About 200 killed, a city brought to a standstill for 60 hours, hotels set on fire.
Days later, two Patils have resigned and, we hear, a Deskhmukh is on his way too. All as it should be. These men were responsible for security and law and order, and failed that responsibility. They deserve to be removed from their jobs.
In 2002, over a thousand were killed across Gujarat, a train set on fire, a state brought to a standstill for weeks.
Not one person resigned over that massive breakdown of law and order, of people's security. Far from it. A Modi actually ran for election, and won, claiming exactly the opposite of what his state had seen: that he had fought terrorism. It's a claim he repeats to this day.
What do you think the difference is, between Patils out of their jobs, and a Modi still in his?
In those early frantic hours, with all the news about CST and Cafe Leopold and the two hotels, we also heard about some others. There was a blast in Vile Parle, with pictures on TV and the papers. Two on Nepean Sea Road. Others in Mazagaon and Borivali.
Unless I missed something, I never heard anything more about these. What were they and were they also caused by the terrorists, and if so how?
On Monday evening at the Gateway plaza, the anger was palpable. Wandering around, I found at least 4 or 5 different tight clumps of people, hotly discussing various aspects of what happened. It surprised me, but really should not have, that most of the anger seemed directed at our politicians and their ways.
One burly young man with green eyes was so angry I thought he'd pop the buttons on his tight shirt. Shaking a finger above his head, he shouted: "Take away the security of those politicians! Let's see what they do then! It's we who need security, not them!"
It's an interesting thought. What if we took away the security that the Deshmukhs and Modis and Singhs and Thackerays and Advanis and Mulayams and Patils move around under? How would their behaviour and eloquence and job performance change?
Can a great tragedy like this get us to see how foolish are the trivialities that we let ourselves get preoccupied with?
I mean renaming things. I mean kicking out the north Indian. I mean the insistence on one language in Government communications. I mean plenty more.
Did any of these things keep us secure last week?
Plenty of bloggers, in India and around the world, have contempt for what's called MSM, the mainstream media, and often with reason.
Yet I would genuinely like to know: during this crisis, how many who blogged about it got their knowledge about the scene not from the mainstream media, but from going out on the streets, speaking to folks, finding out for themselves?
If you were such a blogger and you're reading this, please leave me a note. I would like to read what you wrote, if I haven't already.