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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My city of ruins

A tremendous amount has been written about the attacks in Bombay and on our response to them as a country. In Financial Express today, I have an article titled To block terrorism, look deeper. You should also read Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Indian Express, Robert Kagan in Washington Post, Strategic motivations for the Mumbai attack by George Friedman of Stratfor, The fatal delay that allowed terrorists to besiege a city by Edward Luttwak and this interview with Percy Mistry in Outlook.

If your tastes run to breaking your heart, see the amazing picture galleries by Alan Taylor at about these events: one, two.

One indictment of the low quality of the Indian media is that nobody in India did web pages that match these two galleries done by Alan Taylor in faraway Boston. In a similar vein, see this masterly reporting in India Security Faulted as Survivors Tell of Terror by Yaroslav Trofimov, Geeta Anand, Peter Wonacott and Matthew Rosenberg in Wall Street Journal. It is the first draft of a book on the Bombay attacks. It is the best single piece that I read which pulled together the chaos of information, put it in a chronological narrative, and told the full story. The Indian newspapers were focused on breaking one piece of information at a time, and Indian Express repeatedly scored coups of obtaining amazing information. But they never put it together into a fact-checked coherent narrative. We need more foreign newspapers in India.

I found many of the links above through a mailing list called Satin. Thanks, guys!


  1. "To block terrorism, look deeper" looks like a broken link.

  2. Do you have a link to the Satin list's home page?

  3. I agree. The Boston Globe pics are spectacular. Ditto for the WSJ article. Sad to see that no newspaper worth their salt has done any credible reporting like this. There is no single 'portal' for the attacks that i know of.

  4. Ajay,

    Your article missed one point. THE BIGGEST QUESTION is Who is going to change the system. Do we have any visionary leader?

    There is another dimesion to it as well. It is a career risk and life risk faced by an individual. Most of bright people have either become "Advisors" or if they are in buracreacy, they prefer to be part of system. We need a great brightest "Principal" who can execute the plan suggested by risk averse advisors. We need a risk taker....

  5. * If you intend to be a responsible citizen in India, you need a licensed Beretta Pistol.


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