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Monday, December 8, 2008

Saif Ali Khan on Mumbai attacks


Taking a hint from little sister Soha Ali Khan, actor Saif Ali Khan has also penned his thoughts about the barbaric Mumbai attacks for a leading newspaper.Saif writes, Mumbaikars are resilient! The spirit of Mumbai back on its feet… I am sick and tired of hearing about the spirit of the resilient Mumbaikar. What choice do we have? I really hope we don’t forget this.The government has failed us again. Politicians are advertising for your votes while the bodies of the dead are not yet cremated. Mr Modi has offered a crore to Hemant Karkare’s widow. Everyone, as usual, is gaining his own mileage from a deplorable situation. The Taj in flames… 60 people shot dead at the CST. 9/11 was not so close to us. Terror has come home. Who will protect us from this happening again? Is getting shot in the coffee shop of a 5-star hotel or getting killed in an explosion another legitimate way to die? Like getting run over or dying of some disease? In our parents’ time, Beirut was called the Paris of the East — will Mumbai succumb to a similar fate?I think there’s no voice of liberal Islam anywhere to be heard today, which is why I choose to express my anguish at what’s taking place around us today. We have either the fundamentalist forces or someone blowing up the place. As an Indian and a Muslim, I feel like expressing my condemnation and outright disgust at any party killing innocent people in the name of God, Allah or whatever we choose to call him. I am so worried that the whole religion will be judged and condemned. There are strong communal feelings running through all stratas of our society and I find it hard to defend the fact that there seems to be a Muslim hand behind every detonator. Indians must unite as Indians and not split under any circumstances on any line.I too want revenge for what has happened. I know the whole city is baying for Pakistani blood. We want to bring back draconian laws like POTA. While I might agree with this I feel we should all remember that 500,000 Indians are in jail under this law without a trial. Is it humane to go in this direction without fully understanding the situation? We should get our facts right. Yes, if Pakistan is to blame then we should go to war against them. But till we know what the truth is, we should stop having these knee-jerk reactions like going to war or not paying taxes. If we don’t pay taxes, who will support our brave soldiers who battle such attacks and go to war?I feel a little scared as a Muslim. I want to urge us to fight the right enemy. This is beyond religion. It’s not about India vs. Pakistan. I do feel that to fight Pakistan or to go to war is to play into the hands of the terrorists. This is what they want. We need to unite as a region against this common enemy. Pakistan is fighting the Al-Qaeda on the Afghanistan border. The US has pledged support.The Marriott hotel was destroyed and Mrs Bhutto was killed — we have the same enemy.
I applaud Condoleezza Rice for flying to India and saying that non-state actors sometimes act in the confines of a state and there has to be strong action against them and it is still a matter of Islamabad’s responsibility and Pakistan has to act against them.I would like to thank the NSG and the Mumbai police who handled the situation so well with so little on their side in terms of equipment and support.Some of our government agencies like RAW have failed us yet again. Since 1970, there has been more politicising of these agencies leading to their inefficiency.Let’s get it right this time and vote for the government that we believe in and then stand by them.Let us unite on this issue as Indians.Shooting cold wintry nights in Philadelphia, in the USA and already miserable with the weather and the hours — and making a film on terrorism of all things. Both Kareena and I were exposed to the news that has shaken the foundations of our city and destroyed our already shaky belief in our government’s ability to protect us. We feel so terribly sad and depressed for our city… Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mumbai…Saif Ali Khan Pataudi

Well what do you folks feel about Saif’s views?


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