Sunday, November 30, 2008
More terrorism in India
I was sad to note this past week's attack on one of India's premier hotels, the Taj Mahal in Mumbai [Bombay]. The 105-year-old hotel was one of nine sites attacked by gunmen in a 60-hour wave of terror that killed at least 183 people and injured hundreds more before it ended in a standoff at the hotel Saturday morning.
The hotel is owned by the Tata Group, one of India's largest and most successful conglomerates. Chairman Ratan Tata, a venerable icon in India, is quoted: "... the attacks revealed deficiencies in law enforcement, especially in the areas of crisis response and management. We were getting the cooperation that they could give us, but the infrastructure was woefully poor. It took three hours for firefighters to get water to the Taj after a blaze broke out in the oldest part of the building. We had people who died being shot through bulletproof vests."
After spending much of 2001-2005 in India, I'm prompted to several questions:
1. The Taj is a 5-star hotel, the highest level in India. Politicians, Bollywood stars and corporate heads [including call centre owners] would stay there. If water is unavailable at the Taj, where is it available? I've been saying for years that India is heading for civil unrest [if not open hostility] over water.
2. Where were the bulletproof vests made? India or outsourced? India has a huge corruption issue with government awards and contracts.
As an aside, concerns and best wishes go to call centre underling Mark D. who this past week was put into a 3-star Indian hotel. In case of fire, I hope there's water. We've already heard you don't have hot water, phone, or Internet connection ;^(