Terrorist’s Attacks: 26/11 and 9/11 Essay
Terrorist’s Attacks: 26/11 and 9/11
The widespread use of the very term 26/11 set the Mumbai terrorist attack apart in the public consciousness with its clear reference to the 9/11 terminology of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. It is a terminology with which Indian has a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, it suggests that India’s misfortune can only evoke international sympathy and status if they are in some way positioned as satellites of America’s darkest hour of the new century.
On the other hand, it has helped imprint in our minds a shorthand reference for the outrage, anger and despair both attacks evoked. Both were similar in their ability to shake people to their core. Many Indians while sympathising with the United States after 9/11, pointed out the 6,000 feared dead in the WTC wasn’t a big number compared with 50,000 killed over a decade in Kashmir. The US was getting a small dose of Islamic terrorism that had long devastated Kashmir. The US never equated Kashmiri terrorism with war and always told India to be calm and not bomb terrorist training camps in Pakistan.
But when the US itself got a taste of this at home, it went ballistic, declared it was at war with terrorism and vowed to attack and kill all the perpetrators. Many have also resented that the terrorist groups out of Pakistan with the blessing of the ISI are basically funded by the United States aid to Pakistan, though not directly and says that the 26/11 attack was another tragic outcome to the US government’s reaction. 9/11 in part remains so resonant in the US, precisely because of its uniqueness- unique because there had not been a similar incident before or has not been one since.
Before 9/11 the US suffered terrorist attacks on embassies and other installations abroad. But 9/11 was the first terrorist attack on US soil, and exploded US illusions of impregnability. Americans called it another Pearl Harbour and the analogy marked a determination to respond militarily. Unfortunately for India, we can’t say the same. Nor do we have the standard to mount military operations as the US Navy Seals did to kill Osama and bring some closure to 9/11. The US has managed to protect itself and retaliate since; but we have not, as the July 13 blasts in Mumbai market reminds us.
Across India, questions are being raised on security measures with several pointing at local police for not being vigilant. But 26/11 panel me3mber, V. Balachandran said that, ‘police alone cannot fight the war against terror. ’ (CNN-IBN, September 11, 2011. ) Terror attacks are not just about how many people were killed but also about the fear and the outcry they evoke. 9/11 and 26/11 still stands apart- because both attacks were televised live and the whole world saw them unfold. They have memories in a way that is not easily forgettable.
After the terrorist attack of 26/11, the mood and rhetoric in India are reminiscent of the US after 9/11. The phrase, ‘war on terror’ invented in the US after 9/11, is now being used widely in India. The third anniversary of the heinous 26/11 assault on Mumbai, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and the attack on Parliament is a stark reminder that despite efforts at the national, regional and international level, the spectre of terrorism continues to haunt India. Ultimately, we need to change the mind-set of the terrorists, and that may take decades.
Subject: United States,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 May 2018
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