Dec 26 2008
Times of India Headline: “Terrorists attack Mumbai airport, 300 dead!!!”
In yet another audacious assault on India’s secular fabric, armed terrorists attacked Mumbai’s airport last night. The shocking incident which revealed the lax security measures in place, has citizens wondering whether anyone is in charge in this city.
Reliable sources revealed that the intelligence agencies had given a warning on the possibility of an attack on the airports soon after 26/11. It may be noted that Times of India was the first to report on the possibility of these attacks.
Police sources said that while airport security was beefed up, and more scanners were installed, they couldn’t monitor the entire perimeter of the boundary wall surrounding the airport. Police sources claimed that it was impossible to watch over every inch of the boundary wall, given that there were many slums adjacent to the airport. Interestingly, both AAI and BMC have been blaming each other for failure to remove the slums, while a local corporator has been opposing the demolition.
Times of India Editorial: “Vote-bank politics lead to security lapse”
We at the Times Group have always advocated that security of the people should not fall prey to petty vote-bank politics. We have highlighted the aspect of slum-lords occupying more and more land adjacent to the airport, and the security implications this presents. All our warnings have fallen on deaf ears, and innocent lives have been lost. It is time that the authorities concerned pulled their act together.
Bombay Times Page 3: “Our politicians are no better than eunuchs” – Shobhaa De
I was about to give my views on Aamir’s sexy look in Ghajini, but this tragedy has overwhelmed such superfluous issues. Public memory is shorter than Aamir’s in the movie, it seems, and we only have ourselves to blame. Our Deshdrohi politicians are more intent on banning films rather than taking care of our security.
The spirit of this city has been broken, but we’ll bounce back, dahlings.
Bombay Times Page 5: “Numerologists blame the number 26”
A leading numerologist has claimed that he predicted the attacks a month back. “You see, the number 26 adds up to 8 (2 + 6 = 8), which is unlucky for India. We had Mumbai floods on July 26, Mumbai terror attacks on November 26 and Gujarat earthquake on January 26. The number 8, if you observe closely, resembles two circles, and is symbolic of the vicious double cycle of natural and man-made disasters that it signifies.”
Meanwhile, another numerologist also claimed that the number 26 was unlucky. “The number 13 is widely known as an inauspicious number. What people don’t realize is that 26 is double of 13, and is hence doubly unlucky. People should stay indoors on the 26th of every month.”
Indian Express Specials: Arun Shourie
Opposition parties took the state to task by highlighting the inefficiency of the incumbent government to act upon the available intelligence. Arun Shourie attacked the government saying that there have been repeated warnings but the ‘spineless’ government had ignored them every time.
“The Intelligence Bureau (IB) had sent a confidential report to the government about the high possibility of terror attacks on airports as early as 2002. A committee on Airport Security had reiterated the warnings in 2007. However, the ministers seem to be more interested in pleasing their party president than in securing the lives of innocent people”, he said.
“It is time to replace this apology of a government with strong leadership. It is time to choose the party with a difference”, he concluded.
Mumbai Mirror: “Local corporator who opposed slum demolition forced to resign”
The local corporator who opposed the demolition of slums adjacent to the airport has been pressurized to resign. Angry citizens have held that vote-bank interests of one party should not hold the country to ransom. However, is it too little too late? SMS your opinion to 2612.
The Hindu: “Left leaders blame privatization of airport for security lapse”
Members of the Politburo blamed the privatization of the Mumbai airport for the lapse in security. “The private contractors are only interested in lining their pockets, and do not care for the lives of the passengers”, thundered Mr. Prakash Karat. “We have always opposed private interests in critical areas like airports. Did any of the AAI-run airports become targets of terror?” he asked.
The Hindu Editorial: “Social inequality will eventually lead to terror”
Many of the people in the slums live on a monthly income which is far lesser than the cost of even a no-frills airline ticket. They observe the crass consumerism in the airports where a sandwich costs more than their weekly pay. No wonder some of them were disillusioned enough to provide base for some of the terrorists. While this paper by no means condones the act of the slum-dwellers, it is pertinent to note that a large part of Bharat is increasingly sidelined while India hurtles forward in lopsided development.
DNA Headline: “Citizens to go on candle-light march”
The citizens of Mumbai are fed up of being subjected to terror day in and day out. It is time for active citizenship. A silent candle-light protest march is planned on December 27, at 5.00 p.m. “Enough is enough. It is time the elected representatives took us seriously. We will protest till action is taken”, said a college student.
“We will not allow the terrorists to pull us down. We will book tickets and fly tomorrow, just to show them that they can’t challenge our society,” said a businessman.
PS 1: All newspaper names are real, since I was too lazy to think up spoof names. I apologize in advance for any insult, so don’t throw your lawyers and libel suits at me. These are some of the newspapers I read. I have a friend in HT, so I decided not to do my take on Vir Sanghvi.
PS 2: If you happen to be a cop, I'm NOT in collusion with any of the terrorists. All this is speculation based on today's newspaper headlines.
PS 3: I am not much of a believer, but I do pray that none of the above actually happens.
PS 4: Long post, I know. Not humourous, I know. Not serious enough, I know. Just a follow up on the cynicism that has built up over the past one week. This too shall pass. And then the PJs will be back!