Posts Tagged ‘mumbai attacks’

War Of Words Follows Mumbai Attacks

December 4, 2008

I was surprised by the readiness of some people responding to the original post, to prescribe what is essentially censorship. I don’t think there should be restricting against the press of this sort at all — but I was also taken aback even when the siege was on, to see how the law enforcment and military forces weren’t securing the perimeter at all. There was one segment where one NDTV reporter was walking through the alley right behind the Taj, with security personnel crouching by the pillars right by his feet. Quite apart from the issue of confidentiality, I wasn’t sure how civilians, even representing press, could be allowed to walk around in the middle of a military operation. There’s also the issue of the damn reporter’s safety as well — it was irresponsible of the media company to have allowed or encouraged their staff into that area with no concern for their personal safety.

I don’t think the security holes created by any actual broadcast of information is something proven beyond doubt. The original article keeps referring to unnamed sources, even using the exceedingly vague phrase, “We have heard” at one point. Apart from the report of one couple who claimed that the attackers changed course after the couple’s hiding spot was broadcast somehow, there isn’t much to substantiate the claim that reporting actually endangered or lost people’s lives.

Having said that — Barkha Dutt turned out to be a right royal moron of the highest order. What surprises me though is that (more…)


Letter to the editor: Responses to articles on Mumbai attacks

December 1, 2008

Sandip Roy writes on about terrorism in Mumbai. I react:

The sectarian divides in India are complex problems — my grandfather pointed me to Churchill’s speeches and his concerns. There’s a remarkable line in one of his speeches where he describes the lack of inter-mingling — “While the Hindu elaborates his argument, the Muslim sharpens his sword. Between these two races and creeds, containing as they do so many gifted and charming beings in all the glory of youth, there is no intermarriage.” A point well made, I think.

And the problem exists to this day in much the same degree. I don’t doubt the sincerity of either side of the argument: the humanistic one that has faith in the two communities’ abilities to bridge the divisions, but also the reactionary one that portends chaos coming from the inflammatory passions of the articulate and certainly not marginal minorities that incite conflicts. No, we should not and cannot ethnically cleanse India; but the alternative is not a politically impossible utopia either.