A Personal Response to the Mumbai Attacks

It’s been about 36 hours since the attacks began in Mumbai, and it’s not over yet. From our vantage point here in Delhi, the whole nation is reeling in response to the terror. Since yesterday morning, we’ve been receiving phone calls and email messages from concerned family and friends from all over the globe. It appears that the whole world is watching the news about India and feeling the pain.

Of course, we feel sad and discouraged, as we did only a few weeks ago when our own city was rocked by similar attacks. In that case, however, foreigners were not targeted. That is certainly a unique feature to the mess in Mumbai, and an obvious reason why the whole world is affected and intrigued, and why people like us could feel even more vulnerable.

What’s happening to this nation, to our India?

Yesterday morning I received one call from fellow Canadians who are living in Punjab. They were deeply affected by the situation in Mumbai and were already considering leaving India. Their family in Canada had been planning to visit them here in the near future. Those plans are already cancelled. (Indeed, news is just coming out now that there are Canadians among the dead and injured in Mumbai. Of course, their lives are no more valuable than the others. But for us who are Canadians living in India, it merely brings the tragedy more close to home.)

I walked in the park this morning with a friend who said that his business is done for the year as a result of the terror in Mumbai. He is a tour operator whose company depends solely on foreign tourists. He’s grateful to be alive, but his livelihood is in jeopardy. Most foreigners are staying away from India for the time being.

No one knows the full extent of the damage that will be done to India in the wake of this most recent attack. The loss of life is obviously most critical, and for that we must mourn with those who mourn. But the losses don’t stop there. This will affect all of us in India in innumerable ways, everything from our emotions to our economy.

Kya karna chahiye? What to do?

As of now, we’re not considering leaving India. Although we certainly feel the insecurity, we also have a strong sense of calling to this place. We have put our trust and hope in God. That doesn’t mean that if the situation across the country became worse that we wouldn’t change our minds about what we should do. Our faith in God merely allows us to live without fear, whether we stay or go.

Around the dinner table last night, after praying and observing a moment of silence, we assured our kids that we would seek God as well as seek their safety. For now, we are mourning with the victims, and praying for peace and for justice, and we are continuing to live our lives according to the purpose that we have received from God. What more can we do?

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