As we read the story of the unsung heroes of the 2008 Mumbai Bombings during a lecture during English; I couldn’t help but picture the diligent firefighters and soldiers who saved the people stuck in the burning building of the Taj Mahal Hotel, the devoted staff- who refused to care for their own lives, and sacrificed themselves for their oath of hospitality and safety of the residents of the hotel. The countless earnest citizens who chose to save kids and their mothers, rather than run for their own lives… I wondered not how they felt in the moment but how the media focuses on giving the terrorists the power over the news portrayed. Why is it that we, as humans are constantly diverted towards the negatives of a situation- why, in 2012, in an English lecture, were we finding out about all the real heroes of this tragic event? Why didn’t Aaj Tak or NDTV showcase these soldiers who selflessly sacrificed their lives for the livelihood of someone they didn’t even know?
The 26/11 bombings occurred in highly populated areas in Mumbai, an attack so deeply manoeuvred and planned the bombs practically went off at the same time, at 13 different spots. Putting the lives of over 1000 people in danger, and the loss of 257 lives. Yet, the media chooses to rather harpoon the in-depth planning of the terrorist group, than bring to light the vulnerable, the ones who lost families and the ones who gave themselves for the safety of others.
The story saddened me, not just because of the lost lives- but due to the fact that 5 years after the incident is when a sense of humanity was connected to this malicious act. A sense of community within the people in distress- despite the fact that they were at the brink of death they cared for their brothers and sisters at the moment.
The gunpoint in the painting represents exactly where the first bomb exploded- clouds of black smoke filled up the hallways of the hotel and the skies above. A sense of sombre grey-ness filled up the city. Why choose to fight- why hold the guns of terror against the people with no power?