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Web Letter

This is perhaps the first time I am reading anything by the author and frankly I am confused about the aim of this article. I am not sure how she sees a link between the recent terror attacks on Mumbai with the problems faced by Indian Muslims. I am not debating the issues faced by Indian Muslims, but do question the link established by the author.

The author tries to point to the role of locals in the terror attacks. However, it is still not clear to which religion the--so-called--locals belong to. In similar attacks in the past, folks from diverse faiths have been found to be responsible. Moreover, it is not clear whether the locals helped knowingly or not.

Regarding the Sachar report, I agree with most of the facts and opinions pointed out in the report. I also agree that the Indian government and Indian politicians are to be blamed. However, some blame also lies in the community. Muslim leaders of India have continuously failed to provide much-needed leadership. India is a democracy, but the Muslim population fails to exercise tremendous power with them. The continue to cajole religious leaders who use the community as the "vote bank" that the author refers to.

I am also very skeptical of the "progressive left." This demographic has in the past tried to use the Muslim population as a "vote bank" to grab more representation in the federal government. While I am certainly opposed to religious fundamentalism, I do not favor winning over one religious group by blaming the other (majority) religious group for all the misery. This is what the "progressive left" has continually tried to do. The "Indian intellectual left" in most of the cases does not represent the real India, it is in fact detached from realities on the ground. It has hardly presented any meaningful solution for any of the issues to be taken seriously.

Being an Indian, I am ashamed of the Gujarat riots. It was a terrible loss of life and property. However, that does not take away the magnitude of the calamity in Mumbai. The author might not have had the intention, but her comparison of the Gujarat incident with the attacks on Mumbai does seem to do so.

Mayank Joshi

Santa Clara, CA

Dec 8 2008 - 4:20am

Web Letter

I like Barbara Crossette, and at any other time, this would be a well-intentioned but unbalanced article. However, at a time like this, an article of this nature is simply unconscionable and irresponsibly mischievous. I can only assume that you're sophisticated enough to understand that the tone and timing of this article suggests a "blame the victim" mentality and appeasement as the best response to terrorism. India's Muslims are equal victims of this tragedy and not the likely perpetrators. One gets the impression from the opening sentence that the author wasn't going to let the inconvenient facts get in the way of pouring oil on a fire.

Natarajan Shankar

Los Altos, CA

Dec 4 2008 - 7:21pm

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