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November 26 to 29: 58 hours that changed a nation and its people, perhaps irrevocably.

Terrorists have struck on Indian soil before, and will likely strike again.

Yet, 26/11 changed everything.

For the first time, terrorism was not about random explosions and related carnage, but of a cold, ferocious, planned attack on the minds and hearts of a nation.

We know, when we wake each day, that we are prime targets of the ideology of hate; that we live in the crosshairs of an enemy without a face, a flag, a country.

That knowledge demolishes our apathy; it jolts us out of our self-centered preoccupations; it changes us beyond our own ability to measure change.

To know what 26/11 did to us, we need to fully understand, to completely comprehend, the nature of those events. And that understanding can come not from police chargesheets and political speeches and expert analysis, but from the voices of those who lived through those harrowing hours.

Hotel employees and railways officials; bus drivers and police officers; the men and women on the streets of ground zero and the commandos in the route of terror.

To aid that comprehension, to facilitate our larger understanding, for the first time in Indian media, Rediff.com launches an ongoing oral history series.

Every week, we will speak to people who were part of that urban nightmare. Together, these voices will coalesce into a mosaic of experiences and insights that will create the larger tapestry of the day, the event, that changed us for all time.



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Lost a finger, but happy to be alive


He witnessed terror first


Fireman Rahangdale on revised security measures


26/11: The actual operation


Santosh Kanojia was shot twice


Fireman Rahangdale's acts of bravery


Bharat Gujjar survived a grenade
Complete Coverage: Terror strikes at Mumbai's heart
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