Mumbai, media, and my thoughts

I followed this weeks events in Mumbai more closely than a lot of people – particularly because, on the morning the news broke of the terrorist attacks, I was due to travel to Mumbai and stay in Colaba, where the major attacks took place. I re-routed at considerable expense – havving discovered a clause in my travel insurance that excluded terrorist events.

That being said, a couple of obesrvations should be made.

Firstly, many more Indians died than Westerners. They died in an attack that singled out Westerners. They died trying to protect the rest of us from this act. Whatever we might say, the Indian people made a great sacrifice trying to stop this – and considering how many westerners were there at the time, did remarkably well. Let’s not forget that.

Secondly, the part played by Internet media, and here we can single out Twitter, was without precedent. The mainstream media followed Twitter for leads, citizen reporters provided a great deal of meaningful and important information. Although, as a friend pointed out, we have been able to watch citizen media playing a major role since the Glasnost era attacks on Russian parliament, the difference here is that now the mainstream media looked to alternative media for leads.

And thirdly – as long as we have a war on terror we will have more terror. The answer to what we have just witnessed is not more troops in Afghanistan or Pakistan, retaliation, blaming, or escalated religious rhetoric. We would do better to reflect on the factors at work in our current world that lead to the escalation if violence in certain groups and why they feel so angry about the west. There just might be something that needs to be understood here!

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