Friday, 15 July 2011

World media report Mumbai’s despair

Zaveri Bazar a day after the triple bombingNewspapers across the world responded to Wednesday's blasts in Mumbai with live blogs and special reports.
The Globe and Mail said Indians were angry with Pakistani Islamists for the attack, but the Wall Street Journal reported that the general mood was against the Indian government, and not so much against Pakistan: "Rich and poor alike saw the ease and frequency with which terrorists seem to mount attacks in the country as another example of India's rickety public services and lack of effective governance."
Zaveri Bazar, WSJ pointed out, had been a terror target two times already, and the government had not been able to prevent the third attack on Wednesday.
The Washington Post put out a slide show. The Guardian started a live blog to cover the blasts. Hundreds of readers posted their reactions on The New York Times blog. One reader who identified himself as Sen defended the government's refusal to go after Pakistan: "To those who keep harping on India not being able to defend itself, or not able to retaliate or not able to teach a lesson to Pakistan; PLEASE UNDERSTAND that that is EXACTLY what the terrorists, and those who back and train them, wish to see. A full fledged war between the 2 nations. We cannot and will not play into their hands."
The Economist believes a home-grown outfit, and not a Pakistani one, could be behind the attack. It writes: "That is worrying. Indian intelligence fears that young Muslims in the country are growing more radical. Some may be set on revenge for the pogroms in Gujarat in 2002, in which some 2,000 Muslims died at the hands of Hindu-nationalist mobs, while others are furious over the treatment of Muslims in Kashmir. And there are those who are converted to radicalism while working as migrant labourers in the Gulf."
In the Indian papers, the anti-government sentiment was evident, although the Mumbai administration did win some praise for its quick response. The Hindustan Times said the government had ignored intelligence inputs that the Indian Mujahideen would strike.
Anant Rangachari addresses Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this letter published in First Post: "Sometime, today or tomorrow, you will say that I am resilient and strong and that you are proud of me. I do not want to be resilient and strong and have no desire for you to be proud of me... I've had enough. I can no longer be resilient and strong. Can you start governing, please? You are the Prime Minister; you need to be resilient and strong."
The Hindu is even more scathing. Praveen Swami, who covers defence for the Chennai-based paper, believes the blasts expose India's lack of preparedness: "In spite of massive investments in investigation and counter-terrorism intelligence capabilities since 26/11, police forces across the country have made little progress in identifying the perpetrators of the five major urban attacks which have taken place since then."

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