– fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL

12. Jul 2006

Mumbai blasts


India uncut opsummerer situationen efter bombesprængningerne i Mumbai/Bombay:
We think of terrorist attacks as something that happens to other people, outside of our immediate universe, but these were different. Everyone I know in Mumbai travels in trains regularly, and it could so easily have been me in that train, or any of the Mumbaikars I love and care for.

A friend called me up at five in the morning after a night spent in hospitals and morgues and stations, and the scenes he described were stunning. Mangled bodies, some headless, some with half the head still there and some brain spilling out; the pools of blood at station platforms, the rows of bloody stretchers outside hospitals; the screaming of people whose face was pulp; the crying of people looking for their loved ones, and not knowing what to look for. He'll write about it soon, but no matter how vivid it is, it won't be just a good piece, an interesting article. It'll be a portrait of me and everybody I know, because those, but for the grace of sheer luck, could have been us.

Anyway, we've got to move on. We'll go back to travelling on trains despite knowing that no police on earth can stop such terrorism. We'll go to malls on weekends, despite knowing that they're such logical soft targets, that any moment, boom. Some of us will blog, and will point to funny posts and make wisecracks, or will pontificate self-importantly about the world.
Manden bag, Amit Varma fra netop Mumbai, advarer i en artikel på The Guardians hjemmeside mod et muligt tilbageslag i form af pogromer mod (fattige) muslimer, som kunne spille bolden lige direkte over i terroristernes lejr:
How will India react to such terrorism? Alas, the chances are high that it will play into the terrorists' hands. What the perpetrators would most like is for backlashes to take place against Muslims in India, and for a vicious circle of violence to then begin that brings them easy recruits and funding. These vicious circles of violence, "action and reaction" as Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Western-Indian state Gujarat, once called them, are all too common.

They have become especially so since the revival of the Hindu right-wing parties, who grew in the 1990s by championing an aggressive Hindu nationalism. One of their demands was that the Babri Masjid, a mosque in Ayodha, be demolished and replaced by a Hindu temple, as the site on which it was located was allegedly the birthplace of Ram, a Hindu God, and a temple used to stand on it once. Despite heavy security, activists demolished the mosque in 1992, and riots in Mumbai followed. To avenge the death of Muslims in these riots, there were bomb blasts across the city a few months later.

Another example of how deep these religious undercurrents run came in 2002, when Hindu activists on a train to Ayodha were burnt alive in their train in a town called Godhra, in Gujarat. Riots began within a few hours, as Muslims across the state were slaughtered in violence that the Gujarat government, led by Modi, turned a blind eye to, if not actively abetted ...
Man kan jo kun håbe det bedste. Et godt eksempel på, at der ikke behøver komme en voldsom modreaktion mod angivelige repræsentanter for "fjenden" er Spanien, som ikke har oplevet en voldsom reaktion mod muslimer efter angrebet på Madrid

Problemet i Indien er, at skønt den almindelige omgang mellem hinduer og muslimer er præget af fredelig sameksistens eksisterer der både spændinger og politikere, der kan finde på at udnytte disse spændinger til deres egen fordel, og det er meget svært at spå om, hvor reaktionerne kan bevæge sig hen i løbet af de næste dage.

Muligheden for uroligheder er i hvert fald meget nærværende i netop Mumbai, som har et meget aktivt højreekstremistisk parti, som det ville ligne dårligt ikke at udnytte situationen til det yderste:
The Shiv Sena, a local Hindu right-wing party that is both regionalist and communal, reached its peak of popularity in the 1990s, but has recently found itself in decline for lack of emotive issues. This weekend it organized mobs and went on a destructive spree, burning a bus to begin with, after a statue of its founder's wife, Meenatai Thackeray, was allegedly desecrated. Skeptics sneered that it was just a gimmick to validate their existence. These blasts have offered a chance for them to whip up some more passion, for a more forceful kind of validation.
Ønsker man mere lokal dækning, har den indiske journalist Dilip d'Souza beskrevet sin egen oplevelse af Mumbai efter angrebet en artikel i Salon:
One man hauls himself up, then tells me in inimitable Bombay Hindi: "Bahut log marela!"

"Many people dead!"

I continue south along the tracks and it is wet, slippery. Plenty of obstacles that I can only sense in this dark. Snatches of never-before conversation -- blast at Khar, no at Santa Cruz. None at Churchgate. Many dead, many dead. One train at Borivali, right?

Just short of Mahim, the station that's a mile and a half away, a train has stopped on the track I'm treading, long, dark and undamaged. A hundred yards on, another train, and the buzz I'm now beginning to hear -- huge crowd on the footbridge above me, huge crowd on the side of the tracks in front -- tells me that this is the one. Train with the blast.

Sure enough. The first-class compartment in the middle of the train looks like someone buckled down to work on it with a blunt can opener. It's just twisted metal now, but I flinch on merely looking at it. Suketu Mehta wrote once, famously, of hands unfurling like petals from a packed Bombay train compartment, reaching out to whisk just that one more commuter onboard. From this train stopped and dark in Mahim, the metal of the train itself unfurls like grotesque petals.
Angrebet var i hvert fald alvorligt - lige så mange døde (men knap så mange sårede) som efter angrebet på Madrid - og det er (som for lidt mere end to år siden i Madrid) endnu ikke klart, hvem der stod bag.

De næste dage vil formentlig bringe mere klarhed (internationale islamister? - separatister fra Kashmir? - skønt, de har afvist at stå bag - lokale gangstere? - hindunationalister? - maoister? - alle disse grupper har været nævnt som mulige gerningsmænd) og forhåbentlig ikke flere nyheder af denne kaliber.