Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wake up, Mumbai....

My fingers are shaking as I key in this piece, minutes after watching visuals of panic stricken commuters at CST station, running helter skelter as fresh reports of terrorist attacks near the RBI and GT Hospital send a grievously wounded Mumbai reeling once again…. to save itself. If these horrific attacks that have struck every Mumbaikar’s heart do not act as a serious wake up call, nothing else can or will.The most important lesson to learn from the carnage is that the time has come for citizens to take control of their lives and their beloved city, for if they don’t, they will be dead.What the past 40 hours have demonstrated unambiguously is that our city fathers have learned nothing from past blows in our gut, or else innocents would not have lost their lives because there was no one in charge when the city most needed a figure, capable of leading from the front. The chief minister showed up outside the Trident, when the crisis was nearly over. Delhi politicians caused more of a nuisance than anything else when the prime minister, along with Sonia Gandhi made the mandatory hospital visits….. diverted traffic and police attention.
But it took a Narendra Modi to show us what political opportunism is all about when he arrogantly arrived here with bags of money to distribute to the families of Mumbai’s real heroes – the slain policemen, and wasted no time in capitalizing on the tragedy to cold bloodedly push his own agenda.
There were several shocking failures and lapses…. But what good is a post- mortem, after the damage is done? What good, delayed responses – we could have, we should have, why didn’t so-and-so do this or that? The truth is, we effed up. Each and every one of us. Let us not point fingers and play the blame game, for it is dangerous and unproductive. We were caught off guard – once again. This time there is no excuse. How many attacks is it going to take for Mumbai to act and save itself?And where should we begin?? I would say let us start from taking a few key lessons from America, post 9\11. The entire country acted as one. Political differences were set aside and a superbly strategized counter-terrorism plan put into place.There have been no further attacks since then. Next, we need to pay attention to the immediate requirements of our over- burdened police force – those poor constables armed with nothing more lethal than laathis can ‘t chase a rabid dog, forget about taking on hard core, armed terrorists.Give them equipment, training and autonomy to act in such an emergency without waiting for bureaucratic clearances, then see the difference. We need an action plan to deal with crises. Citizens need to be taken into confidence with a disaster management strategy, and regular drills to keep people alert.
What became evident( and cost countless lives) was the absence of leadership. With whom did the buck stop? Who was in charge of taking key and timely decisions? Was there anyone at all who was monitoring and co ordinating collective efforts to deal with each ghastly development? Individual stories of heroism are not enough in such situations – they create martyrs, nothing else. We lost outstanding officers, who misread the threat to their own lives and were not adequately protected. Our police lack basic gear – helmets, bullet proof jackets, riot shields. We expect them to protect us while they themselves are unprotected. Lack of funds is a poor excuse. Take a look at any minor politico moving around with a convoy of police cars, security personnel, ambulances. These privileges must be instantly withdrawn and reserved exclusively for top ranking politicians alone.
Help in the form of crack commando units, the Marcos, NSG and the Army, arrived several hours after Operation Mumbai was underway. Naval helicopters were deployed still later. Securing a city like Mumbai is not an easy job. But it is possible . Something simple like neighbourhood sirens to alert citizens of an impending attack, are not that difficult to install. This IS war – make no mistake about that. Mumbai is hemorraging….. bleeding a slow death Political tourniquets can’t save us. If we have to save ourselves, we need to perform radical surgery…. amputate a few gangrenous limbs. And rely on the mighty heart of this great metropolis – the extraordinary people of Mumbai. But this time I am not going to be a sentimental fool and say, ‘Salaam Mumbai’. It’s time to shout, to holler, “Wake up Mumbai. Fight back. Fight back. Fight back!”


Anonymous said...

You the celebrities, whose voice is heard more than of a comman man, put all the people in the same basket who are fighting for the terrorist and against the terrorist. Have you ever criticised the shameless mediapersons and politicians who always, after these types of terrorist attacks, talk about the spirit of comman man. Ask from those who had lost their near and dear ones in such type of terrorist attack. When the Modi Government shot dead a terrorist couple some time before, all the socialist, media, judiciary, Teesta Seetalwar, Shabana Azmi seen standing by the side of those who had been killed. In the recently occured Jamia Milia Encounter, everyone is criticising police personal, including our Prime Minister. Jamia University announce to provide legal aid to the terrorist, why dont you raise your voice and criticise them. When a terrorist is caught by the australian police our prime minister loses his sleep, but what about when hundreds of his own people got killed in Assam, Mumbai and other parts of country?

hitch writer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hitch writer said...

Now is the hour of reckoning for our politicians. While the army, the police and the fire brigade have done their job... Can the politicians act as leaders and leave pointing fingers at one another, while all fingers are pointing in one direction..????

Anonymous said...

The first thing is to call a spade a spade...stop this farce of being tolerant...its actually cowardice on our part that we do not stand up to the wrongdoer...the Bhagwad Gita says:

The one who does wrong is a sinner
BUT the one who puts up with that wrong
is a BIGGER sinner....

Anonymous said...

I cried a lot and switched off the Television.

Balvinder Balli said...

Don't Bounce Back to Normalcy Please.

In the Army, after every battle or even after simulation of a battle, a session is held that is called "Lessons Learnt". The aim of the exercise is to do an introspection on the operation and bring out the weaknesses that led to the situation and also to correct the mistakes done during the operation itself. Our country has come out victorious out of a battle today. Before slipping into congratulatory mood for too long, we have to get into the "Lessons Learnt" mode first. Let me enumerate a few of the lessons which i think we should have learnt out of this exercise which has certainly given us a bloody nose..

1. Instead of fuming at foreign hand involved in the terrorist operations we should concentrate on strengthening our security mechanism. The nature has given defence system to every object. An insect has its sting which it activates when in danger. The beautiful rose has thorns. Even birds are careful enough and look around ten times for any danger before approaching a food item that has been laid out for them to eat. As far as the human being is concerned, his security system goes right back to the stone or the cave age. He would in addition to having arms and ammunition for his safety, invariably keep a big boulder on the door of the cave to prevent any wild animal from entering and eating up his family.

2.We have our intelligence agencies, our boarder security, our coast guards and other para military forces who are responsible for keeping an eye on our land and maritime boarders in the peace time. Smugglers cross the boarders of our country with impunity, carrying drugs and other contra bands, after bribing the forces which are meant to keep a check on them. So if contra bands can be smuggled , then why not arms and explosives.

2. Further, our police and security system bows to the VIP culture that we have in our country. Flaunting the beacon lights on the car and a group of security or protocol personnel walking behind a VIP has become status symbol rather than necessity .

3. More than half the strength of the police force of a city is busy looking after the security of the VIPs instead of taking care of the same for the common citizen.

4. At the five star hotel gate, a guest will feel insulted if the tall durwan with turban and moustaches does not salute him/her and more so if a security fellow asks for searching the body and the baggage of the guest.

5. At the air ports the VIPs throw tantrums if subjected to security checks.

6. Even a common citizen cares a hoot if he/she notices an unattended object or a suspicious person loitering around.

7. Whenever a security gadget is installed at an office or a public place, the first reaction of the common man is how to by pass the same.

8. Mobile SIM cards are distributed by the service providers without much verification of antecedents of the customer.

9. The land lords don't bother to verify the correct particulars of the tenants. Same goes when contract employees are recruited by companies without getting any police verification done for them.

10. And last but not the least our vote and note hungry politicians are busy washing their dirty linen in public instead of concentrating at real issues staring in face of the country's security.

And i will hate to read the headlines in the papers tomorrow that Mumbai bounces back to normalcy. Normalcy in our country will mean all that I have mentioned above. We have to deal with times abnormally. Our country is on the path of unprecedented economic progress and that is not liked by every one around us in the world. So please, please tread cautiously. And don't be in a hurry to bounce back to normalcy.

hitch writer said...

Should we say Wake up India ....

One of the biggest problems with our country is we tolerate a bit too much....

Sagarone said...

Wake up Shobhaa.......

It is really disheartening to see that high profile people like you are still thinking with a tunnel vision. This was not an attack on Mumbai or Mumbaikars, but on the citizens of India and the Idea of India. Please take off your blinkers and look at the larger picture. An event like this should make people take off their petty regional and metropolitan identities and unite them to think and act like Indians.

Moonlight said...

I totally agree with Sagarone... Mumbai is just one step... that one priamry step for which we have already had too many warnings, and still havent taken any action so far, to protect our country...

And now its not just Mumbai anymore... it is our India that is at stake... if we dont check this bloodbath soon.. India is going to fall prey to the terrorists!!!

Shafinaaz Hassim said...

Mumbai's aftermath is a grating silence. The calm after the storm, so to speak. A symbol of shocking numb. The city is at a standstill. The problem with each of these varying kinds and degrees of silence is not in their base intentions or the reactive nature with which it may have begun. It is when silence is taken as a reason to point fingers and when it is seen as a weakness by those who will manipulate the space thus cultivated by it. It happens in the most petty instances. Politicians move in where there is panic, hoping to garner support for the next election. Other's with selfish intent use the space for silence as a tool to nurture their grab-all mentality.

In most cases thats what it comes down to; this warring for space and the right to impose ideals and ideologies on the world at large comes from a twisted kind of scarcity-consciousness. The mines-mines-mines mentality of the voyeuristic me-me-me.

Like I said, it happens in grave situations, and it happens in the most petty instances. Sometimes hundreds of lives are affected; other times only one or two. But it happens. And it hurts. It really does.

I don't know much about crisis management. And I have yet to fully embrace constructive grieving processes and networks of support. But I know this much: People who have that scarcity consciousness, who imagine that they should feel threatened by a particular status quo and who feel righted to upturn it in grossly violating ways, need to be weeded out from the thriving gardens of spirit and humanity that the rest of the conscious world wishes to cultivate.

And a momentary silence doesn't mean defeat; or admonishment. It is a moment to reflect. A time to grieve, and a reason to stand together and create those shifts in consciousness and infrastructure that will secure the future.

Silence isn't 'doing nothing'. It is healing. The calm before a revolutionary storm. At some point, all hypocrisy must die. Enough is enough. Eventually, only whats real will preside. The winds of change will make certain of it.

Shafinaaz Hassim
South Africa

hitch writer said...

From the terrorist that the police have caught live.... the names of his predecessors should be taken, and the list be given to pakistan and the men be demaned immediately... if pakistan is sincere about fighting terror they will assist. If they cant find them... allow our experts to enter the country and hunt them... if they dont allow that than its clear they are not sincere... use force if you might have to... if its war than so be it... but we cannot allow any more innocent indian civilians to be killed by foreign terrorists.... Its now or never

Anonymous said...

INDIA - A Sitting DUCK

The news telecasts for the past three days have been like watching Hollywood thrillers and Bollywood action flicks unfold at different places. The only unfortunate part is that the heroes did not emerge without any damage to innocent civilian lives. Considering the regularity of the terrorist attacks, it is a pity that we have to die on the streets tomorrow, or it could be today, no one is sure. No matter what precautions we take and no matter how much we convince our family about our safe return home, our destiny today looks to have been written by the politicians, leaders and terrorists who have taken the right from the God. There have been bomb blasts in Mumbai in the past but this was more shocking. People woke up and took notice. It was not like “Okay, let’s get back to work tomorrow safely circumventing the damaged amenities of our city after a few sympathetic squawks and intensive ridicule of the state, politicians and the law makers. This incident seemed to be the final bastion of the Mumbai’s possible defense against terrorism having fallen.

The entire operation of annihilating the terrorists went for more than 50 hours. There is no point in repeating all the events covered. But a few points worth noting are:
1. The first startling thought that nests in my mind strongly enough to be articulated and followed by other equally troublesome sequences is that in spite of being victim of terrorist attacks we seemed to have learnt nothing. The politicians are a hopeless lot and no one expects much from them anyway. But it was saddening to see the state of the Mumbai Police. It was such a pathetic sight to see the policemen fearing to enter the troubled site. But why blame them? Have we ever voiced strongly our opinions to improve their living conditions? We are quick to point out their corrupt activities. But when terrorist strikes we relax on our couches to watch these same men give up their lives facing hi-tech terrorists with their lathis and obsolete weapons. Just compare ourselves with other countries as to how they take care of their law keepers. In these countries the police are not only smartly dressed, inspiring confidence in the citizens, but they also have state-of-art equipments & vehicles equipped to face or deter any action of breaking of law. Body language of the police is extremely critical. Hence the visuals of Mumbai cops idling in an extremely relaxed position in combat area made for a pathetic viewing and lent a very bad image of our country as the whole world watched our reaction to the terrorist attack. Even the terrorists having access to TVs would have drawn their clues from the idle behavior of police. The sight of the policemen should send shivers up the spine of the terrorists and criminals. When will we realize this?

2. Expectedly, the quotes from the political class were hopeless & spineless. One cannot help compare an extempore inspiring speech by Mr. Obama with a totally damp squid speech by our PM. What was needed was an extempore and heart felled speech peppered with bold talk. This would have helped warm the cockles of the heart of a worried nation. As usual the politicians pointed fingers towards Pakistan? Does it matter who did it? First we don’t do anything to prevent these kinds of attacks from happening but are ready to point fingers right away. Does pointing fingers get protection for your country? Why not focus on getting things organized at the scene of crime. Let a politicians family member be in those hotels, then see how organized the fight becomes. We have had so many bombings in India that we should have been prepared. But who will tell these politicians. Now all we would see will be the visuals of those coward politicians lining up to meet the families of the dead- promising to make them martyrs, giving false promises of not sparing the terrorists, announcing compensation packages, etc. The BJP using this attack as a means to accelerate their vote bank politics is a sickening gesture, especially after talking about political unity in the hour of crisis just 2 days ago. After all Delhi and Rajasthan are going to the poll soon. What exactly was the intention of Narendra Modi for coming to Mumbai and announcing compensation to the dead and the injured? And of course, we all will hear from the politicians those clichéd terms - Inquiry, neighbors (read Pakistan) responsible, strong action, and most abusive word of all “Mumbaikars’spirit & resilience”. And where were the TIGER and the CUB who roared time and again and talked about Marathi Maanoos and Mee Mumbaikar? Sadly these tigers were too scared and were hiding in their den with their tails between their legs.

3. Time is another element that was spent with the tap full on. Why was the army not called in immediately in the absence of NSG commandoes to handle the situation? Besides, it actually took hours for the army & NSG to reach the scene of action. Mumbai definitely deserves forces to be posted right inside or for space constraints just outside the city to be available immediately to take action. It is such a shocking revelation that a coastal city like Mumbai has such a casual porous border where terrorists actually rowed right up to city and made themselves comfortable in cafes and hotel lobbies? Now that the sea option has been explored by them, what next? What if the terrorists get hold of some fighter planes and launch suicide attacks. In such scenario, do we wait for the air force to take off from their far off bases, for instance Pune?

4. From the news channels we could see the terrorists passing through the metal detector. One wonders of what use is the metal detector if there is no follow up deterrent action to be pursued by police personnel there. Why was stringent curfew not imposed hours after the first attack in Colaba, Nariman Point area? Why were the Commandoes not landed by helicopters on the roof of Taj & Oberoi as in the case of Nariman house? The number of terrorists entering Mumbai is a mere guess. The number estimated by Vilarao Deshmukh was 20 to 25. How did they smuggle in so much ammunition including machine guns, hand grenades, rocket launchers etc in the hotels. What kind of security do these five star hotels have?

5. Within hours of the siege, ATS Chief Karkare, Vijay Salaskar were killed by the terrorists. I cannot believe how can an ATS chief enter the scene of carnage with no bullet proof vest, no helmet only to be gunned down. Could it be described as bravery?

6. Did anyone realize that the Mumbai siege closely followed the heavy participation of the J & K public in the assembly elections, against the advice of the militants? The terrorists carrying out the attacks were as young as 20 years. Imagine what sick brainwashing they might have gone through to take up this operation, which ultimately resulted in their death!

7. The media has always been accused of sensationalizing events but this time it was far more guarded and displayed rare maturity. Along with the NSG and other military personnel they were also the heroes as they displayed parallel diligence and staying power giving an untiring blow by blow account on all channels. They had practically put up tent near the Taj and Oberoi and were always there to give the latest information.

8. While far worse and unimaginable things have happened in other countries, these countries have taken enough intimidating and deterrent measures to stave off future attacks. Did anything happen in US after the 9/11 attack in these 7 years? NO. But in India terrorist attacks have become a norm. Anyone comes and strikes us.

9. Everything has been said about government, politicians, police, etc but what about we citizens. As can be seen on news channels, people were either standing or just walking during the attacks. Why are we so inactive? It is important that we as citizens of this country need to start thinking how we can prevent ourselves from becoming sitting ducks all the time. Our undignified silence to everything happening around us is being lustily grabbed by the politicians and to cover their ineptness they have coined a word “Resilience” for us. But then, as an individual, I know my limitations. Who am I to blame other when I myself is clueless as to what I can contribute in reducing this menace. Believe me, when that feeling of helplessness overtakes you nothing is more frustrating. It is high time that we start seriously thinking about building a nation for the future generations to enjoy. We need smart, efficient and tough leaders so that we do not have to look up for surrogate role models like Obama. It is time that everyone nurtures and takes care of the four citadels of our nation building - the forces who guard our nation, the police who sanitize the country internally, the teachers who help mould the future of the country and the farmers who must be protected at all costs to keep our God given self sufficiency intact.

10. The recent attack has educated us about how difficult it is for the official agencies to fight a terrorist siege. But despite all the short comings, the Police, Army, Navy, NSG have done an excellent job. Hats off to the hotel staff too who sacrificed their lives while helping the guests to safety. I just saw a pathetic sight on a news channel. After successful operation the brave NSG commandoes were given shelter in a BEST bus to take rest. I was left angry and frustrated by seeing these heroes wiping their sweat in that BEST bus after being in the action for more than 30 hours. And no prizes for guessing where would be our good for nothing politicians that time - sitting in their AC offices and vehicles planning how to use this moment of tragedy for political gains. Shame.

I pray for the safety of the Indians and peace for the ones that have lost their loved ones.


Anonymous said...

Just watch this video, Rajdeep sardesai is so passionate and the text in the video are so touching and so true

Anonymous said...

point the nuke and nuke them....real fast

Arul prakash said...

Are you made nuke them?? We are not against pakistani's remember we are fighting against terrorist. There are millions of pakistani's who are good and desperately want an end to this saga.

Anonymous said...

as a wise man once said, "Opinions are like a**holes, everybody's got one." I am an a**hole.

I wanted to say something about the shit which is happening in Bombay right now, but then, is it going to make a difference? Ranting to vent is fine enough, but ranting to make a difference? Difficult. Not impossible but, very very difficult.
Sure! There are lots of blogs out there who are spewing venom about this all. The whole 12 yards and one foot of anger. Sorry ppl, your anger ain't gonna kill a terrorist. Heck, all these blogs don't even scare the sweat out of a terrorist.

Let's talk about something else. Divert our minds. This is what we are good at. Always. Like we have done in the past, like we will do right now, LOOK! BIRDIE!!, like we will do in the future. Yeh blasts vlasts to hote rahenge. You might be dead tomorrow, so, have some fun, get drunk, get laid, do some drugs, f**k, make love, resign on a monday morning. You live only once.


And about opinions, they do not matter, unless you put your words to action. If you can't do it, then don't say it. Please.

I could be sad, but I think its ok. Yeah, pretty much.

Move on as they say...



Anonymous said...

shobha de speaks the words what lives in minds n hearts of millions of mumbaikars . i completely respect exactly what she feels & even though living in the UK , being a true mumbaikar it brings tears in my eye to see what is been goin around our city n specially when i see shobha mam on NDTV speakin her heart out. I think its time for ppl of mumbai to wake up n open their eyes to what these so called terrorist in white collars do for us besides false promises & anything to get the votes in their favour ? how long are we going to let our souls in silence? how long we going to watch these politicians giving fake appearance in bright day light, it makes my heart cry that how is normal ppl not been able to see this for many many years .
Also i beleive that every time sumonce really wants to raise their voice against the bad , against the lie , against the fakes , their voice some how tend to be pushed under the covers & possibly death threats or get shot dead .TODAY WE HAVE PPL LIKE SHOBHA DE WHO IS TALKING EXACTLY HOW EVERY SINGLE MUMBAIKAR FEELS FROM DEEP WITHIN WITHOUT ANY SECOND THOUGHT OR DOUGHT WITHIN.

Sundar said...

our outer worlds are but reflections of our inner worlds..our individual compromises on integrity as human beings is the micro manifesting as the macro.Outside changes can affect just so much, it is our inner worlds which have to awaken to a naturalness and dynamic spirituality far removed from religion...

Rahul Viswanath said...

I am in Chicago just watched you on NDTV talk with Jayanthi Natarajan on that 2 hrs show !!!



I hated to see those words from a responsible politician of our country ..... Its a shame !

Shobhaa my personal request to you is please use media be it BLOG , PRINT , TV any source to convey a message ....... PLEASE DO NOT FORGET AND FORGIVE !!!!

Anonymous said...

we cannot afford to lose resilience, but resilience shouldn't be confused with inaction or impotence... rhetoric aside, how can NRIs (am a mumbaiite for life) meaningfully contribute? i am committed to act on concrete ideas and direction...

Unknown said...

I watched you yesterday & today on NDTV talk with Jayanthi Natarajan.When she asked you to become CM it angered me even more because here is one more politician who is blatantly accepting that they cannot do their job & is mocking a concerned & repected citizen who is good at theirs just because they have no answers.
I simply suggest since our leaders do not know how to find a solution (apart from blaming the next person)play copy cats once again.Emulate the Americans or any other country who has somewhat of a plan or a formula or even a list of a dozen precautions to tackle terrorism.
We are proud of citizens like you who know how & when to speak their mind.The words you said are the words of millions of pained hearbroken Indians who watched mumbai burn & shatter & could do nothing but pray.We are with you Shobhaa jut lead the way.


bappi said...

Thanks for your inputs on the ndtv show. calling a spade a spade outrages our politicians. easy way out which they know is- point fingers at Pakistan and get away. After collecting sufficient evidence take some action, atleast bring pressure from all the nations to make Pak handover terrorists to us. No they would not do this as they only want to politicize this issue and gain votes. OUTRAGEOUS.

Anonymous said...

Where can one find a link to this NDTV show?

Nebula said...

Great job at Big Fight Shobhaa..
You really did speak up what the nation wants to say now!!
lets keep the fire on..

Nebula said...

.. and oh yes!
someone slap that lady on the show who could not decide if she belonged to a party or the country first!!

Ani said...

You know what Shobha thing that several have been asking is - where are the so called 'sons of Mumbai' - the protectors ...'Raj Thackrey and co.' - not that I care a damn about what he has to say - but why the hell weren't they out to protect the Mumbai people and city when it was burning for 3 days.
In the end - it was left to NSG Commandos - mostly consisting of Non-Maharashtra personnel to save the city.
We are Indians ....we are all Indians and thats all that matters. Somebody please tell this to that man and his followers.
These blood sucking politicians ..our so called leaders will not rest till they suck the life out of our country and our citizens.


obssesor said...

hi shoba,
luvd ur cross fire wid jayanthi najaratan.And thanks for showing how stupid and distasteful she is!cheers!

obssesor said... the link to the ndtv show...sadly u cant witness the buffoonery by jayanti

Anonymous said...

Yes perhaps this is an extreme statement - but really it's extreme measures for extreme times - It needs to be made a requirement - if one is to be any part of the governing infrastructure, that one has to serve in the army. Let even ONE of our no-personality embarrassing so called representatives of the country serve even ONE day in the army and then be allowed to even speak!

I don't think they should even be asked or rather allowed to comment on any of this. The whole operation was managed by the army - the government is non-existent. There was ZERO management or even awareness of what was even happening! It's like they live in la-la land - talking about calling this all party meeting the NEXT EVENING! WHy aren't you guys up all night atleast TALKING versus scheduling things like some tea party to hang out at! Heck, there wasn't even a respectable speech or comment that even if absolute BS, might atleast allow people some sense of hope!

If the terrorists did want to come to India and wreck havoc, I wish they'd come and shoot our useless politicians Maybe then they'd take it seriously? Well I doubt very much even then actually, but atleast we'd be rid of them! instead or blow up one of their homes! Sadly, I think that even the terrorists don't think they are worth it, they'd rather hurt the people that matter and are worth somethng in this world! I wish Raj Thackrey and L.K Advani, Narendra Modi, Shivraj Patil and well the whole pathetic gang - oh, not to forget Jayanti - I wish they were the ones trapped at the Taj for all those hours with their families.

I'd like for ATS Chief to have offered the Modi family compensation instead... and for the public to announce the 5 lakh/50,000 compensation before the operation is even over! Do they really think that saying that is compensating people and that people are waiting to hear about it? That handing out the 'people's' money back to them like they are doing them a favor will make it all okay? That we will all write it off and congratulate it for a job well done?

Heck that isn't even the equivalent of a refund is it? I mean you take my money - make promises - don't deliver - kill members of my family, and hand me back some petty amount, no interest either? No thank you, keep the money, hoard it away, I want my loved ones back because thats what I've been paying you for all these years - for them to be able to go to a goddamn restaurant and not be shot or set on fire!

The audacity of the politicians to say things that actually imply they have 'prevented worse' - 'oh it COULD HAVE BEEN 5000 people' so look how wonderful we are for preventing it. IT WAS THE ARMY! NOT YOU!

Sorry, needed to vent, this seemed like the right place... Ms. De, so far you are the only one who's voice conveys what we feel... please don't stop, we need you.

Anonymous said...

OMG I feel nauseous- our country's so called leadership has declared that 'aisi choti moti baatein hoti hai'

HOW DARE HE! THe whole world has offered HELP and these guys go like, oh no no, don't worry about it, its jus one of those small things! HOW EMBARRASSING!

I beg the media NOT to broadcast anything these guys say - how about we not ask them or listen to them - how about we just ignore them and ask the army to take over!

To the Indian Government: Even terrorists don't think you are worth bothering with, I wish they did!

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please find out what R.R.Patil was smoking when he was making his disgusting disrespectful pathetic mindless statement? How was he even allowed to continue speaking? Why does this guy even exist?

Anonymous said...

Shobha ;

I am a "comman wo/man" and a citizen
and I want to voice my opinion in the upcoming election. I would like to request a ballot paper that says that " NO candidate
deserves my vote " as I don't trust them to protect me . I would have made this request through my own blog spot but you know not being a celebrity seems to be a major handicap.I would really appreciate if you could take this up with the right authorities.

And as far as the blame game goes
I would like to blame each and every Indian which include me as I think its we who have brought this on ourself cause we know about all the corruption and wrong doing that goes on but we convince our self that " I am just one person what in the earth can I do". Well for now I have thought of doing something. For now I am going to execute my right ie to make sure who I vote for and I dont want my voice to go wasted by not voting . It also does not mean that I have chosen my representative cause I don't trust either one of them but I also want that to be brought this attention.
I want the to make sure that my representative is a leader and a well read person like Mr Hemant Karkare and not like Mr Raj Thakkeray or Mr R R Patil . I dont want Ms Mayawati to dream about being the Obama of India CAUSE THEY WONT PROTECT ME "THE COMMON INDIAN"

had enough said...

Hello Shobhaa,
I happenned to watch the debate on NDTV in which you were a participant. All that you all were saying is what most of the people are feeling, just that we do not have a platform to express our points of view.

All this talk about lets vote the right people and exercise our right as Indian citizens is all loads of blah blah. The candidates who stand for elections at the town level leave us with zero choice. take a look at the hoardings en route to panvel and you'll know what I mean. Its either vote for goonda 1 or vote for goonda 2.

What we need is a list. A list of people who have a clean track record. Who are well read, brave people with integrity. Successful business people like Narayana Murthy, Ratan Tata, media heads like Rajdeep Sardesai, politicians like Manmohan Singh without the puppet strings, and finally a real president...Someone like APJ Abdul Kalam..people who can lead this country and restore our national pride.
The press, media and all you aware and influential but scruplous folks can bring forth such a list and we the people of India could truly vote..and not just participate in a charade for a drop of ink on our fingers.

Policies have to be relooked into. The system has to change..else we'll still have waste of space people like the current crop of politicos filling their coffers with our hard earned money and giving us death and humiliation in return.

Please help us. You can. Your voice will be heard. Not ours. even if we die in hordes and scream with pain our voice will not be heard.

Sundar said...

I have been following various debates on television as also the thread of thoughts on your blog.I have had the occasion to serve as the civilian area commander representing the NGO space during the communal riots as also during the blasts. I was mainly working in the Dharavi Behrampada area.I have also been on the spot during various natural disasters at various locations across india.

i beg to differ from the tirade against politicians; i believe we as citizens cannot escape from our apathy and indifference to events beyond our individual peripheries.If we do not help douse the fire at our neighbours, our house will soon catch fire.

For me, politicians are not a black box, they are an intrinsic part of a corrupt and non-integral society. We are getting the politicians and leaders we deserve, they are mere reflections and emergences from ourselves.

I have seen corporate leaders and so called intelligentsia from really close quarters and they are no different.While in the thick of operations at Dharavi, I have been pulled out for a cocktail launch of an NGO formed by some prominent citizens which thankfully does not exist today.I have seen the political establishment used by busnessmen for naarrow objectives of protecting their own establishments. Their presence at variosu citizen's chapters was just to expand their networks for fulfilment of personal agendas.Like our politicians these people never exposed themselves to line of fire - they came in hordes for photo-ops later.More efforts of the volunteers on the field went towards provision of safe water for our distinguished visitors.

Who are we fooling? is this rhetoric any different from those of our politicians? I hold no brief for the politicians but would like to re-iterate that they are mere scape goats for an epidemic situation in society.

Individually and collectively, we have become immune and indifferent.For me, we are really no differentr from the militant we are fighting.Under a different set of circumstances he may have been an efficient general manager of the very hotel he chose to destroy.

Please spare us the "holier than thou" platitudes.Even today, we are incapable of feeling for those who perished - it is hogwash; we are only reacting from the fear that has surfaced through events in our doorsteps.

For me, we are no different- each tiem i see a prominent adworld chief being touted as a citizen's representative, I feel like puking for i have had the occasion to see him at extremely close quarters. for me, he is a terrorist in mind- he would not carry a gun in his hands but he spouts venom with his every action and the elaborate masks he wears.

Rather than derive our energies from our blame games, let us awaken to the death within each of us where we are indifferent to the needs of our immediate neighbour while we cry hoarse about remote events.I thought you came out very poorly with Jayanti Natarajan.She has atleast chosen to be in the line of fire and was candid in admitting failures.Sorry to say this, but your upbringing enabled you to mask your self in the truest south mumbai way - a world, where except for a few ,plastic dead smiles abound.We have becoem incapable of feeling, living in a projection of who we would like to be, far removed from who we are deep down.And the further tragedy is, we are unconscious of it.

We can wake up people who are asleep but what do we do with people who are pretending to be asleep and doing a damn good good job of their performance, claoking it in platitudes.

We are escaping our responsibility and responsibility is not about merely casting a ballot.

We have taken so much from this city and this country - how many of us pay heed to feeling gratitude for the same and returning something to it.We abuse its facilities for our own benefit in the same way we use our parents and peers.

Let us look beyond ourselves and strive to be just human.

In the words of a President of a country where a lot of our peers are chosing to spend their lives after acquiring their basic skills here, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country...." Whether we be politicians, business men, media personnel or any other, we can never really give back to our country what it has provided and given us.

We are no different from those we blame..They are mirror images of us...let collectively rise to the challenge..

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I would love to get a link to this discussion(?) between Shobhaa and Jayanti Natrajan. Anyone put it on youtube yet?

Pritesh Patel said...

Can somebody pls suggest what can be done as ordinary citizens?
I am unable to think in what way can a common man contribute.
De' pls throw some light on this.
Let me know if any citizen's group (with an active leadership) is planning on taking up this issue & do something constructive.

Anonymous said...

Dear De, well written, can you guys add fuel to fire and make feel every Indian the pain and grief and stand out united to fight the internal terror of politics??? Please wake up guys please.

Anonymous said...

Alright, so America warned India about the Mumbai attacks. The CIA in the US too had prior information about a possible terrorist attack. But how much could they themselves save their country from the 9/11 attacks? It's always easy to criticize and point fingers.

But without a doubt, we should take a lesson from them after 9/11 - how their whole country, including the politicians acted as one; and since then there have been no attacks.

Anonymous said...

Shobha, I liked your crossfire with Jayanti too! But I think both of you have an equal point. In the end, the politician has the last laugh, so like it or not we have to put up with them or else we will be lost without a shepherd. I donno how to explain this eloquently to you, but please try to understand what i mean. Thanks. I really like your column, eloquency and opinions. Keep up the good work and never be relentless to this cause. All the best.

Kavita Bulani said...

How.. how do we fight back!!
by not paying taxes..
By not voting
By voting.. for who??? arent they all the same???? Vultures all
So how do I as a mumbaikar (shaken at that) fight back
I am angry, frusterated, helpless and for the first time in 32 years in Mumbai contemplating migrating to another country :-(

Anonymous said...


You gotta see this insane defence analyst from Pakistan
You mean these guys actually believe all this?


Anonymous said...

Media Responsibility:
The recent event of mumbai carnage clearly showed how irresponsible our Indian media can be.

Even after the security forces have requested them not to show or report live actions, some of the media did show them or at least report by voice.

How foolish they can be, just because the security forces asked them to delay the video stream they still wanted to keep the audio live and give out commentry of things done by the security.

All that have to be done by the militants was to get live commentry from these stupid news channels or some one on the other end of the phone can inform the same seeing these channels.

I agree the politicians have been a stupid all these years but I would expect at least the jounalist to show some professionalism when covering such events.

Who know the news channels would have actually costed many lives in this bloody attacks indirectly.

In the race among the channels to compete among each other they give out information which are actually working against people's safety

I see you talking in major news channels, Can you ask them whether can they be responsible enough first before pointing the finger on the politicians or the government.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I just finished watching a panel discussion on ibnlive with Rajdeep Sardesai with Shobhaa, Nikhil Wagle, Deora, and a couple of others.

As a viewer, it was very interesting to see and hear the various agendas of the panel participants and the degree of vehemency with which thier view was presented. While the emotion of anger was a common denominator, for each the object of thier anger and thier solutions offered were just slightly different.

The young "hope of south mumbai" Milind Deora impressed the least in his bumbling attempts to deflect any suggestion that as a elected politician he could and should own up to any responsibility for reform at the simplest level (for which he is well funded)... the constituency level. His argument that attempts to change anything at a legislative level will result in further politicising terrorism, are completely stupid and iresponsible. Terrorism is inherently a socio-politico-religious matter. Accept it for what it is and take the bull by the horns. Why be cowardly about debating the tough questions? Should we add cowardly and conviniently blind to the list of nasty attributes that we associate politicians with? I was appalled at his attitude. His suggestion that infrastructure and the bureucracy and strategy be "fixed" first before politicians are brought to task was preposterous. The rot starts from bad leadership in the first place. With a corrupt political will the best infrastructure will mean nothing. It does not matter how many subinspectors are moved around and how many bulletproof vests are distributed or how many commisioners heads roll. Unless the man at the top is made accountable, nothing will change. Milind Deora should be ashamed of himself. I am afraid Milind has learned his political lessons too well at the knee of family.

MN Singh had good points to make as a tried and tested bureaucrat and his clearly defining the role of the local police... for civic policing, not for terrorism policing and rescue... was something that needed to be reiterated for us to hear. I agree that we need different bodies to take care of different types of security and that it should be more decentralised. I hope someone is taking notes!

The person on the panel who I found the most interesting was Nikhil Wagle who is a journalist from the local Marathi media. He certainly had his finger on the pulse of the "aam janta"... the people who make the machine that is Mumbai... actually work. He begs for civic leadership and political will to change the scenario of a presently leaderless but "willing to help" populace... Mumbaikars who are moved and willing to make a grassroots difference. Put that man on a steering committee or a citizens think tank.! I think he will have valuable input along with the pragmatism that comes with being a journalist in the thick of political reporting.

Shobhaa your expression of
impatience with the present status quo is finely tuned and your display of righteous civic anger will make a big difference. Now it will bode well, if only more regular people will speak up and keep aflame the fire of this civic disgust at ineptitude. I am so glad you say what is to be said. We must as ordinary citizens take your lead and hammer away at it too.

And Rajdeep, brilliant journalist and interrogator that you are, please speak slower and less excitedly. It helps if we can understand what you are saying when you are totally impassioned.

On a personal note Shobhaa, I am so glad that at the end of the panel, you paid tribute to the people at the VT Station and non prestige locations that were ALSO victims of willful and malicious terrorism. They are being too soon forgotten, in the rush to focus on the more glamorous(?) aspects of this tragedy.

I personally pay tribute to all the armed service, security and municipal agency personell who risked life and limb to bring about an end to this madness. In particular I would like to remember and salute the bravery and professionalism of the Fire Department of Mumbai who battled raging infernos under gunfire (despite being unarmed) and who rescued so many from a certain death. There have been too few kudos given to them in all the round of congratulatory messages.

My suggestions about what can be done... why there are all in the preceeding paragraphs! Lets start with what Milind Deora and his ilk should NOT DO as politicians...

Another Kiran in NYC

Anonymous said...

Shobhaa - you are on the mark.....fight back India, fight back - enough!!
This does require India to have an integrated police and law & order system. There is technology and weaponry available to solve this. All it requires is focus and attention. Here are concrete suggestions:
-Get biometric IDs for every citizen (the stupid PAN system should be trashed)
-Indians are Indians - it is ironic to call citizens migrants - free movement needs nationwide traceability.
-Put all the criminal information into databases, police FIRs should be digitally filed, every police station should have cameras to prevent abuse
-Fix your roads and cities India - ambulances and firetrucks should be able to move freely, helicopters should be able to get to places, fire hydrants should work flawlessly, hospitals should be secure and prepared for emergencies.
-Put IP cameras at every intersection, building, theatre, hotel - they cost barely US$10 each.
-Build up your coast guard and integrate water-way and coastal security
-Every cop and NSGs should have the best weapons, night-vision equipment, bullet-proof jackets, best boots, integrated communication systems, jammers, airplanes, buses. Throw away those damn antiquated .303s
-State and Federal systems need to be coordinated and tied together. A lathi charge is so 19th century - public and private property has to be protected at all costs. How many times do we have to see burning taxis, buses, shops.....any criminal event has to be recorded, criminals should never be able to hide - anywhere in the country.
-Use DNA are means to trace identity.
-India can NOW AFFORD THIS - it is stupid to think like we are in the 1950s. Put your money to better use and get ready for the 21st century.

Rachana said...


"Enough is Enough!"

Anonymous said...

I felt extremely angry when Jayanti Natrajan, in one of the tv shows yesterday, lost herself and started blabbering because Shobha as a nomal Indian citizen was dissatisfied by the inept political misleadership we have. Shobha and people at large need to think now that the time is gone when just the criticism of politicians would do any good. Criticism impacts those who have spine and the Indian political establishment is spineless. These duds have to be replaced.

Jayanti challenged Shobha to get elected and become the chief minister of Maharashtra and I thaught as to what do these people think of themselves? Shobha do you also think like Shashi tharoor that we are elligible but inellectable? The only way things could become sane in India is when these parasites called politicians are repaced by honest and able personells and to do that people like us are to come in front. Lets start a movement and ut an end to the draught this country has been facing where she is unable to find leaders to lead her into the dawn of the future. I have decided myself. Ritesh

Harish said...

The English is good. The blog is well written. Comments could be moderated for obscenities. The very first line that ur fingers are shaking is a pointer to the fact that you could've wrote this piece a coupla hours later. It would have probably made more sense than it does now.

The writing is full of anger and confusion, Shobaa, much like all Mumbaikars and most Indians.I am looking forward to wat a saner Shobaa could write about the aftermath of the attack.

I respect u as a writer.

PS: The spirit is alive is what everyone says. I wanna know how strong it is.

PPS: I am a very normal self-centered human being.

Unknown said...

These politicians are a heard of wild dogs and wild dogs do not understand civil society.I would request Shoba de to start a movemtn we we request the entire India to not vote once just once and see the massive difference it makes.These wild dogs just understand language of vote, so lets hurt them where it hurts the most just as US and other countries did to terrorist by freezing there accounts.

Shernaz said...

Dear Mrs De,

First of all thank you for all you have said and for voicing our collective anger. We, a bunch of theatre artists, would like to do something concrete once our rage subsides...I wonder if that will ever happen...Not just light a candle and then forget. We are all intelligent and educated and think that collectively something can be and must be done to ensure the safety of our city and change the political order. So if you and your colleagues start any organisation where we can contribute, we are totally committed to this. We unfortunately do not have the clout or the capabilities to do this ourselves, but please consider us on board.

Shernaz Patel

Anonymous said...

'Peace' Pigeon

Hey Man, I am the
'Peace' Pigeon
that you Release me
as a Symbol of Peace!

Hey Man, I Watched
the Terror Helplessly
near Gate Way of India,
along with You!

Hey Man, the Smell
of Blood, brought
Vultures and Your

Hey Man, Everything
You Believed
Let you down!

Hey Man, When will
you Release me
Again for PEACE?!!!

- Riaz, NJ

Anonymous said...

My dear Showbha :

Nothing we say or do is ever going to bring back the dearly departed. We cannot begin to put our fingers and thumbs on the anatomy of grief and agony which the bereaved families must feel for their near and dear. As grief and mourning are intensely private affairs, can we perhaps not keep them that way?
So the best the rest of us can do ( and I say this with deepest respect to the families of those affected) is to bounce back with an intensity and vigour the likes of which Mumbai hasn't seen before -wine and dine heartily at the many excellent fine dine options still remaining in this Maximum city, host gala dinners and lavish banquets, indulge in retail therapy and local tourism etc. - it will be our way of showing two fingers to the phenomenon which is "terror" and its beacons both within and from across our borders.

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks,

For how long will be keep saying "something needs to be done"? When will we wake up to "I need to do something"? If you are enraged at government inaction, are YOU ready to take some action? Or are we content sending SMS/email messages, posting comments, or lighting candles?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that lot of Band-Aid solutions are being offered. The reality is, if Terrorists are determined to do something, they will do it, if not today, if not tomorrow, some day... Having said this, there is a bigger picture... Pirates, Terrorists, Underworld, Drug Traffickers, Smugglers and Corrupt Officials, they are all working together. The world has to start the Fight now against all these elements as ONE GROUP!!!

Few problems have to be solved in this fight:

- Hunger & Poverty in Africa as well as in Muslim countries. The rulers of these Muslims countries amazed the wealth for themselves but still nothing was done to show some kind of LIFE to a poor orphan!!!

- Palestine Issue.. This issue is a prime tool in Terrorist recruitment STILL!!!

- Solve the pending Judicial cases against the Terrorists.. Either kill them or release them; keeping it prolonged is causing friends of Terrorists to act, under the belief that they can be released by an act of Terror.

- Indian Muslim Imams should go to Pakistan/Bangladesh and meet with the Imams there and TELL them to preach against Terror actively to the youth as well as the sponsors.

- Pakistan/Bangladesh should setup a system wherein, poor orphan kids will not be exploited by Terror Groups; They should identify, track poor-orphan kids and show them a path to build a Family.

- All the Gun and Ammunition manufactures must release, to whom and what they are selling to a UN Body so that all the participating countries will get some kind of basic intelligence; These manufactures must mention an unique ID, so that the law enforcement can track them back to the manufactures and close the loopholes in their black market.

We'll forget all these after few days; We'll speak again when another incident like this happens somewhere in the World. Then, we'll forget again... Howmany of us, made a call to the Govt about, Lack of Security!!!

But, the respective Politicians/Governments should STOP blaming and solve the problems for themselves, they can't wait for their PEOPLE to remind about their Rights to live in Peace!!!

- Riaz, NJ

Anonymous said...

It is utterly shocking to know that the owner of Taj Hotel and businessman Ratan Tata admits to have known about a possible terrorist attack on Taj and Oberoi hotels but for the fear of loss of profit he risked not letting the media , people , visitors and guests of the hotel know else people would have made a choice of staying away from the location. His attitude has caused lives of 183 people.

Anonymous said...

It is utterly shocking to know that the owner of Taj Hotel and businessman Ratan Tata admits to have known about a possible terrorist attack on Taj and Oberoi hotels but for the fear of loss of profit he risked not letting the media , people , visitors and guests of the hotel know else people would have made a choice of staying away from the location. His attitude has caused lives of 183 people.

Anonymous said...


All said and done, let's ensure that we do not simply end up being echo chambers of high and mighty talk and pontification. No more paper and conversation tigers (Yes, that includes me - sitting seven seas away) in any walk of life !

When the latest dust settles down, we must - as vivekanada says - Arise, Awake! And stop not until the goal is reached.

There is clear and present danger to the country. If the so-called assigned leadership is failing, non-assigned leadership should rise and give provide collective leadership to the country.

Anonymous said...

Respectfully Shobha,

I feel, you should change the title "wake up mumbai" to "wake up India".

I know, I don't have to remind you that You represent India !

Amit Gupta said...

Please look at the lessons learnt from 9/11 by America. Here are some of them:
Toughened security is a requirement not an option. Initially people will be feeling strange, but the heightened security brings more security to people at the end of the day
Setting up of a federal agency like the Homeland Security Agency in America. Indian politicians should take all the help they can from foreign countries like USA, Israel and UK instead of snubbing them and telling them that we can handle our own matters. The fact is we do not have a world class security infrastructure. Especially the security of our coasts is a huge question mark. Small band-aid solutions by a stupid bureaucrat are not going to work. Hire some good security companies that have expertise in this area - why are politicians working on security on the basis of our existing knowledge and inputs from armed forces. We need to rethink the paradigm by asking companies that specialize in this sphere.

Americans set the tone after 9/11 by stating: " We will not forget 9/11"
In India unfortunately our politicians, media and our public are used to saying: "We will forget what happened right away and wear our blinders. We will not learn any lessons or make any large scale changes to our security so that this does not happen again.

Equip the people with the infrastructure to report suspicious incidents. There should be a permanent hotline where people can call and convey tips of suspicious activity. It is a mystery why that fisherman was not able to convey his concern to the appropriate authorities who would take the threat seriously. Every threat should be tackled very seriously.

Chalta-hai cannot work!!! Every citizen is responsible for protecting others around him.

Let us start social movements to make contributions to the National Defence Fund and to other welfare activities for the Armed Forces including the commando units that served us when everything else has failed. The Armed forces should be provided with the best infrastructure to deal with such situations. The armed forces should have been airlifted and dropped at the Taj, Oberoi and Nariman bhavan - not being driven to and from the airport!!!! This is insane, how our newly acquired wealth is not being spent on upgrading the infrastructure for the Armed forces.

Jai Hind!

Anonymous said...


if you were in Ratan Tata's position and you had a forewarning that there could be a terrorist attempt in few weeks on your commercial premises which is frequented by thousands of people, will you abide by your conscience to make it public so that your patrons can decide whether to visit your commercial establishment risking their lives or not? If you have hidden this fact and people have died, will you take moral responsibility? If you have a warning of a bomb in your commercial jet plane when passengers have boarded, as the Chairman of the airline will you still want the flight to take off?

Anonymous said...

I agree that Tata management should own moral responsibility at the least since where lives are concerned there is no difference between Govt. and people at large. Civilians can't be callous and where commercial interest is at stake, they are definitely responsible for not warning people at large through media. Tata group is not above board. The Chairman of the group has funded ULFA before. If Bharat Shah can be jailed why not someone from Tata group too? Rattan Tata should resign as the group chairman by taking moral responsibility. Today the newspaper MID DAY brought out some of these facts.

Anonymous said...

It is quite unnerving. I did not see in MID DAY but read something similar in Mumbai Pl see link below.


Heads should roll at Tata group.

just pk said...

one thing i dont understand abt mumbaikars is they only think mumbai. i come from india...being from the defence forces...and i have learned to call jai hind since childhood...but am ashamed to see how everyone is only calling for MUMBAI MUMBAI and only MUMBAI ... i am not a mumbaikar but visited south bby the moment i could as i had bled as much during those days as any mumbai person...i stood there with tears in eyes looking at the hotels...where our forces had fought, people had died ... i was there as i am ONLY and indian...but i was handed leaflets with slogans for mumbai...asking for mumbai...speaking for mumbai...

aren't our politicians enuff trying to divide us...and u want to add on to it?

i wonder when we will learn to talk india...and till the time we learn to do that...we will be hit like this again and again...

Anonymous said...

I agree PK....To me Mumbai is - Dirty, Congested, Biased, Rude, Narrow minded and blah and blah. Best description of the Mumbai Love bug is the hysterical drumming up of support provided by the media (mostly Mumbai based) which creates a frenzy in the public or at the least spreading falsehoods. For instance, that Mumbai does not get its due given that it contributes 50% of indias direct/indirect taxes is fallacious; as the tax returns are filed from the address where the company is registered and doesnt indicate that Mumbai creates 50% of India's GDP. Even Chennai claims it was ill treated but still manages to have better infratsructure, discipline and civic sense.

Even the so called good things about Mumbai are a difficult to believe as good; city is 'touted' as amongst the most expensive city in thr world; well thats because of lack of amenties and not a 'Natural' indicator of wealth and/or goodness.

Finally, while I condemn 26/11 as all of us do, its important to know 26/2 could have happened today; as nothing much as changed' people are the same. Beliving propaganda.

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