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26/11: Lest We Forget: Light a Candle

By Rediff News
November 26, 2020 07:34 IST
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November 26, 27, 28, 29, 2008.
Remember those horrific days and nights.
Light a candle.
Remember those who died and those who survived.

It has been 12 long years since terrorists from Pakistan rode the seawaves to infiltrate Mumbai, targeted its landmarks, and rained death on hundreds of innocents going about their daily lives.

The victims's fault? To live in a cosmopolitan, liberal city in a secular nation that is the antithesis of everything the terrorists's nation represents.


Time, they say, heals. It does, but not always through an organic process of closure or justice; sometimes time is the opium that blurs our memories, dims our thoughts, erases unpleasantness and pushes us into forgetting.

But forgetting the horrors of November 26, 27, 28, 29 2008, is not just insulting the martyrs who laid down their lives for us, it also numbs us to our own vulnerabilities that allowed terrorists to land in our midst and gun us down with impunity. Forgetting would paper over our vulnerabilities, not eliminate them.

The landmarks the terrorists targeted 12 years ago have rebuilt themselves, covered their scars and present a new face to the world. We the people need to do the same, too, but without forgetting the day, the victims, the trauma, and the lessons.

26/11 is not a date to be forgotten, but one that needs to remain etched in our collective consciousness.

Year after year.

It is our own Exodus, our own Holocaust, our own Armageddon.

Let us honour our martyrs by remembering them forever.

Let us light a candle in their memory.

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IMAGE: The iconic Taj Mahal hotel burns during the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26-27, 2008. Photograph: Arko Dutta/Reuters

Text: Saisuresh Sivaswamy/ Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/ 

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