“Those who hated
— Salman Rushdie in The Moor’s Last Sigh (Jonathan Cape, 1995)
The twin bomb blasts that killed nearly 50 people in
There are few ancient monuments in the city —
Such cities live on trust.
That historic openness creates vulnerability. The individuals who brought the bombs on 25 August claimed to be tourists. They hired a taxi, stepped off for lunch, asking the cab driver to return an hour later, leaving timed devices in the cab’s boot which went off at the appointed hour, shattering the area around the city’s landmark, the Gateway of India. Metal detectors could not have stopped those tourists; identity cards would not have spotted them. Indian authorities were quick to point fingers at Muslim extremists, naming two groups, one based in
But despite the blow,
Back in 1993, after the bomb blasts,
But great trading cities cannot be exclusionary or ethnically clean. If
Cacophonous: the polyglot
That spirit is sorely needed in
So far, despite having suffered from five blasts in the past several months,
(Tripathi, born in Bombay, is a writer based in
Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal Asia © 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
(From Urban Voice III: