86. GB: About point 2, would you be happier if India put half a million troops on the border, and Manmohan Singh said “we can take a bomb or two or more but when we respond there will be no Pakistan.”

    After the Parliament attacks and Kaluchak massacre, the BJP government walked the walk as far as it could, short of a full invasion. In return we got a bold speech from Musharraf condemning terrorism in Kashmir and banning JeM and LeT. Of course LeT continued to operate as a ‘charity’, JeM’s leader was released and we got 0/20 of the list of terrorists that we had demanded. And most importantly all cards had been played; nothing left in hand.

    So if our mild-mannered academic prime minister roars like a lion now, I suspect it will gladden our hearts for a moment but amount to nothing. The catch 22 remains that we can’t do anything decisive about our neighbour without risking costs (nuclear war) that are too much to bear.

    I agree about the cowardice on the domestic front eg. closing down fundamentalist madrassas will be achieve nothing in the short run, be very useful in the long term and sadly politically suicidal for the Congress/Left and SP.
    Maybe the mooted replacement of Shivraj Patil by the experienced Pranab Mukherjee will help a bit (sarcasm, don’t shoot me)

  87. @Graduate Student in the US

    That is really worrisome to know but (thankfully) US foreign policy has not been affected by that. They have aligned with Pakistan (which is on the brink of being a failed state – acknowledged by almost all relevant US think tanks and experts) purely because they need them to fight for them. Similarly the relations between India and US have warmed independent of domestic social currents. In fact, relations between Saudi and US have been incredibly close in spite of US media pummeling them right and left. So I think ‘national interest’ would prevail in the end in dealing with foreign countries. And I think we should try to exploit it as much as possible.

    As far as class room teaching is concerned, even in India a lot of left wing/marxist stuff taught in history books about foreign countries is absurd and sometimes plainly wrong . I still remember in my NCERT text book how Stalin’s 5 year plans (to kill all Russians in 5 years) were given glowing tributes and the loss of life was put in ‘perspective’ by repeated comparisons with the hardships of the contemporary great depression in the democratic world.

    I am sure, the kind of people you are referring to are of this strain. Even for the less biased people, it is hard to grasp the nuances of a complex and in many ways unique country like India.

    Moreover, to be honest I think CNN did not do such a bad job. In fact it for most of the time (at least on the first two days of the attack) kept repeating how India is vital ally, a vibrant democracy etc etc. Only on 3rd day, when they realized its full implications did they become more ‘even-handed’.


    I absolutely agree. I said something like that (my first comment). We need to play a much more comprehensive and shrewd strategy. Demanding things from Pak or even threatening is not going to work at all. We have dealt all our cards there. And we will face the opposition of the entire world against us (China and US will certainly unite against us just for the sake of maintaining ‘peace’)

  88. Many journalists have referred to the recent Mumbai terror attacks as “India’s 9/11.” Sadly, the carnage in Mumbai was new only in the attention it received.

    Whether or not the anger those attacks generated will be translated into a sustained resolve to overcome terror at its Islamic source, will depend on a number of factors. But all of it is within the control of the Indian and allied governments.
    I have worked as an anti-terrorist and human rights activist who has traveled to South Asia on multiple occasions to free political prisoners, visit refugee camps, oppose Islamist radicals, and protest the religious cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus. I am currently working with South Asians in the United States and elsewhere to develop anti-terror and human rights organizations.

    I express my condolences to the people of India. We are collecting funds to donate to the families of poor people who were shot at Shivaji Terminus.

    Please donate at

    Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism is a registered, non profit, 501 C 3 organization. Your donations will receive tax exemption in the United States.

  89. Simple three point plan –

    1.Beggar thy neighbor

    2.Move the troops to the front

    3. Finally – prepare for War.If thats what they want, thats what they get

  90. @Mahesh,

    Good post.

    But here is my take.

    While i agree that the reason for the latest attacks on India is not a simple “jealousy”, do you think India or lets say Mumbai wud have been a prime target if we were economically in as pathetic a state as Bangladesh ? I dont think so.

    So while “jealousy” might be a bit of an over-simplification, the raison d’etre for all these screwed up terrorist attacks and the terrorist groups is to undermine the rise to eminence by India …

    Why choose the Taj otherwise ? Why did they not go and attack so many other crowded areas in Mumbai, easier targets which wud have inflicted a lot more number of casualties (i am really sorry to put it this way) … Of course, humiliation was key in these attacks and not necessarily the number of casualties.

    And u know i have never really been convinced abt the reasons attributed to the existence of the Taliban or the Al Qaeda. These are not rational people. You cannot attribute such rational motives to them.

    These are mindless freaks. Total Psychos. THey just need ppl to kill to satisfy some deep f***ing urge. Lets just say that the US pulls out of Iraq and Afghanistan and forces Israel to give up areas of Palestine. Lets say India allows Kashmiris the right to self determination. What do u think will happen to all these groups ?

    I am bloody convinced that far from rejoicing these guys will be completely out of their freaking minds, with no one to kill and bomb. I wont be surprised if Al Zawahiri ends up killing Osama just for the heck of it. Or if Beitullah Masood chops up Mullah Omar out of boredom .. take my word for it.

    We know abt the ISI.
    But to me the biggest villains are the Americans and the Chinese and the Russians and their foreign policies … these bastards know everything thats happening out there. Atleast one of these countries, to a very large extent might even have a way to control or influence the ISI either directly or indirectly. Dont tell me the CIA or Mossad or the KGB/FSB or the Chinese have no idea abt ISI and what its upto. If they havent, then they are bloody incompetent, so why fear them. But these guys probably know a lot. And so do their political masters.

    But these countries are never ever gonna do anything until it doesnt suit them. A lot of these terrorist groups cannot exist without the implicit or explicit support of these bada-baaps ….

    So lets not really expect any external support if we wanna strike back. We are in all probability, alone. And nothing cud be better than this. Only, i am gonna repeat this, if our Politicians and Diplomats use their brains and the balls this time arnd…

  91. Dipesh wrote:
    What are the terrorists up to ? They are at war with the “State” of India. Not with the Hindus or Muslims or Jews or Christians.

    Dipesh, either you just woke from a long coma, or you are a propagandist with considerable malintention.
    This is a radical Islamic attack, fully stemming from a ideological chasm with the rest of humanity.

    In order of priority and difficulty their targets are-

    1. Any non-Muslim state, community or individual, whose destruction will create fear amongts the survivors, at all these scales.

    2. Any Muslim who is not being a good Muslim as described in the “book”.

    I would request you to spend the remaining 2 years checking, if the future jihadi attacks fit this profiles.

  92. Graduate Student in the US November 30, 2008 — 5:32 am

    @ The Dumb Graduate

    I agree with you to a great extent. What is taught in schools and colleges is never without being guided/colored (depending on one’s perspective) by ideologies. But I do find the coloring of all leftist history as biased quite simplistic. This I say having interacted and spent several days and months of my life in the bastion of the supposedly “leftist” scholarship in India. Some of the best social scientists we have in India and the world are “leftist”: Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik and many more. Of course you can counterpose my list with the leftist “intellectuals” in the govt in Bengal, fair enough. But what is important to note is that not all leftist scholarship is trashy. I agree that some of the textbooks we read in Indian schools are pathetic, in particular ones taught in regional boards. Although I must add that things are changing for the better. Take a look at the new series of NCERT textbooks as an illustration of what I am saying here.

    In the context of what I was underlining in my previous comment and your interjection to that, I would like to add this: bias at any level is not good but an academic bias promoted by reputed scholars at the graduate school level is far more serious than the level of bias that you may encountered in a 5th standard book. Remember that many of the undergrads and fellow grad students sitting in that class will take up important official, academic, strategic professional positions in this country (I mean US) and this bias (something like Kashmir was treacherously usurped by HINDU India therefore the terrorism in Kashmir is expected and I would extend it to being used as a legitimacy factor for the Mumbai attacks) will guide how they approach India/South Asia related issues. This is reflected so much recently when Pres elect Obama asserted that to contain terrorism in the US and thereby the role of Pakistan in countering the “war on terror” it is important to find a resolution to the Kashmir issue. Surprisingly even Indian professors in the US academia propagate these ideas. Read Jalal & Bose among others as an illustration of what I am saying.

    How we are perceived outside India stems seriously from the media and the intelligentsia. At times I feel we in India live in a bubble, its only when we step outside the shores one realizes how differently (and at times exponentially flabbergastedly) we as a nation are being projected.

    I was recently discussing the Mumbai attacks with some profs here (including an Indian) and was shocked beyond belief when they said that India should have expected a Muslim outlash like this and be prepared for more unless socio-economic reforms are undertaken by the state to “uplift” the backward Indian Muslims. They are spitefully appalled at the immature and inept way the security forces handled the rescue process. Of course as reports on the encounter keeps trickling in throughout today as I write, we do have very very disturbing and pertinent questions on the operation coming up: Why was there a delay in the deployment of the NSG into the rescue operation? Why were the local security agencies not well equipped and armed? Why did they launch an attack on Nariman House so late?

    In a civic society we must encourage debates. We must and should feel proud of the security forces, the firemen who braved it all with grit and determination. They are my heroes today. But we must also be liberal minded to question ourself. But to color the entire operation with the spite that these prof did was appalling. It left me speechless.

  93. @RR
    My take on the Pak affiars was more objective than subjective. I do not mean to make them look rational, but seek to analyze the roots of their thinking.
    We all are frustrated and rightly so. But let us not make the mistake of underrating the enemy and over-simplifying their motives / objectives. I dont think they are insane. Civilized world would not accept their way of operating to achive the goals, whatever those are (and thats why they are termed extremists), but we need to definitely put more effort to put aside emotion to see the reason, so that we are better prepared.
    Remember Bali incident in Indonasia? Black hawk in Somalia? Marriott in Pakistan? Al-Queda finger prints in these incidents was a well reported fact. Going by those, yes I think they would conduct such attacks no matter what kind of succes story India has been. Because it really depends on what they want to convey.
    Why Taj here? What were they trying to say?
    – That Westren businesses / interests / nationals are not safe any where?
    – That India should not get too cosy with its new found western friends?
    – That they could intimidate India with political / economic wounds?
    – That they want to inspire other radicals against India?
    – That India’s own political future would be affected with elections around?
    – That this would show vulnarable even these important locations be?
    – That creating terro in influencial circles would have more influence?
    Probably all of them.
    Now let me ask you, have they succeded? I would say not entirely. Yes people are more frustrated. Indian govt may enforce more stringent security measures nationa wide. But business would be back to normal very soon. If any thing stops business in India, it would be global economic melt-down, not this incident. It will have its short lived affect. Nothing more.

    To your other point, if their problems are solved, would they be happy? Depends on what their problem is first place. Which is why we need to find out their stated objective. Saddam was no less murderer than these guys, but he was happy in general killing his own people every day and invading neighbours now and then. These guys will not be any different, depending on what they think they would get for what they pay. It is true with most groups though.

    Finally you said it right “But these countries are never ever gonna do anything until it doesnt suit them”. True, and why should they? In politics there are no friends and free meals. Its a game of survival.
    Our own elected politicians wont do any thing to public unless it suits them. Why would US or Russia do any thing for free? We have to make them do it for us, by offering some thing they want, are provoke the situation smartly so that it becomes their problem etc., This is where we need to be street smart.

    In my opinion we should never mention to any one the role of pakistan again. They will not care for it. War is not an option with nukes on both sides. What are the options?? That is the biggest question. I hope our beloved, clueless politicians have the answers.

  94. @ Graduate Student in the US

    “But I do find the coloring of all leftist history as biased quite simplistic. This I say having interacted and spent several days and months of my life in the bastion of the supposedly “leftist” scholarship in India. Some of the best social scientists we have in India and the world are “leftist”: Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik and many more.”

    Yes you are absolutely right. I meant some strand of leftist intellectuals. I beg to disagree with many who say Romila Thapar is evil incarnate. I have unfortunately never read others. But since you are specializing in the subject, I would believe you.

    “In the context of what I was underlining in my previous comment and your interjection to that, I would like to add this: bias at any level is not good but an academic bias promoted by reputed scholars at the graduate school level is far more serious than the level of bias that you may encountered in a 5th standard book.”
    Yes I agree here as well.

    “and this bias (something like Kashmir was treacherously usurped by HINDU India therefore the terrorism in Kashmir is expected and I would extend it to being used as a legitimacy factor for the Mumbai attacks) will guide how they approach India/South Asia related issues”


    I respectfully disagree on the extent of it.

    Most of US foreign policy is guided less by ideology but much more by realpolitik. US never budged to support Pakistan in cold war simply because it served her national interest – first outflanking soviets through offering generous help to US (Gary Powers flew his ill fated U2 from Peshawar), then Chinese detente and later taking the Soviets through the Afghan mujahideen. It must be noted that they did not bother to ‘nation-build’ or bring democracy to Afghanistan and left in a huff (after staying for almost a year more trying to deal with some of the factions).

    Likewise US did not bother to stand up to Russian invasion of Georgia since no national interests were involved. Of course calculation of national interests can be guided by some domestic pressure groups like the Jewish and Cuban expat lobby in US – but these are exceptions.

    IMHO US now sees more virtue in cooperating with India primarily because of these two geopolitical reasons (other than business) –

    1. Gaining leverage in India. They can use it in a number of ways, one would be to settle the Kashmir issue. That will help them to deal with one less headache in that region. They can also use it to put India more in line with her own national interests in the region. If you read Strobe Talbott’s-Engaging India, you shall see how frustrated the US was immediately after Pokharan since they had almost no leverage on India and they knew economic sanctions might harm them more than Indians.

    2. Preventing a unipolar south and south east asia vis-a-vis China.

    Of course there may be other factors. But these are important. If you look at US history of dealing with foreign nations, their perceptions in the public has surprisingly mattered little.

    Starting with cooperation with Stalinist Russia, Monarchial Iran, Communist China, Repressive Saudi Arabia and Morocco, Bathist Iraq, Military dictators in Pakistan, Corrupt and brutal juntas in South America and the list never ends. On the other hand the exception that proves this rule is Bangladesh war where Archer Blood’s telegram and widespread reports of genocide were brushed aside just not to ‘squeeze Yahya’ (see this now declassified document – Note how Kissinger chillingly recommends the option which he knew might “alienate 600 million people of India and East Pakistan”. In fact, he even predicts congress objections and suggests ways to bypass them).

    “I was recently discussing the Mumbai attacks with some profs here (including an Indian) and was shocked beyond belief when they said that India should have expected a Muslim outlash like this and be prepared for more unless socio-economic reforms are undertaken by the state to “uplift” the backward Indian Muslims.”
    This is quite interesting. Most terrorists don’t look like belonging to very downtrodden groups (compared to usual levels of poverty prevalent in India). Most look relatively better educated. If poverty and discrimination is such an issue why isn’t an average Bihari going on rampage and carrying out terror attacks in Mumbai where he is being treated like a scum?

    “They are spitefully appalled at the immature and inept way the security forces handled the rescue process. Of course as reports on the encounter keeps trickling in throughout today as I write, we do have very very disturbing and pertinent questions on the operation coming up: Why was there a delay in the deployment of the NSG into the rescue operation? Why were the local security agencies not well equipped and armed? Why did they launch an attack on Nariman House so late?”

    –> Very valid questions. We need to ask them now. I raised some more questions before and some more here –

    – Why wasn’t better armor used. NSG commandos looked less protected than SWAT teams in the US.
    – They kept saying there was pitch darkness and they couldn’t distinguish between dead and alive. Why wasn’t lights or other optical/thermal props used.
    – They said they didn’t know where the bullets were coming from due to reverberation. Why were acoustic sensors like these ( not purchased or developed by our ‘famed’ DRDO.

    Our soldiers did an exemplary job in most trying circumstances. Kudos to their training and bravery.

    But now we need to wake up and modernize. Take direct help from the more advanced countries in at least equipment if not training.

  95. Just to add to my previous response –

    c.f. – If poverty and discrimination is such an issue why isn’t an average Bihari going on rampage and carrying out terror attacks in Mumbai where he is being treated like a scum?

    Add-> Again the exception that proves the rule here would be Punjab. Which was in no stretch of imagination poor and yet spiraled into hell. Neither did terrorism end there when it became suddenly clear to every one that they have become richer and being less discriminated for some reason.

  96. @ jaideep

    i checked it already… very, very Ironic.

  97. Hi ALL,

    Something that always ends such debate and send us is long silences is THE question.. “What are we going to do about it?”

    Some of you have depth knowledge of politics and diplomacy, but really when and how are we going to show that where it really matters..

  98. @The Dumb Graduate: I read your comment rather late so don’t know if you’re still following the post and comment thread. But what a marvellous well-thought out comment.

    I had written something similar on Arnab’s last post, but you have articulated all my thoughts much better than I could have done myself.

    As you said, nations have no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. Which is why interest, not ideology should dictate foreign policy.

  99. @parth….bang on….i share the same thoughts…what are we going to do about it??? just crib and blog?? and discuss?

  100. I can’t believe this is Amitabh Bachchan- Kinda sums up the mood of the nation

  101. @ gb

    ok mate ta ta…enjoy your blog on your own terms..

  102. @The Dumb Graduate: Just wanted to add – if you want to see the workings of US national interest in the region, just look at maps, both Cold War and post-Cold War.

    One of the more interesting Cold War theories that I’ve read about and discussed is about the American role in the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Given the current relations between the two countries, this theory is absolutely outlandish, bizarre and yet strangely plausible when you consider the evidence.

    Iran shared a border with the erstwhile Soviet Union. To control Iran is to have unfettered access to the Persian Gulf, one of the most strategically important regions in the world and a conduit point for a lot of the world’s oil.

    The movement against Reza Pahlavi and the Iranian monarchy was primarily led initially by Iranian communists and left leaning student groups. Check archival footage of demonstrations against the Shah – not a single mullah or Islamic banner to be seen. Khomeini had been living for a long time in exile in Iraq and had remained in exile throughout the movement.

    And yet, within months of the Shah’s departure, Khomeini came out of nowhere to emerge as leader of the movement and the creation of an Islamic Republic became the foremost agenda. And what’s one of the first things that Khomeini does when he comes to power? He orders the execution of thousands of Iranian communists and their sympathizers.

    Now imagine if history had taken another course and the communists had managed to take power in Iran. The country would have been directly under the sphere of Soviet influence, the Russians would have had access to the Persian Gulf and who know how long the Cold War would have stretched.

    Given the love and material support that was overflowing for the Afghan mujahideen in those days, it is conceivable that an Islamic Iran was a lot more acceptable to the West than a Communist Iran.

    Which is precisely why I was amused when someone on Arnab’s last post suggested that we cut all ties with Arab nations and completely cast our lot with the US and Israel.

    As RR said, who here is naive enough to believe that the Americans don’t have a clue what training camps are operated in Pakistan? And yet they don’t seem to care one bit. Why? Because it serves American interests to do so.

    The US or Israel will only care about India to the extent that their own interests are being served. And India should also approach its relations with any nation with purely its own interests in mind.

  103. ^^^

    Quite well put.

    Unfortunately, in times like these, passions run high and often get the better of even the best of us.

    If we can keep our heads, we’ll be a lot more effective.

    Thankfully though, some heads are not being kept.

    I am, of course, talking about Mr. Patil. Reports say that North Block already looks less fashionable.

    The Times of Bullshit

  104. Has anyone figured out why the terrorists attacked WHERE they attacked?

    CST station – Major station in mumbai.
    TAJ/Oberoi – Major Hotels of mumbai singifying mumbai/india’s wealth etc. (also “the westerners” angle)
    JEWISH centre – ???????????
    are they now trying to get palestinian sympathy/support ?

    i feel this was an advertisement from terrorists in india to Al-qaeda and everyone showing their prowess, capability and reach over india.

    someone please explain the Jewish angle to me!

  105. @ Mumbai Meri Jaan

    -They attacked the Jewish center because they hate Jews (read the Quran for more details).

    -They attacked the five star hotels to kill as many westerners as possible.

    -They attacked every other place to kill as many Hindus and non-Muslims as possible

    -They released Turkish Muslim hostages to make sure that do dont do anything un-Islamic knowingly.

  106. Motive ji, have you perchance checked the list of dead and injured? I would urge you to do so immediately.

  107. Joyjit,
    Yes, you are reading right. I would anyday prefer a few fanatics being
    killed in pre-emptory/ retaliatory strikes than have hundreds of my
    countrymen killed and thousands running scared for their lives.
    It is precisely because of pseudo liberals like you that we have a
    situation where the same people commit acts of treason/ attack the
    nation time and again, secure in the knowledge that they will get away
    with just about anything.
    And i dont adopt a holier than thou attitude and claim to be better
    than others. I am as good or as bad as anyone else. I just want my
    country to be a secure place to live in and my countrymen to be safe
    and be able to go about in their daily lives without having to fear
    about whether each day will be the last day of their lives.
    If narendra modi offering a crore to karkare’s family realy enraged
    you just as much as the terrorist attacks, then you have lost all
    sense of perspetive.
    Finally, the actual saying is that “People get the govenrment they
    deserve” (and not politicians) and looking at the present government,
    people like you definitely have got the government you deserve, one
    which is so engrossed in playing securing its vote bank that it has
    become completely ineffective in protecting its citizens.

  108. @Aaron

    Clearly, you are the one who woke up from a coma. When did I deny it was a radical Islamic attack ? I was interpreting the context of the Indian state. The point I was trying to make is that a “Hindu” state or Hindu extremist response is not going to stem the flow of the attacks. And that seuclarism is the biggest defence mechanism we have against such attacks based on aggressive religious interpretation. God.!!!

  109. GB,

    If “US Strategic interest” is what is guiding CNN to report the way they did, then can we use “US Commercial interest” to beat the traffic in the reverse direction?..Maybe its time Indian bloggers like you based in the US take up a stance to boycott specific programmes on CNN – and also write in to CNN stating your intention and the reason for that…that alone should give you some decibels…


  110. How does it matter what the CNN says or NYT writes. It is not even about painting Pakis in a corner or proving something to the whole world.

    It is about how we handle our security. How our systems respond to a crisis like this and how our leaders from the social, business, officialdom and politicos behave in the face of a crisis like this.

    Here are a few points:
    We salute our armed forces only when they lay down their lives protecting us – a la Kargil. Otherwise we are busy debating if they get enough perks already and should they get 22 or 24 eggs a month in rations. Some time back the armed forces had to publicly voice their disappointment regarding salaries and I am not sure if this has resulted in any substantial increase in salary.

    Millions are siphoned off in defense contracts but there is not enough to pay the poor soldier who fights. But once they save our lives by putting their lives in danger we offer them roses and chant slogans. Why is no body sc*****g the defence ministry babus who rule over the fighting men but were neither seen nor heard during this tamasha. How does the soldier counter poor equipment, poor facilities and red tape – by putting his body between the terrorists bullet and us.

    They are something like a diwali cracker – short life and a lot of bang. Their worth is for a days, milk as much as you can. It is good that people are so disgusted that they are hitting back.

    Karker’s wife refused awards announced by Modi. Today morning I saw Unnikrishnans father shouting and driving away the CM and Home Minister of Kerala when they came to offer condolences. It was something to be seen. He shouted at the police and other officials accompanying them – “go away, go away… you dirty dogs, go away”. The man who kept his composure all along finally let off steam. I am glad he did. I am glad Mrs Karkare also did.

    Just because a few police officers died it does not mean that the police needs to be kept on a pedestal. Were the police not aware of Dawoods support infrastructure in the city? Or the smuggling of narcotics by sea? Or was it too lucrative to be busted?

    We know cars are stolen everyday from all parts of the country. When one such vehicle was used in Gujarat blasts this year the police traced it back to Pune. The car thief was apprehended in no time. I am curious to know what action was taken when the owner filed the complaint. Or even better why didn’t they arrest and preempt car theft. It does not take rocket science to figure things out.

    Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar acted rashly and their families and the entire ATS will pay the price. Three officers sitting in the same jeep, without protective gear in a war zone. Give me a break. What were they thinking. Why do you think during war times the command and control operation are at undisclosed locations in safe houses. Their actions were akin the chief of army staff shifting his office to Wagah border during a war with Pakistan. This was a huge blunder and the loss is going to be heavy for all of us.

    Proving a point against Pakistan is of no use. Some years down the line after our self imposed exile we will restart the peace process and cricketing relations. The actions of the Indian Government are immature. This pattern has been repeated a number of times in the past. It will be repeated in future as well. Today we are talking to Zardari, next time when we restart it may well be Kayani in the seat. Deja vu, isn’t it?

    Last time we talked peace and Atal Bihari went to Lahore the Pak Army and ISI were busy capturing Kargil. Now that Zardari has repeatedly made positive utterances there is Mumbai attack. See the pattern?

    Keep talking to them. There is no other way.

    At the same time do not spare the State and Non State actors behind this act. We can not fight a conventional war with Pakistan. Too much to loose. A fraction of that money will go into chasing down the people behind this. I am sure they must be having soft spots, even if they are protected – families, business interests, whatever else one can go after.

    I can appreciate the difficulty in going after Dawood since he is protected by ISI. Why aren’t LeT and ISI bases in Nepal and B’Desh taken out. Can the Government of India not mount any undercover operations in these countries? Or does it lack the will?

    Sign a few death warrants, execute a couple and see how things change. Does anything change if CNN or Fox News speaks in our favour? We need to act and not get a large number of shoulders to cry on.

    We are too large and juicy a duck to be sitting in one place.

    Enough has been said already. Mr Unnikrishnan is saying, Mrs Karkare is saying, bloggers are saying.

    Someone tell me what is the use of voting?

    Shivraj Patil lost the election from Latur, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and became our Home Minister. What is the use of voting?

    … contd.

  111. d) POLITICOS
    Enough has been said already. Mr Unnikrishnan is saying, Mrs Karkare is saying, bloggers are saying.

    Someone tell me what is the use of voting?

    Shivraj Patil lost the election from Latur, was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and became our Home Minister. What is the use of voting?

    … contd.

    Rahul Gandhi was partying on Friday night. Priyanka says if Indira Gandhi was alive she would shown the world how to handle such an operation. Sure. We all remember Blue Star, don’t we? At least all those who are old enough do. I was in Amritsar, during my summer vacations, when the operation was launched. It was badly planned and executed. Pathetic.

    Sonia decides the fate of every minister. She kept Shivraj in and she forced him out. It is high time we understand that she is not ‘Gods gift to mankind’ or India. She is not an able administrator nor does she make very informed decisions. She does not have a view on anything other than becoming fairy Godmother to one and all (NREGA).Because she talks less does not mean she is intelligent. How can she run our country? I am tearing my hair out in frustration.

    LK Advani is another joker. He should be put under the care of ‘make a wish foundation’. I think Manmohan should let him be PM for a day, fulfill his ambition and retire him for good. Rudy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sushma Aunty, Modi the killer, Aruns (Shourie and Jetley) and a few others. Lovely crowd I must say.

    Where is the choice? Why should I vote?

  112. @AlphaQ
    I voted in the Delhi state election day before yesterday.
    I voted for the Congress.
    I did this because I was enraged by L.K. Advani standing in
    Mumbai airport and making an election speech, bang in the middle
    of these horrible events. That was one factor.

    The other factor pertained to a logic in my mind, driven by my
    personal beliefs (no one else is bound by them)

    My logic was simple — if we have to choose between an incompetent,
    corrupt government, and an incompetent, corrupt and communal
    government — I would rather have the former.

    I know that’s depressing, but it still seemed like a logical choice to
    me, and I acted accordingly.

    Of course,it’s also true that Sheila Dixit commands a little bit of respect
    in some quarters, because she’s not completely third class, but the
    main thrust of my choice came from the above. Had Madan Lal Khurana, the
    old BJP stalwart who was a pragmatist and did some genuine work for Delhi
    been alive, and if the Congress chief had been particularly incompetent
    and highly corrupt — my choice would have been difficult.

    I’m sure different choices and options and logic will face different
    people, but no two candidates will ever be identical, and honestly, we
    MUST vote for the better one, however hopeless that may seem.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to lecture, but I feel very strongly about this.
    If we give up on the democratic process, we’ll be even more screwed than we
    are today, and that scares me. At least lets not let it degenerate any

  113. Even I voted on Saturday.. it was more a rhetorical question. The idea is that if elections make the person answerable then plug the nomination route – like Shivraj.
    If nomination makes sense than elected representatives should not be made ministers – go for all smart, deserving nominated members (or at least for some positions).
    Somethings got to change now or by the next strike some of us may not be there to comment on this blog.

  114. I never cease to be amazed by the inanity and dumbness of the goras… Dumb Graduate’s and Rohit’s comments are pretty well analyzed, especially by DG. We have to realise that there cannot be any magic pill to cut terrorism, but it takes lot of time and effort to build a system and machinery which can curtail terrorism, and reducing the power of Pakistan.

    But what the hell are our diplomats doing? This should have been a godsend to make them create awareness of the double dealings of Pakistan, but it is the Paki-philes who are hogging the limelight…

  115. I watched this absolutely unbelievable news clip from a Pakistani channel today. Some of you might have seen this. But I didn’t know whether to laugh, or be sad.

    “American Zionists and Indian Zionists” (who are they?) planned both 9/11 and 26/11. So there.

  116. I watched this absolutely unbelievable news clip from a Pakistani channel today. Some of you might have seen this. But I didn’t know whether to laugh, or be sad.

    “American Zionists and Indian Zionists” (who are they?) planned both 9/11 and 26/11. So there.

  117. Actually Shan, the belief that the Israelis and the Indians conspired to carry out the 9/11 attacks is so widespread in the arab world (far more than in pakistan) that its no longer funny and you are only left horrified at the extent of ignorance and hatred.
    No amount of proof can make these fanatics believe otherwise. On one hand, they will respect osama and on the other hand, they will cling to the notion about the Israeli/Indian nexus in spite of osama/al quaeda having already claimed responsibility (and even promising more repeats of the same).
    The issue that therefore arises is this. How do you have a rational and meaningful dialogue with these deluded and brainwashed people? Are they even capable of comprehending that there is another side of the arguement, apart than their own? As they say, “you cannot reason prejudice out of a man because it was not reasoned into him in the first place”.
    In such a situation, peace talks are bound to be futile. The only solution is to stop deluding ourselves about the effectiveness of non voilence and meet the threat headson and taking all the measures necessary, no matter how harsh they seem, to secure the safety of our country and countrymen.

  118. @ Shan
    I saw the video too The guy said ” America ne 9/11 accha plan kiya. media mein perspective banaya. India ne bhi wohi koshish ki par unko AKAL TO HAIN NAHIN. They could not carry it off well. Jis terrorist ki tasvir wo pakistani kehke dikha rahe hainm usne haath mein kuch saffron thread pehna hai, jo muslim nahi pehente. Hundus pehente hain. Uski shakal bhi muslim nahin thi”
    Appaling. Can any muslim friends out there tell us MUSLIM SHAKAL kaisi hoti hai?

  119. After searching for the photograph and zooming, i could see something saffron/red on the guy’s right hand. Wtf is it?

    This link gives some clarification. The thread seemingly was a disguise to look like a fisherman. Hmm…Fishermen wear those threads on their wrists… i had no idea.

  121. Terrorists Used Vermillion, Religious Thread

    Mumbai, November 29 (PTI)

    Hindu religious thread on militants’ wrist? Terrorists, who carried out the most audacious attack, tied the threads and applied vermillion on their foreheads to pass off as locals in case they were intercepted by Indian naval forces.

    After murdering four fishermen onboard a trawler in the Arabian sea, the militants saw that the boat had several things including a “mauli” (religious thread used in Hindu religion), official sources said.

    An arrested militant Ajmal Amin told the interrogators that when their hijacked fishing boat was approaching the Indian shores, they saw some Navy men.

    Immediately, they tied the threads and some of them even put on vermilion to look like Hindus, the sources quoting the arrested militant said.

    However, the militants managed to docked at Sasool in Cuff Parade from where they reached Gateway of India to carry out the attacks and were not intercepted by the naval forces.

    The fishermen, while going out fishing in high seas, usually carry things to perform prayers.

  122. Attempts by some readers (either very cynical people or partisan Congress-Sonia supporters) to flippantly equate Congress(Sonia) with BJP is lame – especially at a time when the people of India are erupting in anger against the firangi-led Congress.

    To say that “All political parties are the same” or “All politicians are the same” is as stupid, shallow and indefensible as saying “All Religions are the same”.

    Let’s see what Dr.Hilda Raja has to write about this.

    Dr. Hilda Raja was a professor at Queen Mary’s College, Chennai. She is a Roman Catholic by religion and has held an advisory position in the Catholic Bishops Conference in India. This letter is worth reading in full.

    See her letter/article titled:

    “The Congress’ Hand is smeared with the blood of innocent people. Abolish the ‘Hand’ smeared with blood.”
    – Dr (Mrs) Hilda Raja.

  123. Terrorists did not touch the main road going towards Bhendi-Bazar from V.T. Station Junction; as the Haj House is located on this road and has Muslim Population presence

    Two Roads were targeted.
    1. Road going towards Metro Cinema, which also covered Cama Hospital.
    2. Road going towards Lhar Chawl which covered Police Head Quaters.

  124. Pak TV channel says 26/11 hatched by Hindu Zionists

    2 Dec 2008, 2216 hrs IST, Nandita Sengupta, TNN

    NEW DELHI: Mumbai’s 26/11 was actually a plan hatched by “Hindu Zionists” and “Western Zionists”, including the Mossad, said a self-styled Pakistan security expert on a Pakistan news television show, uploaded on

    ” Inki shaklein Hinduonwali hain, jis zabaan mein guftagoo kar rahein hain, woh zabaan koi Pakistani istemaal nahin karta hai (They look like Hindus. No Pakistani speaks the language they chatted in),” said Zaid Hamid while referring to the terrorists on the show Mujhe Ikhtilaf Hai (I differ) on Pakistan’s News One channel. The sensationalist channel was launched in November last year.

    Hamid said that it was a “badly planned” operation that had gone horribly wrong. “9/11 jo Americans ne kiya tha usko bahut khoobsurat camouflage kiya tha. Unhone media mein perception management bahut acchha kiya . Indians ne wahi game repeat karne ki koshish ki, lekin akal to hai nahin . In ahmakon ne complete disaster kiya isko handle karne mein . (The Americans executed the 9/11 attack perfectly. They managed the media very well. The Indians tried to repeat the formula but goofed up. The idiots made a complete mess of it).

    He said that the attackers wore saffron Hindu Zionist bands, which no Muslim would tie. Hamid also said that within the first 5 minutes of the attack, the three ATS policemen investigating the network of terror within India’s security agencies and radical right were killed.

    That ensured that those investigations reach a dead end. Anchor Qudsia Qadri added that with their killings, the investigations into the Samjhauta Express carnage would be halted. The killings also immediately shifted attention from India’s domestic terrorists to Pakistan, said Hamid.

    Marvi Memon, glamorous Pakistan Muslim League member, on the same programme, was appalled at the Pakistan government’s expansion of the “India-appeasement package” by initially agreeing to send ISI chief to India. “I just don’t get it,” she exclaimed in exasperation.

    She wondered how can you send the ISI chief to a ” mulk jiske sath jang chal raha hai …at a different level…,” mentioning Kashmir and accusing India of blocking Pakistan’s waters. Memon said, “They (Indians) are quite obsessed with anti-Pakistan speak and that unites them,” she said. Memon also spoke about India’s separatist movements and believed that India was only reaping the bitter harvest of the poisonous seeds it had sowed.

    Blogger writes in, “India has been relapsing into religious extremism and numerous separatist movement have mushroomed due to official patronage …I see the Mumbai bombings as the desperate move of separatists who want to blame everything on Muslims.”

    It’s not only random voices railing against fingers pointing to Pakistan. Blogger and journalist Farrukh Khan Pitafi is miffed. “For years I have been advocating peace between India and Pakistan,” he wrote. But he, too, says that India was out of its mind in naming Pakistan as the source of violence without identification of the perpetrators.

    He wrote: “During such a long coverage of the mishap not a single outlet pointed out that Hemant Karkare… was the same man whose dismissal was Narendra Modi’s biggest demand. Or that he was the man on the verge of uncovering the home-grown terror franchise of the Hindu extremists. No channel mentioned Colonel Purohit once during the live telecast, no not even CNN, BBC or CBS. It is sad.”

    >I do not know how to deal with the self-obsessed American media.

    My I suggest the converter? It’s that black thing with the buttons on
    it. Point it at your TV. Press a few buttons. MAGIC! Now you know how to “deal with the self-obsessed American media”… My invoice is in the mail.

    And what the hell is the “self-obsessed” American media anywayz? Are
    you implying that other nations DOMESTIC news outlets are
    specializing (you say obsessed, I say ‘specializing’) in matters
    outside of their nation? REALLY?! SO you are telling me that in India
    your news agencies give you the Togan perspective? The Namibian
    weather? Shopping Malls and their affect on Sri Lankan School Girls? Pollution and its effects on the sperm counts of Australian Men?! No – they talk to their main audience, that is: domestics. That said, their stories will always have that domestic perspective.

    Self Obsessed? HARDLY! Broadcasting to their target audience – EXACTLY.

    Give us a break with this rubbish. I’ve heard it all before and there is nothing but the green eyed monster of jealousy and envy behind it.

    >If they called me on their ill-informed and fanatical “US interests”-
    >oriented “news”, I could make my thoughts public.

    Really now… THEY have to CALL YOU to make your thoughts public?! Soooo you have no other means of making your thoughts public? So I guess I’m talking to myself…

    Hate it when that happens…

  126. BTW: I’m also anonymous above (…ends with “Hate it when that happens”)

    > He said that the attackers wore saffron Hindu Zionist band…

    As an affirmed Hindu Zionist, I can tell you that there is no such thing as a saffron band…

    Seriously now… Why would you even repeat such rubbish? What the hell is a Hindu Zionist anyways? A person who believes in Vishnu but also believes in the reemergence of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people?

    There may be Hindu’s with Zionist ideals or who support Zionism, but a Hindu Zionist saffron band, as if it’s a uniform or some type of organized group – I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry at people’s naivete… Jeez…

    Next thing you’ll repeat is that Ernst Zundel said the Holocaust didn’t happen… That some hehaw in Arkansas was anally probed by aliens… and that a Bar Mitzvah is entry into the Conspiracy to Take Over the World…

    Get it through your heads. The people who did this are the same people who committed attrocities in Britain, in America, in Spain, in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Argentina, Kenya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Israel. They are literalists who put Koranic verses into practice (most don’t misinterpret or pervert, instead they take literally the verses that call for subjecation and violence in Sura 2,5,9 and others – read the Koran, it’s eye opening).

    Their goal is an Islamic Caliphate, also known as “Pan Islamism” or “Worldwide Islam” – that said: this has nothing to do with land, nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with foreign policy. It has EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF THE WORLD AS DAR AL ISLAM (The Abode of Islam) and DAR AL HARAB (the Abode of War). A Muslims Duty is to bring all that is Dar AL Harab (‘unIslamic lands’ like Europe, North America, parts of Africa) into Dar Al Islam. In doing this, they can and will smite the infidel where they stand.

    You will NEVER change this position through negotiation because nothing you can ever say will amount to what they believe is the WORD OF G*D! That said – people need to be pragmatists, realists. Take all emotions out of the equation and look at it like a scientific issue. You have a problem, a problem that cannot be solved through words. A problem that has killed and continues to kill innocents at unacceptable numbers – nearly 12,000 worldwide since 9/11! Will you keep intellectualizing the issue, talking about it as your women and children die OR WILL YOU FINALLY OPEN YOUR EYES AND FIGHT YOUR ENEMY.

    An enemy that HAS NEVER MADE SECRET THEIR GOALS (neither did Hitler, neither did Stalin, neither did Pol Pot)
    An enemy that HAS GONE BACK ON EVERY NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT (Hamas, PLO, Fatah, Hezbollah… They have lied and/or backed out of every ceasefire… Israel left all of Gaza, so Hamas now shoots rockets from an area that is 100% Jew Free! Israel leaves all of Lebanon, so Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy force, occupies northern Lebanon and uses it to invade Israel… Bill Clinton let Al Qaeda attack with impunity for 8 years, they got stronger, bolder and eventually unleashed 9/11…

    ON THE OTHER HAND, Bush, for all his unpopularity, for all of his blunders has taken the fight TO THEM. The result? There has not been a major attack on the USA since 9/11, or Britain since 7/7….. TAKING THE FIGHT TO THEM WORKS because it takes away their ability to plan, their ability to coordinate and their ability to communicate.

    When bombs are falling atop your head, believe me, you are not thinking of blowing up subways. Simple, unemotional truth.

  127. Is it me, or does anyone else see how strange it is that the captured terrorist seems to be singing like a canary? I just find it very odd that he seems to have spilled details about who trained them, where they were trained, how they were trained, modus operandi, et al. While I’m willing to concede coercive action may be such, I still don’t believe him.

  128. @Mockalele

    Not entirely impossible that the arrested terrorist is singing.
    He could not have been tortured so soon as he is injured and the Government wants him to live. His death is of no use to anyone.

    When the drugs wore off the truth dawned and he wet his pants.

    He was supposed to perish and his family was to be taken care of. Now he is arrested and the other half of the deal is off. What was supposed to end with a bang is now a long misery in jail followed by an eternal wait for death and only Afzal Guru for company.

  129. @Wingless:

    Bush took the fight to them.
    There has been no terrorist attack on the US since 9/11.

    But what is the result of this??? The US army is losing a lot of personnel in this “take the fight to them” approach. Their actions in Iraq has created a state which is now wrecked by more violence and instability than before. Far from being considered as liberators, the people of Iraq view the US as the nation responsible for this mess.
    The amount of money the US is losing in this war and the number of body bags that come home from Iraq and Afghanistan is probably more than what multiple terror strikes would have caused.
    Bush has lost his party the elections, and the people of America see him as the source of all this mess rather than the one who ensured their security with his strategies.
    Maybe Bush was right in doing what he did. Maybe what he did was what needed to be done. I don’t know. But as John McCain said, “The people of America have spoken, and they have spoken clearly”.

  130. Manmohan might hav been a robot but he is way better than the one-word-every-5-seconds Vajpayee! Gawd… those were days.. to see him give a speech!

  131. I am not sure how widely followed the Wall Street Journal is in the US. But its quite a well respected western journal.

    Check this article out –

    If this isnt an open damnation of Pakistan by western media then what is.

    The reach of this magazine might be limited but the kind of people who read this are the ones that probably are higher ups in the Corporate or the Political world.

    So atleast that should count for a lot ….

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