Life goes on as usual in Mumbai, six months after 26/11May 26th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, May 26 (IANS) There were no protest marches or candles lit, no condemning banners or posters, and no human chains either. Exactly six months after 10 terrorists ripped the spirit of Mumbai, the citizens seem to have forgotten the terror attacks and consider it as a nightmare that has ended.
The city is back to its usual, familiar self. People taking life as it comes, the unending daily grind for sheer survival going on among the have-nots while the affluent are busy with their high-flying lifestyles.
“Mumbaikars want only peace, non-interference in their routine lives, because that’s the only way the city thrives. There have been so many terror attacks in the past two decades, but Mumbai has learnt to survive with or without them,” observed astrologer-cum-columnist of Borivli, Milan Thakar.
According to Thakar, Mumbaikars are such a tough and hardened community that nothing - terror attacks, floods or riots - can shake them.
Similar sentiments were expressed by a Vile Parle housewife, Mruga P. Desai, who pointed out that apart from the initial shock, Mumbai was practically on its feet within 24 hours.
“It is now six months down the line. We have to accept that Mumbai is being targeted by all and sundry. There is little point in blaming anybody or mourning over it forever,” she said, packing her bags for a family trip to the Far East.
A bitter comment came today from Kavita, the wife of Hemant Karkare, the chief of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) who was killed in the terror strike. Speaking to some television channels, Kavita said that nothing has really changed after 26/11 - the police continue to wait for sophisticated weapons and equipment promised to them as part of a Rs.1 billion upgradation programme.
“It has become a fashion to announce compensation for the fallen heroes after such incidents. If the police had been better equipped, such incidents would not occur,” she observed.
Fourteen of Mumbai’s police personnel, including some of the finest ones like Karkare, Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, among others, lost their lives in the 26/11 attack.
A senior police official, requesting anonymity, told IANS that proposals to modernise the police weapons and equipment are currently “underway”. He explained that there were delays due to the change of guard in the state and the general elections that followed soon after.
However, many public and private hospitals have gone ahead to implement basic security measures like installing metal detectors and closed circuit television cameras.
Even the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has installed CCTVs at important locations around the city, including some sensitive roads and junctions.
Similarly, luxury hotels have put in place additional security measures, including screening of guests’ baggage and deployed more security personnel.
Metal detectors and CCTVs are now a common feature at important railway stations on the entire suburban network, as also Mumbai airport and other sensitive locations.
However, for the ordinary citizen, barring the occasional road blocks and going through enhanced security measures, little has changed after 26/11.