13 Yrs Since 26/11: Big B Writes of the Gestures that Cement Indo-Pak Relations
Amitabh Bachchan wrote about Virat Kohli and Mohammad Rizwan's hug and Bajrangi Bhaijaan's success in Pakistan.
Amitabh Bachchan penned a piece on the 13th anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and wrote about the importance of human interconnectedness especially when it comes to India and Pakistan’s relations.
On that note, he wrote of the gestures that bind us together including the success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and the hug between Virat Kohli and Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.
In his piece published in The Indian Express, Amitabh Bachchan recalled, “The strike on Mumbai, November 26, 2008, played out as slow-motion mayhem, targeting its landmarks, while audiences watched the terrible spectacle, live and uninterrupted, on TV.”
Recounting how the terror attack hit the hotels Taj and Trident and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station, Bachchan added, “It stretched from the five-star hotels, Taj and Trident, frequented by the city’s glittering elites, to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station, from where, over the years, hundreds and thousands of Indians, men and women, have poured into Mumbai, as if pulled by a magnet, carrying with them a hope and a dream.”
Bachchan further wrote that these were the same people who ‘rushed back home in fear’ during the COVID-19 pandemic and yet returned to remake Mumbai. Amitabh Bachchan also commended India’s reaction to the 26/11 attacks, noting, “Despite immense pressure, it did not give in to the temptation of military retaliation against Pakistan.”
The actor added that we must ask ourselves how we pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the 26/11 attacks, and if we are “free to tell new stories.” He noted that there is a danger of ‘making suspicion a habit’ as a consequence to the attacks even though it was a wake-up call for the country.
Bachchan then wrote that people must be the heroes of their own stories that can also become larger than them. The Sholay actor then recalled the moments which united people across borders, “Sometimes they nestle in the warmth of the hug that went viral, that India’s captain Virat Kohli gave to Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, after the men in green defeated the men in blue in the first game of the T20 World Cup that concluded in Dubai recently.”
He added, “Sometimes they revel in the smashing box office success, in India and also in Pakistan, of the 2015 Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a cross-border tale about empathy and compassion, an Indian man’s struggle to reunite a Pakistani child with her family.”
In conclusion, Bachchan remarked that “freedom from fear means that we are more at ease with our neighbour,” adding, “No terrorist must be allowed to change the way we are in the dark, or with our neighbour, or ourselves. No single act of terror must be given the power to destroy the interconnectedness of our stories, our plural solidarities.”
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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