Happy Thanksgiving, indeed. From the Lede, last night:
Earlier, Suketu Mehta, who compared Mumbai to New York in his book Maximum City, attempted to put the scale of the attack in Mumbai in perspective for New Yorkers, saying that it would be "as if terrorists had taken over the Four Seasons and the Waldorf=Astoria and then were running around shooting people in Times Square."
One thing that's worth noting, amid all the horror, is the resilience of Indian society in the face of terrorism - not just today, but every day of late. As the above suggests, these particular attacks are in a class by themselves, and the reports that the gunmen were targeting Americans and Britons - and Jews, perhaps - has obviously given them a worldwide resonance that they might not have otherwise enjoyed. But for Indians, this spasm of violence represents an escalation, rather than a rupture with what their country experiences day-to-day: As the L.A. Times points out, "2,300 people died in 2007 in attacks by various groups in India, making it perhaps the country most affected by terrorism in the world."
Yes, in part this may reflect the deplorable failure of India's counterterrorism efforts. And yes, even independent of terrorism, I suppose you could argue that the subcontinent's extremes of poverty, disease and violence make Indians much more inured than the inhabitants of the developed West to extremes of suffering and horror jostling their way into everyday life. But still: If you try to imagine how the United States would bear up under the kind of horrific drumbeat of small and large-scale attacks that India's experienced in the last few years, it's hard to feel anything save admiration - and, on this day, thanksgiving - for Indian courage and resilience under fire.
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