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Blood in Mumbai - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Mumbai is the heart of India. It is India’s commercial capital par excellence, its economic center and the home of India’s stock market and Bollywood, its popular film industry.

A few steps away from this crowded city’s most famous monument, the Gateway of India, a series of coordinated bombings exploded at a number of tourist hot spots.

The location of the Taj Hotel, one of the India’s best hotels, and the nearby popular Oberoi Hotel, both situated near to the commercial Colaba Street, is where the horror of terrorism struck India hard.

Mumbai in particular was an example of peaceful coexistence between different races and religions; there are many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and even Jews who are still present there. Let us not forget the influential Zorostrian community to which a number of important industrial Indian families belong such as Tata and Godrej. But India, the world’s largest secular democracy, experienced its share of terrorism and its horrific consequences; Hindu radicals carried out violent operations against Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians leading to the deaths of dozens of people. Moreover, some elements were responsible for the assassinations of Mohatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. They have also attacked a number of important places of worship including the Sikh Golden Temple and the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.

India has paid the price of severing ties with Pakistan and the ongoing Kashmir crisis. However, the situation of Muslims in India continues to flourish in comparison to their Muslim brothers in Pakistan since India has paid great attention to education, personal development and state development, which has contributed to improving the conditions of all of India’s residents.

India was a symbol of the new economy and represented the headquarters of the “flat world” in the words of Thomas Friedman. As India enjoyed the benefits of the new economically flat world and reaped large profits from making the most of various services and ideas for the new globalized economy, it seems as if the fruits of the flat world are bittersweet as the branches of terrorism spread globally like branches of Starbucks and McDonalds. We live in a new world. Terrorism has struck the world’s second largest populated country. The Mumbai attacks were not the first terrorist attack on India but on that day, numerous violent attacks were carried out claiming many lives and causing much bloodshed.

Mumbai has previously witnessed violent acts. Its stock exchange was bombed, killing two hundred people and injuring numerous others. There have been a number of railway bombings causing dozens of deaths. But the Mumbai attacks were carried this time with the intention of breaking any confidence in the heart of India and to scare foreign tourists and investors away. The war on terror is breeding more terrorists. The world needs to come together and work together away from foolish administrations and evil intentions.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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