Today is 26 November. Eight years ago, a team of terrorist commandos from NaPakistan entered Mumbai from the sea and began a horrific attack against defenseless civilians that left 166 dead & over 300 injured. It shocked the world. In India, it was widely described as India’s 9/11, a reference to the horrific terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
That attack as India’s 9/11? Really? Check out Mumbai today and see if people even remember that attack. Is Mumbai commemorating that attack & the victims of that attack? Is there a public ceremony at the CST railway terminus where innocent people were gunned down? We doubt it.
Every time we visit Mumbai, we go to the CST station to see if there is even a plaque that commemorates the civilians who gave up their lives. Forget about the names of those who were killed. We simply look for some small plaque that remembers those who fell that day. Indians love to build temples wherever they go but the millions of Mumbaikers & the billion Indians have never bothered to create a quiet corner in CST that lists the fallen with their names & photos.
Some people do remember on Twitter with the #26November hashtag. Below is one tweet as an example.
- Prasar Bharati
@prasarbharati – Heartfelt tributes to the martyrs of #MumbaiAttacks who sacrificed their lives to remove the dirt of terrorism from India. #26November
But neither do the people of India care nor does the leadership. Prime Minister Modi hasn’t even bothered to tweet in memory of the 26/11 martyrs & victims. He has tweeted his deepest condolences to the people of Cuba for the passing away of Fidel Castro. That is indeed one of his responsibilities as India’s PM. But isn’t it also his responsibility to offer at least a small token of his condolences to the hundreds of families who lost a loved one on 26/11/2008? Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to think so. It is as if the attack on Mumbai was a local affair only to be remembered by the local Chief Minister.
America is different. Every year on September 11, there is a public remembrance of the victims of 9/11. Every single victim of that terrorist attack is remembered individually. The Presidents, present & past, speak up to make sure that America remembers the victims & never forgets that day.
America has built a memorial to commemorate that attack. Since its opening in 2011, more than 28 million people have visited the memorial and gazed at the names of the 9/11 dead. This year was the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Watch how it was remembered in New York City.
We realize that India is a defeated society with over 1,000 years of consecutive defeats & subjugation under a series of foreign invaders from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Africa, Portugal, France, and Britain. A defeated India has always chosen to forget its losses & deaths because they feel ashamed at their inability to avenge them. We know that India is far poorer than America and can’t afford to spend much on remembering the martyrs of past, not even the recent past of 26/11/2008.
But resurgence begins in the spirit and pride is born in the heart. Isn’t it time for India to build a memorial at CST terminus in Mumbai to remember India’s fallen and to tell the world “Never Again”? What do you say, Prime Minister Modi & Chief Minister Fadanvis? If you agree, then make CST terminus a symbol of India’s Never Again resolve against terrorism and inaugurate it on 26 November 2018 to mark the 10th Anniversary of that day. Only then, will India & you two earn the right to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”
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