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A Prayer for Mumbai

November 28, 2008

What a tragedy that’s unfolding in Mumbai. The financial center of India is under siege. Terrorist outfits equipped with modern arms and ammunition entered several prominent establishments like the Taj Mahal Hotel, Hotel Oberoi and Trident, Chattrapati Shivaji Rail Terminus and wreaked mayhem! My heart cries out for all those impacted by this senseless tragedy. The unknown innocents, the brave policemen who died answering the call of duty, visitors to India who had come for business or pleasure – the number of deceased has crossed the 100 mark as I write this.

This hits home to me on several fronts. We were in both the Taj and Oberoi just a couple of weeks ago (a picture of the magnificient hotel hangs in my office!). Having lived in Mumbai for several years, its hard for me to see one of the icons of Mumbai on fire. Being the son of a police officer, its tough to see lives of brave officers being lost in this hour of tragedy. Having disembarked several hundred times at the train terminus, I can mentally visualize the scene that must have unfolded.

Why did this happen?

The Indian economy and global influence has been on the ascent over the past few years. The attack on the heart of the business establishment is an an attack on the Indian economy. As India integrates further with the western world, there are forces that want to see it fail. As India becomes more attractive to visitors from abroad, negative influences want to nip that in the bud.

They will not succeed!

Ultimately, the resilience of Mumbai, the strength of Indian democracy and the ties of global integration will prevail. It will most certainly be not on a straight line, but the path to success is clear. This is the time for Indian government to take strong action on the security front while continuing to enhance India’s global role. In this context, the US-India partnership will be strengthened more than ever before.

I pray that the current situation comes to an end without any further loss of innocent life.


    Vaibhav says:

    Yes, this is indeed tragic and telling at the same time. Terrorism, wherever it occurs in the world, seeks to snuff out ‘progress’ and ‘growth’ even as most of the world sees the current path of progress as a positive thing overall. Fortunately, the human spirit is stronger than what the terrorists believe, and Mumbai and the world will find ways to succeed despite such attempts!

    Raja Malla says:

    There is so much expertise in the area of logistics, disaster recovery infrastructure, disaster relief training and aggressive civil defense training that can be shared and learned from United States and from our Fedex’s own experiences with Katrina and other calamities. I profoundly wish there will be collaboration in these areas as we move towards global economic integration. The awareness that there will always be ‘bad guys’ out there has to be institutionalized in the new and emerging Indian market. I am proud of working for a company that has so fully dedicated to ‘service’ in its people-service-profit philosophy.

    Sunil Menon says:


    I share your sense of shock, anguish and anger.
    My mom worked at the CST terminus building for almost 40 years.

    It’s very tragic to see how the terrorists targeted the landmarks and people of Mumbai and the world.

    As much overstated as it is, I believe strongly that the spirit of Mumbaikars will enable the city to overcome this event and defeat what the terrorists sought to achieve.

    I sincerely hope that India takes steps to avoid a repeat anywhere in the country.

    More of my sentiments are in the clip below:

    A beautiful tribute spoken from the heart…..the quiet courage of untold millions of decent people throughout the world will defeat terrorism. This is not India’s problem, but it is the World’s challenge. Compassion and strength will prevail worldwide.

    Guest Sharron W Rose says:

    Freedom Must Prevail At All Cost
    It is vital that the Indian people resolve not to bend to terror. The German army marched into France with little resistance.
    Resistance is most important at the start of extremist movements. Once a seed is planted it grows. They bear bitter fruits & spread.
    India must stand firmly united as a people and use all means possible to keep their population from the extremist bitter fruit.
    Hopefully the Indian people will realize the true goal of the terrorist is to dominate and control populations via fear. Courage is needed by everyone to go about your daily routine. Do not hide in fear but stand against it.

    Jayu says:

    My prayers go to the families of innocent lives lost in this tragic episode. I am confident that India will come out stronger after this traumatic experience.

    Ravinder Birdi says:

    The aftermath has shown that the Indian diaspora is now fed up of the cheap and very selfish motives of all politicians who have vested interests in the fiefdoms that they run.
    India is a growing economy and with it comes the demands for a social structure which treats every human life as the most precious commodity, puts in place systems and checks, to provide security and comfort to its citizens.
    The country can’t be viewed as so weak that a group of 10 people can even imagine to get anywhere near the shores of India, let alone hold it hostage for three days against a billion plus strong populace.
    Lets hope that this awakens the spirit of India and the country turns towards the

    Michele Marrano says:

    Hi Raj–As a fellow FedEx I am relieved you are unharmed. As mentioned in previous posts, the best way to overtake these criminals and despots is to simply keep moving forward and not shrink away in fear. India’s recent emergence as a world economic player has been a delight! I am confident India’s progress will gain momentum in spite of these attacks.

    Jignesh says:


    It happens all the time, I think its time for people now to wake up and take security of not themselves but seriously. India is a booming economy and trying to be a supply powerhouse for various services, consulting, back office operations, infrastructure development, transport, cellular infrastructure etc. The list can go on. I feel India is on a brink of boom like China was one day….

    My heart goes out to Mumbai, people of Mumbai. My brother and me have travelled to the same CST station each night, when I saw those cowards with riffles I could imagine me and my brother their. Luckily he was safe. He was in the train which was leaving the station when firing began.

    God Bless us all and spreads peace all around.

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