Thursday, December 04, 2008

Letter to the PM

This evening, the Indians in Paris will participate in a peace march. Sadly, I will miss it, on account of being in Leuven for a conference.

That being said, I am happy that I was able to do my bit for the march. As decided in the coordination meeting we had last saturday, I wrote a letter which the people will sign and give to the Indian ambassador. I am reproducing the letter below. You are most welcome to "sign it" in the comments section.


The Honorable Prime Minister of India,
Dr. Manmohan Singh

The Honorable Ambassador of India to France,
Mr. Ranjan Mathai

Respected Sir,
We are a community of Indians living in France, some for many years, and some for a few weeks now. Some of us have made us this our home, while others intend to return to our motherland soon once our work here is done. Regardless of our current location, we all have friends and loved ones in back home, and indeed, are members of the family called India.

The recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai have deeply shaken all of us here, who spent many hours glued to our TV sets and web browsers, watching the events unfold on live news. While many of us directly or indirectly knew those who fell victim to the reprehensible acts of the terrorists, all of us share the pain, the anguish, and the feeling of helplessness and uncertainty that this incident has evoked.

Through this letter of ours, we condemn the horrendous acts of the terrorists who sought to kill innocent civilians by attacking the financial capital of our country. Our prayers are with the families of all those who lives were cut short by this incident, the innocent civilians as well as the valiant security personnel who sacrificed their lives while opposing the monsters who perpetrated this attack. We also express our relief for the saved lives of those who escaped this ordeal alive, and wish that their wounds, both physical and mental, heal soon.

We would also like to wholeheartedly express our deep gratitude towards our security forces -- including the Mumbai Police and Fire Department, ATS, NSG, MARCOS, and others who were involved -- who rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly and valiantly to lead us out of this dark hour. Our thanks are also due to those nameless civilians who helped support the operations, both inside the affected buildings and out.

On this solemn hour, we share the feeling of our fellow Indians, who are shocked by the failure of our security apparatus to anticipate this attack, and are feeling let down by our elected leaders. At this moment, Honorable Sir, we are looking up to our leaders to chart a new course in our domestic security policy so that attacks like this never happen again.

On the above note, we humbly submit that Indians have been attacked by terrorists time and again in the 61 years of our existance, and after each attack the public has heard our leaders make promises of making the country more secure so these attacks never happen again. Needless to say, these promises have gone unfulfilled, as evidenced by the audacity of the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Dear Sir, at this time, we are looking up to you and the administration to break the trend followed by our politicians for all these years. We would like to suggest that when the government announces its plan to combat terrorism this time, it also clearly define concrete success criteria and clear timeframes, which can be used by the people of India to unequivocably evaluate the deliverance of these promises.

The Indian citizens are looking up to you for guidance and a call for action, and we promise to deliver on whatever you ask us to do. Please lead us by example to a safer, more secure India.

with best wishes,
The Undersigned.
December 4, 2008

Name, Location


  1. Animesh Pathak, Paris, France

  2. Anonymous4:55 PM

    Wish I could sign a billion times over, that would reflect the true sentiments!!

    - Sushant, Mumbai India

  3. Rohit Srivastava, Lucknow, India

  4. Pathik Soni, Los Angeles, USA

  5. Although the signatories are meant to be "Indians living in France," this Indian living in LA wholeheartedly supports the cause!

    Joyita Dutta, Los Angeles, CA

  6. Maunic Dharia, Chicago, IL, USA

  7. Adarsh Shekhar
    Los Angeles, USA

  8. Anonymous7:39 AM

    Well-written, A. Please count my signature in (although I'm on the other side of the pond).

    Maitreyee Jathal, CA, USA