Friday, December 26, 2008

One month since Mumbai Attacks..

Dear F.A.T.E.ians, Its been one month since the attacks rocked Mumbai and the country... to change us and our perception of our safety forever.. this month saw many events take place, many protest marches, many candle light vigils.. yet nothing much seems to have changed!! The Government is yet to make a central Intelligence Agency to regulate Intel info, the families of the martyrs have yet not received enough compensation, the corrupt politicians are still being given Z security and the common man still spends each day running around the city with his mind full of anxiety and heart full of grief.. People who survived the carnage at the Taj, Oberoi, CST, Cama Hospital and Nariman House will never be the same again. People who lost people in the attacks, will also never be the same again. And we, the vast multitude who witnessed in horror how terror rode the waves into Mumbai on an inflatable dinghy; we who were glued to our television sets as 26/11 was brought into our living rooms; we who tut-tutted in sympathy when heart-rending stories of heroism and sacrifice and cold-blooded murder made the rounds; we who stood in vigils, signed petitions, formed human-chains, wore black armbands... we the people of Mumbai, too, will never be the same again.
Till when will this go on.. let us renew our pledge to fight against this menace that threatens to engulf our lives and make our futures safer.. We will be kicking off the new year with a fresh perspective and more determination to change the things as they stand..
Support us in the endeavor and be the masters of your own destiny.. Remember, our Fate is in our hands..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Like a Phoenix, they rise from ashes..

We hail the resilient Mumbai spirit and salute all those who are responsible for the hotels to bounce back so soon after the attack... it is not even a month after the terror attacks rocked Mumbai (still 5 more days to the day) and they are already on their feet... good work people.. Even though the 105-year-old palace wing of the Taj, which was badly damaged by fire and gunshots during the 60-hour siege, is still closed, pending painstaking renovations to ornate wood and marble work and lavish furnishings, we hope the day will come soon when Mr. Ratan Tata can inaugurate the Symbol of Mumbai too! "It's the best thing that could have happened," the general manager of Trident, Sanju Soni, said in the media interview when asked about the swift reopening. "A hotel without guests is very depressing, especially after what happened. The sooner life gets back to normal the better."

The Trident hotel opened its doors to the media on Saturday, allowing access to its gallery of high-end shops, reception and restaurant areas, as finishing touches were put to the decor and fittings.

Female hotel workers in saris handed out yellow roses to reporters after stringent checks on identification, bags and frisking by security guards. Armed police were positioned behind sandbags at the entrance and access roads were blocked off..

Ratan tata also got emotional while holding a press conference, "We dedicate the restored hotel to those who have lost their lives," Tata, who is the Chairman of Indian Hotels, the company that owns the Taj, said just before the reopening of Tower Wing of the hotel. "We cannot be knocked down, this is a memorable day and a tribute to those who saved many lives," an emotional Tata said, adding "It gives me a great sense of pride, this is the start of a new era. To us, it was a challenge to have the hotel reopen within one month from attack," he said. The heritage wing of the hotel, badly damaged in the attack, will be opened in phases starting from February, he said, adding that the entire hotel will be opened by the end of next year.

Amen to that!
Jai Hind

Thursday, December 4, 2008

F.A.T.E. Signup Campaign

Today was the Sign-up campaign for F.A.T.E. in the University for the official launch of our society, and am delighted to say that the movement received an overwhelming response!!

What started as a project for IMC class, turned out into a much bigger thing.. After a lot of deliberations over what project we should do, the unanimous decision was to start a campaign against terrorism.. the recent attack on Mumbai had shaken us all and we thought it was a great opportunity to launch something which could make a difference to the society and which we could take forward even after the project was over..

After the initial hiccups we faced in getting our leaflets and posters published, we finally set up the desk in quadrangle at the time of afternoon break. Not a moment had passed when we had our first signatory ready.. the chap was highly motivated and I have to thank him personally for further motivating his friends and classmates to come and sign up for the society!

Thanx to the teaser mails I had been sending for the past two days plus the posters we had been posting in the college campus, there were quite a lot of people who were aware of F.A.T.E. which, by the way, was a pleasant surprise for us :) we had decided to use the colors of the Indian flag for taking thumb impressions of the people and it turned out to be a huge hit!

The sheets for signing up were full of saffron and green and so were the hands of people in the University ;) At the last count we have received at least 400 sign ups and the number of people joining the online community is also steadily growing..

Finally today we had a human chain which was planned by the SVKM management (after a lot of cajoling by the F.A.T.E. team).. all colleges under the Mandal came together to form a human chain defying the bomb scare in the city.. With this, we have taken our first baby step and we hope to take more steps in the right direction.. Do check the video guys.. a solemn reminder of why we are doing what we are doing..

 Jai Hind!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai Under Seige

It has happened again... the hand of terror has hit Mumbai with such power and force that the city is still reeling from its effects.. more than 190 are dead and 300 injured, there have been blasts at Ville Parle, Hilton towers, Taj hotel and even Cama & GT Hospitals(!!) two taxis have been blown to smithereens, there was firing still going on at CST and Taj for two days and terrorists were throwing grenades out of a five star hotel while holding hostages inside!!

I was numbed into silence and cudn't seem to get myself out of this trance like state... didnt feel like talking to anyone, just wanted to sit and cry... and vent out my anger for these dastardly acts of terror... so many dead, so many injured...

What action or motive justifies this killing of innocent people??? which god gives these people the sanction to take the lives of innocent men and women?? does the agony and trauma of the common man not mean anything?? how does one wrong correct another wrong??? there are so many questions but no one to answer them.. In fact there are no answers... and while politicians start the blame game and play politics with the current tragedy, commandos risk their lives trying to flush out terrorists, people keep dying and Mumbai keeps burning..  Policemen helplessly watch Taj break into flames  Taj burns.. its like a nightmare!

Ambulance vans outside the Taj, hostages escaping through the windows, Army outside the Taj corridor,  Injured being brought out to the ambulance, hostages running for their lives at Trident Hotel and snipers pointing at Nariman house.. all these scenes thrown at us from the television screens just filled everyone with more despair than hope!!

With all this happening once again in our country, the question remains.. what are we going to do about it.. this question is for you.. and for me.. are we, the youth of India, again going to just sit back and watch the events unfold in front of our eyes, or are we going to take things in our hands and do something about it!!

Will we keep watching our brothers and sisters being killed mercilessly everytime a psychopath decides to fling a gun and throw grenades at us?? Or will we decide to take things in our hands to make sure something like this never happens again?

Our FATE is in our Hands.