The ongoing siege of Mumbai’s richest district is yet another terrorist attack to demoralise India and its people. This time the attacks have targeted the city’s heritage buildings; including the CST railway terminal(also called VT by locals) which is a deemed World Heritage site by Unesco.
The 1998 LTTE attack on Kandy’s most revered Buddhist temple, the blowing up of the Bamiyan Buddhas by Taliban in March 2001 and the recent ongoing Mumbai terror are just a few examples of terrorism wiping out or atleast damaging history. Just why do terrorists attack heritage sites? There are several reasons. The Kandy attack may have been to shake the public’s faith (this temple has the only surviving relic of Gautama Buddha – a tooth) and the Bamiyan demolition is credited Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam that bans idols worship.
In case of the Mumbai’s century old Taj, it not only depicts the city’s heritage but is also an iconic business symbol. Many wealthy foreigners and who’s who of Mumbai can be spotted here. The magnificent building has an arresting view and is the pride of corporate Mumbai just as the Twin Towers were to New York. In targeting this hotel, the terrorists must have hit Mumbai’s pride and the corporate confidence and foreign investment.
Postscript: Lately, I have written about the Bangalore’s heritage buildings. Just how safe are we if the professional terrorist’s group armed with automated weapons barge in here? Here’s what I have seen.
The Vidhana Soudha has a few policemen with dated rifles to guard the public entrance. The Ministers’ entrance, though heavily guarded, is still not up to the mark. The High Court has two policemen each manning the two gates. And for the rest of the heritage buildings, the lesser said the better. Of course all this is on a normal day, when a top politician visits, security will be beefed up.
Thanks Siri & Shruti. I’d been to Garuda this weekend and it was heartening to see the car’s boot opened for checks.
Call it overreacting, but I could not help scanning the floors for the emergency exits. On a positive note, there was the shopping crowd as usual – could even spot a lady with a six-month old.
Completely Agree with you Poornima..Uff, its such a dismay to see our country targeted and those smouldering pics in television, its twinge to see the common man suffer and our heritage property destroyed/
That’s an excellent point you’ve raised. I have walked around in many supposedly secure areas and wondered if anybody would notice if someone had a bomb on them at all! Its scary how easy it looks.
The gloom that terror attacks bring with them apart, its terrible to see fire raging out of the windows of the beautiful Taj building! Enough already!