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Terror attacks spark tension

Posted By Amrita Rao On December 17, 2008 @ 12:34 pm In Global Education | Comments Disabled

Mumbai is the city that never sleeps. Its air is always filled with the intoxicating aroma of warmth, of life. Everywhere you go, there are people. Cars, motorcycles, bicycles, auto rickshaws, and pedestrians swarm the pot-holed streets crowding and jostling: all in a rush to reach some desired destination. The humidity clings to the skin and creates a thin layer of glistening sweat. The sounds of car horns and traveling salesmen can be heard at all times. The wealth and the boundless fortunes of the rich juxtapose, quite literally, the stench and poverty that characterizes more than half of Mumbai’s inhabitants. “Mumbai meri jaan, or “Mumbai is my life.

The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India attracted widespread media attention around the world. More than 180 people were killed and the three-day assault rocked the nation. There has been much controversy over who is responsible for the attacks and international tensions have been reignited between India and Pakistan.

On August 14, 1947, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was born and immediately following that India won its independence from colonial rule. There was a mass population transfer in which 17.9 million people left their homes. A series of religious and communal conflicts during this period led to the death of over one million people. The wounds from the days of partition have never quite healed.

The recent attacks in Mumbai are not the first of communal conflicts. In the past decade, there have been more than a few terrorist attacks in Mumbai and around India, receiving little to no international media attention whatsoever. Most recently, seven bomb blasts went off July 11, 2006 in Mumbai and over 200 people died, while 700 were critically injured. A total of seven people were arrested, and they were all supposedly members of Islamic militant groups. It was later discovered, however, that these men had been coerced into confessing. “Of course this is a deliberate targeting of Muslims, said Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the imam of India’s largest mosque.

In 2002, full-scale communal riots broke out in Gujarat, India. There were many atrocities committed on both sides. Hindu and Muslim extremists wreaked havoc on the state, pillaging, burning, raping, and killing many innocent civilians based on religion alone. Neighbors killed neighbors.

India is defined by its ethnic and cultural diversity. It is a nation characterized by its richly influenced background. The United States Government, represented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is attempting to intervene now, in a battle that runs much deeper than imaginable.

“This is the time for everybody to cooperate and do so transparently, and this is especially a time for Pakistan to do so, Rice said. Both countries are equally responsible for the ongoing violence that devastates the populations and both must be cautious and take appropriate action in upcoming decision-making.

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[2] Commonwealth Games tension: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/09/30/commonwealth-games-tension/

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[5] A failing human: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/12/19/a-failing-human/

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