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Living in the shadow of terrorism - a Bollywood perspective

By Naresh K. D.
Sat, Nov 29, 2008 22:30 IST

Amitabh Bachchan Mumbai, the hub of Indian film industry, has been shaken by the daring terrorist attacks and the siege that lasted close to 60 hours.

The siege, being dubbed as the 9/11 of India, came to an end on Saturday morning, leaving behind a huge death count of 183 at the time of this report. Like every Mumbaikar or every Indian today, people from the film industry are shell-shocked by the visuals of bombs going off at the places they often visit, places that symbolize the very spirit of modern India.

Film personalities like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan have taken the initiative in expressing their shock, anger and anguish through their blogs. While one actor ( Ashish Choudhary ) is still coming to terms with the loss of his sister and brother-in-law in the attacks, others like actor Sammir Dattani or director Vishal Bharadwaj say they were close to the places that the terrorists targeted. And during the three days the siege lasted, a gloomy shadow of terror loomed over the vibrant and bustling city of Mumbai, a city that is home to a film industry with a loyal fan following right from the Middle East to the South East Asia.




Today, as Mumbai picks its pieces and comes to terms with the horrifying tragedy, there are voices of unity and solidarity coming from the industry that symbolize the secular fabric of Indian society.

Shabana Azmi has vociferously condemned the attacks as "a diabolic war" and calls for an "iron hand" approach to strike down terrorism. In the same breath she calls for communal harmony in our multi-religious society.

Shilpa Shetty has described the attacks as "an open war against humanity". Aamir Khan has expressed his "shock and disgust" over the attacks, but he also cautions against associating terror with any religion or community. Arjun Rampal has stated that the government ought to "provide better security and have better preparedness" for such attacks.

This is not the first time Mumbai has been subject to a terrorist attack. And very unfortunately, it may not be the last. But whenever the shadow of terror has loomed over the maximum city, its people have emerged stronger and united. For the city represents not just the Marathi manoos, but a miniature India itself, the shades of which are most visible in Bollywood where people from all regions and religions work and toil together.

And for this Bollywood and the miniature India called Mumbai, the show must go on. AND IT WILL.



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