13 July, 2006

Salam Bombay!

Photo: Reuters

Readers' Digest has branded Mumbai as a rude city based on a survey.

What if they don't say 'please' and 'Thank you'? They are Indians and they know how to stand united in the hour of crisis. They also know how to defeat the sinister designs of the militants when they try to terrorise Mumbaikars. They show the world what Indians are!

Reports in today's The Hindu say:

When the seven serial blasts occurred, people hearing the noise, came streaming out of the houses on both sides of the track to help the injured, hundreds of young men from Naupada plunged into rescue operations, initially marked by the complete absence of the police or railway officials. Even stretchers were not available to take the injured or the dead. People pulled out the padded seats in the first class compartment and used them to carry away people to the nearest platform.

All these young men belonging to a voluntary organisation called Al-Hind Ekta Society, rushed to rescue the numerous injured from first class compartment. The police came much later and they were not willing to touch the bodies. It was people like them who provided all the immediate rescue measures.

The injured and the dead were bundled in bed sheets and on makeshift stretchers.The Society members collected all mobiles and wallets and gave these to the nearest police station so that these could be returned.

A videofootage aired on private TV channels clearly shows how the local people helped in the rescue and that they were the only ones present. They took people in rickshaws to Bhabha hospital and it was their timely help that ensured that more people did not die.

People ferried the victims home till late night. It is very clear that if they did not help, those people would have stayed on the tracks for a long time.

Select opinions:

If instilling fear in the minds of Mumbaikars was the objective of those responsible for Mumbai's serial blasts on Tuesday, let history be evidence that the cowards cannot succeed. We stood beside one another during the riots and floods and we stand beside one another today too. I am far away from home right now but my spirit is attached to the heartbeat of my city. Only in India can an entire city transform into a million-member family within minutes. There is no need for a `please.' There is no need for a `thank you.' Love is unconditional when it involves a Mumbaikar.
-Priyanka Agarwal, Evanston, Illinois

It is the never say die spirit of Mumbaikars that brings the city back to normality every time there is an adversity. It was a great sight to see people helping one another. Mumbai is certainly not a rude city — never mind if the men do not open the door for women or don't say `thanks' and `please.'
-Farazana Nigar, Nagpur, Maharashtra

The Mumbaikars deserve to be commended for their resilience. They are a source of national pride and a sterling example of how ordinary people can defeat terrorist designs. By carrying on with their lives, they are cocking a snook at the terrorists. Those responsible for the attacks should be ashamed of themselves.
-S. Srinivas, Visakhapatnam, A.P.

The city has fought back by getting back to work in a day. Our salaam to the financial metro.
-M. Ramdas, Chennai

Whoever is responsible for the blasts will surely feel disappointed because Mumbaikars know how to bounce back after bomb blasts and natural calamities.
-Sayed Farhaan Haidar, New Delhi

Mumbai, devastated by rains and bomb blasts, has risen to the occasion yet again. While we condemn the serial blasts, we feel proud of the Mumbaikars who, setting aside differences and disproving the Readers Digest's rude city brand, have stood together in an adverse situation. Let nobody judge a city by a few commonplace events.
-R. Karpagam, Coimbatore

Immediately after disaster struck, as is their wont, the people came to the rescue of the injured. They gave food and shelter to the sick and injured, and served bottled water, tea and coffee to the stranded. Hats off to Mumbaikars!
-Murali Jagannathan, Bangalore

As usual it was the common man who came to the rescue of the victims, much before the administrators did. Be it in helping the injured, offering lifts, food, regulating traffic or passing information, the rest of India has a lot to learn from the people of Mumbai. That Mumbai has carried on with life needs to be appreciated. It is now up to the politicians to ensure that this calm is not disturbed.
-Ashwanth Gnanavelu, Chennai


The Eternally Confused... said...

Are you sure Trivikram Garu that it is the "spirit of Mumbai" that was in full form that day?

What was it that we saw? A resilient Mumbai? A humane Mumbai? A brave Mumbai? Or was it a Mumbai that has ceased to get worried and panicky. A Mumbai that has realised that it is futile to expect the authorities to act. It is a waste to expect that such despicable acts can be detected and prevented in future?

Maybe, a Mumbai that has ceased to care whether the onlookers look away in indifference or salute the "Spirit of Mumbai"?!!?

త్రివిక్రమ్ Trivikram said...

As you said it was also a Mumbai "that has realised that it is futile to expect the authorities to act. It is a waste to expect that such despicable acts can be detected and prevented in future." This kind of incidents continue to happen in India and our leaders repeat the same dialogues ad nauseam.

In fact, when the residents called the police to tell them about the blasts the police simply said it was a rumour. Worse still when they did arrive on the scene, they prevented people from touching the bodies or rescuing the injured. This is how authorities act in India!