The Mumbai terror attack of 26/11 has been described as the worst one to hit India. The unique operative style, the high profile targets, the continued siege over three days, the media overdrive are some of the factors that made the impact of this strike devastatingly felt suffered and agonized. The days after are immeasurably laden with fear trauma premonition anger protests upheavals and possible revolutionary changes.
The Spirit of Mumbai Syndrome: Mumbai has been a terror target since the serial blasts of 1993 and with every act of terror over the years the ‘spirit of Mumbai’ has been referred to as the ultimate winner. That is say, the Mumbaikars (residents of Mumbai) are never cowed down by any kind of terror acts and they get back to business immediately. After the local train serial blasts of 7/11 in 2006 the administration took pride in announcing that train services were resumed almost immediately so that the ‘spirited’ Mumbaikars could start the next day as usual. That near 200 lives were lost was perhaps not so important. What has basically been a situation of ‘no choice’ got romanticized as ‘spirit’. The exposed millions here have to go on with their struggle for survival and for that they have to get to work by using all public transport and places. The 26/11 terror has destroyed this myth emphatically and permanently.
The Fear and Trauma: People of Mumbai are fear struck and traumatized as naturally as anyone should be after such catastrophes. They are scared to go to public places particularly the malls, the multiplexes and of course the hotels. This lingering fear is leading to trauma in many cases. Many others who stayed glued to television sets for three days are traumatized and afraid to venture out. The bravest at the moment are the kith and kin of the victims and the martyrs who are accepting this finality in a sense of national pride.
The Anger : With the myth of ‘spirit’ gone finally the people of Mumbai are extremely angry. They are pouring onto the streets holding protest marches demonstrations and expressing their righteous anger against rulers politicians ministers most articulately. This time the elites who never thought about exercising their right of voting earlier and for whom governments mostly meant industry investment deals are fully in it. They all want security and they want all the security given to ministers and politicians withdrawn and returned to citizens. They want policemen to be modernized and equipped with sophisticated weapons to fight terror realistically. The insensitive remarks and deeds of the politicians had incensed their anger. This mass movement is spreading far and wide in India. In fact, such public anger was first visible in Guwahati after the gruesome Assam blasts of 30/10 when people marched on towards the capital complex to destroy it with all the rulers inside.