Nov 28, 2009
In many ways 26/11 became a metaphor for the cumulative injustices inflicted on a city and a people no longer willing to stand by in stoic silence.
Penning a tribute to the city I grew up in and love is a task I approach with some trepidation in a post-26/11 world. Not because I doubt Mumbai’s resilience but because I fear it has been taken for granted.
In many ways 26/11 became a metaphor for the cumulative injustices inflicted on a city and a people no longer willing to stand by in stoic silence. But despite that palpable anger, we summoned our better angels in a time of tragedy to emerge stronger and more determined to fight for what we believe in. And that is our great strength — a strength that comes, as Mahatma Gandhi said, not from physical capacity but from an indomitable will.
If it is through terrorism that the people who carry out these despicable acts express their values, it is right at this moment that we must demonstrate ours. Mumbai could easily have imploded in the aftermath, but in its collective wisdom it transcended caste and creed to unify around a common purpose instead of resorting to divisive recrimination.
The innumerable acts of selfless courage and kindness, the stories of unsung heroes risking life and limb to save the lives of strangers, and the extraordinary protest rallies of young students speaking the truth to power on the streets of Mumbai — all exemplify the spirit of a city that came to the fore in its darkest hour.
My mandate as your elected representative is clear. I will continue to help shape political discourse and policy so that something constructive emerges from the rubble of 26/11. Combating terrorism is a complex global problem and I won’t pretend the solutions are easy or even well understood. But for now, as we withdraw into a moment of quiet reflection one year on, let us remember those that are no longer with us and be grateful for that indomitable will and resolve of ordinary Mumbaikars today that inspire us all to build a better tomorrow.(