The perpetrators probably used a speed boat to enter through the Gateway of India and stormed into the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Oberoi-Trident Hotel. These hotels are a symbol of the economic transformation and progress of modern India. Virtually every single world leader and global corporate leader has stayed in these hotels and has invested in Indias growth story. An attack targeting these historic monuments of modern India, is an attack on global corporations, global financial institutions, as well as on corporate India and the people of India. The Indian economy has to grow at around 7% to 8% over the next many years to contribute to the world coming out of recession.
After the recent financial crisis, developed economies are likely to witness a recession as well as stagflation. India and China, as well as some Asean economies, have to provide the necessary growth stimulus, thanks to their large domestic markets, infrastructure development needs and higher consumer aspirations. The Mumbai attacks are clearly aimed at throttling Indias economic and financial potential and our future growth story.
The US foreign policy has turned a blind eye to Pakistan being a hotbed of terrorism. The message for President-elect Barak Obama is to focus on Pakistan as an exporter of global terrorism.
Islamic fundamentalists, along with misguided Al Qaeda and Kashmiri elements, have formed large training camps aimed at spreading terror and mayhem particularly targeted on the developed world as also on India. Obama has to put a dead stop to the terror camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, if he wants to genuinely win the war on terror.
As a nation, we need to arise above petty communal bigotry and not give in to a wave of Hindu fundamentalism and reactionism. These attacks are not a communal divide.
They are a blatant and shameless attack on our secular credentials, our democratic traditions and our economic aspirations.
The message of history is very clear. Violence only begets more violence and is not a solution to any problem. Let us show our patriotism and courage as true Indians and focus on creating a proud and united India that a few bullets and grenades can never destroy.
The author is executive director, Bajaj Electricals. The views expressed are his own