Saturday, November 29, 2008

What are Bollywood Stars Staying about Mumbai Attack?

Wake up and strike terrorism with an iron hand, say Bollywood’s stars shocked by the brazen terror attack that targeted Mumbai’s poshest areas. From Hema Malini, who worries about her daughters, to Bipasha Basu, who narrowly missed the Vile Parle blast, this terror strike has shaken them all.

Bipasha Basu: It’s shocking and scary. We’re going through a very disturbing and inhuman phase. On Wednesday night, I travelled on the highway two minutes after the Vile Parle blast. There was mayhem on the roads.

John’s (John Abraham) aunt, who works at the Taj (Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotels), reached home at 7 a.m. Thursday. I wonder where and when it will end.

Shveta Salve: Please send me Raj Thackeray’s number, if you can find it. I don’t know where he is when we need him. We want him to go and save ‘Amchi Mumbai’ along with his MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) men.

After all they are the ’sons of the soil’, aren’t they? The army, the commandos who are right now battling to save Mumbai are not all ‘Marathi Manoos’, are they? I wonder why they should risk their lives for us!

Hema Malini: I think the Mumbai police rose to the occasion. It is very sad that we lost some brave officers. Hats off to the army for rescuing people. It’s really sad that Mumbai has become so unsafe. I wait with my heart in my mouth until Esha and Ahana are home. We desperately need more security.

Shilpa Shetty: I had an early morning shoot Thursday so I went to sleep early. I had no clue about what happened in my city until someone called from London to ask if I was alright. That’s when I switched on the TV and quickly made calls to friends who live in town.

Raveena Tandon: We were in a restaurant in south Mumbai having dinner with friends when we started getting calls to leave immediately. We still waited. But then a policeman called and advised us to go home.

We headed home in groups and stayed on the phone till each of us reached safely. It’s time for the corrupt politicians to wake up. Stop thinking of your vote banks and think of what’s happening to the country.

Vishal Bhardwaj: My “Kaminey” unit was lucky. We were shooting a minute’s distance away from the Taj and Oberoi hotels. We had to quickly gather our stuff and flee.

Shabana Azmi: I was on the phone with a friend in London when she asked me to switch on the TV. It’s a diabolic war waged on our city and country. This isn’t the time to place blame.

We need to maintain peace and communal harmony and cooperate with the police. Our condolences to police officers who sacrificed their lives. Terrorism should be struck down with an iron hand.

It makes me sad and angry that Mumbai residents are soft targets for such attacks. It’s an unsettling feeling, especially since we seem not equipped to deal with it. This is an open war against humanity.

Celina Jaitley: I was at the Four Seasons hotel in Worli when the attacks happened. Till 3 a.m. Thursday we remained close to the exits and then we went up to our rooms. I got calls from friends and my security head to stay put. Is this really happening to our wonderful city?

Iqbal Khan: Mujahideen is such a sure and strong word. I’m sure they don’t even know the meaning.

Arshad Warsi: I was on my way back from Panchgani Wednesday night. The explosion at Vile Parle happened 15-20 minutes after I passed by that area. I trust the police and army. They’ll sort it out. Nothing can stop Mumbai residents from getting back to normal. But we need to exercise more caution.

Sammir Dattani: Five friends and I had a table booked at the Oberoi hotel for dinner. We were just a stone’s throw away from the hotel when I changed my mind because I had an early morning flight. That’s when we heard a loud explosion in the hotel. Before we could react, all hell broke loose. We quickly drove off.

Gul Panag: I don’t know how my comments will be taken by you but this had to happen and is not a complete surprise. Me and you only take notice of terror when it enters the malls or the hotels. But if the same thing happens in the slums we are ok with it. This is a much larger issue than it looks.

Have you ever taken into consideration the Islamic population of India? It’s in the region of 18 to 20%. The figures keep on varying. Do you know what percent of Islamic population is living below the poverty line? It’s 40%.

I am not a fundamentalist but I am looking at a much bigger picture. There are certain segments of the society which have not got its due, whether you agree or not. But if you look at the demographics, you’ll understand.

Whatever the population of Muslims in India, is that population proportionate and reflect in the jobs of this country? When people are poor and have no where to go, they have no choice but to turn into radicals. I hope my views and comments make people understand the broader picture.

Vatsal Seth: Right now there is so much of anger in me that I cannot help my own citizens in the time of crisis. There are couple of my friend’s brothers and sisters trapped inside the hotel so I am really messed up in my mind. I couldn’t sleep last night.

Anil Kapoor: It’s the worst ever attack to take place in India. But I am in no mood to talk about this incident because I want the police, the army and the government to answer the questions to what has happened.

Vidya Malvade: Mumbai needs to change since a very long time and now such incidents are becoming a regular nuisance to all of us. I can’t understand how we as politicians or people can’t do to stop this act of terror.

This is becoming something like a habit for Mumbai. I am so sad today that people are dying left right and centre. I am not angry but helpless that I can’t go out there and stop people from being killed.

There are bunch of people who come on a boat and blow things up, what kind of a security or intelligence are we talking about? Mumbai will bounce back today or tomorrow itself but that’s not the point. The point is that somewhere something needs to be done with our security system.

Anjori Alagh: I was pretty close to the Taj hotel yesterday as I had to travel in town by 4pm. I couldn’t travel to Andheri where I live and am now at a friends house in South Mumbai. The entire area is sealed off and for once I think that the city of Mumbai has changed.

What’s scary is the fact that people coming in boats with no security or patrol in the sea, get down at the Gateway and enter with guns and grenades in the Taj, Trident and Oberoi and create havoc.

It does raise a question on the security, but having said that, we do have security in all our hotels but it’s not up to the mark. I mean, I can’t see many CCTV cameras outside the hotels or in the nearby vicinity.

Every Indian is concerned and I am hoping that we as Indians make an effort to increase the security of our country. I hope we learn something from this so that we don’t turn vulnerable again. We really need to fight back these terrorists. They should be killed as ruthlessly as they are killing innocent people.

Minissha Lamba: The city of Mumbai is extremely resilient. It’s a survivor city. An attack on our city is an attack on our country. I don’t know whether it’s a lapse of security which has lead to such an incident.

I mean, how far can the police force protect such a big city like Mumbai? They are doing the best they can to save our brothers and sisters today. It could easily have been me in one of the hotels.

This is like an eye opener and has taken the terrorist activity to the next level where they are taking hostages now. This is the scariest day in Mumbai I’ve ever witnessed.

Arjun Rampal: It is ridiculous that we are experiencing such events in our city. Every Mumbaikar has the right to ask the government the questions about our city and country’s security.

How the terrorists got in so easily and create so much damage is unbelievable but has to be answerable by our politicians. We are all upset but the anger should not be directed towards innocent people.

We do have to put our concerns about the security and intelligence lapse to the government. There is a lot of corruption in our country and needs to be addressed immediately, like why aren’t there good enough CCTV cameras in our city?

The government cannot come down upon our city and nor can these terrorists. We are only going to grow stronger day by day.

Eesha Koppikhar: I am fine but in no mood to talk about what has been happening in Mumbai. What’s happening is very sad and I hope the law and order situation comes under control soon.

Celina Jaitley: I’ve been stuck at the Four Seasons hotel in Worli which had been cordoned off for security and had to stay the night there. I had come for dinner with colleagues of my father here. Suddenly there was chaos.

We heard all the major hotels were being targetted and being a major expatriate hotel, I started getting phone calls to stay put where I was with my friends and security head of my bodyguards company.

The hotel staff was incredibly nice in keeping everyone calm and quite. I started getting calls from my friends in London and Ireland and from my father in Lebanon who were watching all the carnage on TV.

We were up till 3 am last night close to safe exits till we finally went up to the rooms. I was meant to go to Trident for dinner but some gut feeling made me change my mind I am still shaken and scared and will head back home as soon as its safe.

My rakhi brother is heading the NSG commandoes operation. They haven’t come out yet. Aashish Chowdhary’s sister and brother in law are missing at Trident. Our city is falling apart. I have one word for these terrorists - “We are not scared and will fight back”.

Mugdha Godse: I don’t know what are the consequences that will come out once this dark day is over but I think people, whether it’s us as civilians or the government, we should pull up our socks.

Right now I am just praying for the betterment of all those who are in the hotels and are injured and have died. I am in a shock state of mind. Our city of dreams is no more the same.

In today’s time, one has to take care of themselves and I am sure we all do and I am sure all those who are trapped in the hotels will do the same. We Indians haven’t learnt how to bow down.


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