One year ago, this day, the 26th of November 2008, India faced a massacre, one massacre which shook us to the chore. Mumbai, India’s financial capital was hit by a terror attack. An attack which made us realize how unprepared we have been all along. An attack which made us realize that yes, we are weak. The 62 hours not forgiven, not forgotten and the darkest Wednesday in the history of mankind.
This was the D-day for all of us, those who were there and facing that, and those who were watching it on television. Around 15 policemen, 5 NSG commandoes, ATS officers and over 170 civilians lost their lives in this draconian incident.
A number of questions were raised? Even today, are we ready for it? Are we ever going to be ready? The political debates were raised, fingers were too.
We at Youth Ki Awaaz gave you full coverage of this event and made sure that we bring forth the correct and real news. One year after, we bring to you the aggregation of voices of those young people and victims whose minds went through a series of thoughts, while the forces were fighting.
Parul Sabherwal (19) woke up to get ready for yet another day for college, but when she saw her family glewed to the television she knew something was wrong. When she learned about the incident she was disturbed. “Though it is very difficult for us to step into the shoes of those who witnessed the incident in front of their eyes but I can surely say that only reading a newspaper report or watching the television programs for hours and hours were enough to make me feel almost the same way. I think it is only in the human category of animals that we see an incident like this, an incident of killing someone of the same species. Though we say that human beings are the most developed forms of nature but this is evident from these terror attacks that how developed we all are.
Bloodshed all over. Crying of men, women, small children was what I saw on television and felt really sorry for my country and its neighbors. Today after a year one can still see the tragic effect of the incident but I do not think that enough was done or is being done to stop any further such action. Though anger is the first feeling that I experienced but later on the feeling of pity took over my mind. Pity, not for my country or the countrymen who lost their lives or their near ones but pity, for those who take up such activities on the name of religion, jihad or whatsoever.” says Parul.
When the terrorists entered the CST Railway Station, Lalji Pandey (50) was standing at the platform with his family. “I felt something explode into my left hand. I saw blood gushing out. I knew I had been shot.” He has undergone two surgeries and still cannot use his hand. Pandey feels that politicians are responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the country. “Police ko laachar bana diya. Politicians hide behind their security personnel and make lofty statements against communities. People like me, the common man, suffer the consequences of their loose talk,” he says.
Kumar Ankit (20), another spectator from Delhi feels that there was a massive failure on part of the authorities. He strongly condems the Government. “As I saw all this sitting comfortably in my house on my television set I felt very helpless and at the same time angry as havoc was ravaged by the terror monsters. As Mumbai was bleeding, several questions started to hover inside my mind such as, this kind of terror attack is not new in India because every week a work of terror comes up no matter in which part of the country you are. So this was almost the same incident where some terror outfits were involved, same state funded, same weapons, same victims, same statement by the leaders(Deputy C.M maharashtra), same warning by the IB and as usual no action taken on time.
Amidst all these similarities what has changed is the morale of terrorists. They proved that they can plunder shining India at will. This incident is not only shocking but should work as an eye opener for the parochial leaders, bumbling bureaucrats and an inefficient and ill equipped police force and coastal guards.
The government needs to change its working because it could have saved some life if not the entire attack. Government needed to strengthen its security lapses after information by the intelligence. It took almost 8 -10 hours for the NSG men to reach on the spot. Where was the crisis management committee?
My heart cries for those who lost their loved ones. But one thing is for sure that no matter how much destruction these sadists and enemy of peace do, they cannot break our spirit. They cannot break us; they cannot keep us terrified for long. They cannot taste success because the spirit of India will always limp back to normalcy against all odds,” feels Ankit.
Bharat Shyam Navadiya (25) with his family had come minutes before the attack at CST. Navadiya saw his wife Poonam die before his eyes. He was shot in his right shoulder. “I have lost my livelihood due to my shoulder injury.” He appealed yo to the Government to give him a job to take care of his mounting expenses. “Politicians are responsible for the sorry state of affairs. How can the common man feel safe? Such instances will happen again. The Government will be caught napping,” he says.
Bharat Gujjar (33) was a supervisor at Leopold Cafe, sitting at the billing counter that day. The 14 stitches on his stomach and pieces of sharpnel that still remain in his body are testimony to that night. “I have received Rs. 1.50 lakh as compensation from the government. I am lucky to have my job but I cannot do hard work. The past year has taught me to be extra alert. I do not feel safe but there is nothing I can do,” he says.
Original phone call recordings between the attackers and their bosses proves that the attackers were being guided by their bosses as they watched every movement of the forces on the television. This is a huge failure on part of the Indian media. The Government had been tracing these calls all along but nothing was being done. No action was taken. This leaves us spell bound and provokes a number of questions.
All of us failed. From government to media to us, everyone.
Even as I write this article today, the memories of last year run a chill down my spine and refresh the draconian incident. I reported continuously for over 32 hours, and all this looked like a Hollywood movie. But every other moment I was brought back to reality, to face the harsh truth. I still feel that it won’t be difficult for these terrorists to attack us again, we have to act strong, feel strong and most importantly feel strong. I will not talk about any failure or success. Neither will I crib. All I will say again and again is that no matter how hard they hit us, we will get up on our feet and hit them harder.
With this thought in ming, I would like to say on behalf on my Youth Ki Awaaz Team that as we complete one year since the dreaded 26/11, Youth Ki Awaaz wishes all the survivors best of wishes and pays regards to those who layed down their lives. May terrorism die down soon.
I recommend that you watch this documentary below made by European News. It is shocking and brings forth the truth about 26/11.
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