Mumbai attacks: "We can't blame anyone yet"

People wait behind the barricade outside the Taj Mahal. Photo posted by Aaron.

The day after India's worst ever terrorist attacks, there are already reports of fingers being pointed. Our Observers tell us that instead of looking for someone to blame, the people of Mumbai are simply scared. Meanwhile, webusers take it upon themselves to tell the story in images.


"They couldn't have done it without some internal support"

Joy Banerji is an electrical engineer from Mumbai. He lives not far from the Colaba district - where the Taj Mahal hotel is.

We can't blame anyone yet, we just don't understand how this happened. The thing is, they couldn't have done it without some internal support. This cannot have happened without the involvement of sources from inside India. They've probably been planning this for months, so there's no point in making assumptions yet."

"Everyone's sick of being scared"

Ashesh Shah is a photographer from Mumbai.

We've had several attacks in India in the last year. Especially in Dehli... and now they're in Mumbai. Everyone's sick of being scared. What's happened is even worse than what we feared. People keep ending up in tatters. And it's not over yet. Normally, an attack is limited to only one place, like a market for example. That's how we get over it. This time, it's everywhere. People aren't angry; they're afraid. A slight rumour and they go running. We're not blaming anyone yet, everyone's saying it's someone different."

The Leopold café after the attack

These photos were posted on Picasa by Aaron.


Operation day in Mumbai

These photos were taken by Ashesh Shah and posted on Flickr.

"Hotel guest frantically trying to get in touch with his relative opposite the Hotel Taj."

"National Security Group taking part in the operation at Oberoi Hotel."

"Support forces taking cover near the Gateway to India next to the Taj Hotel."

"National Security Group elite commandos on top of Nariman House. One can see two top floors in which terrorist are trapped."

"National Security Group elite commandos keep vigil in opposite building."

Commandos accessed buildings by helicopter. Above photo by Vinukumar Ranganathan.

Empty streets in the Colaba district, near to the Taj Mahal.

Waiting for news outside the Taj Mahal hotel. Above two photos by Aaron.


Perspective - Mumbai terror attacks and Indian politics

No words shall suffice to describe the pain and damage that the recent terrorist attacks have caused to Mumbai and its people. But its people are so busy in their own lives that none gets time to raise his or her head and ask a question or two to the local administration. The state apparatus has failed because governance has taken ugly form of lengthy bureaucracy which by its inefficiency and high costs has become a liability. Security breaches in the form of terror attacks have exposed this loop-hole.

The current breed of politicians is old whose mind-set is still anachronistically locked in the 1950's - when India was still a young nation, a new born baby of nearly half-century long struggle for independence. Times have changed. We need fresh blood in Indian politics, people who are proactive in understanding demands and dynamics of modern-day politics.

However, India is rapidly changing and it's sheer size and gigantic democratic machinery fuel this change.