Tue, Dec 16, 2008 - Page 1 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Indian community holds vigil for Mumbai victims

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

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Members of the Indian community in Taiwan held a candlelit vigil in Taipei on Sunday to remember those who died in the terrorist attack in Mumbai last month.

“This is not the first time that India has suffered a terrorist attack — we’ve lost two prime ministers to terrorist violence and, since 2002, over 6,000 people have lost their lives in India in these mindless acts of violence,” Amit Narang, deputy director-general of the India-Taipei Association, told a crowd of more than 250 Indians living in Taiwan gathered for the vigil.

“All Indians are feeling this deep sense of outrage and anguish —not against any organization or state, but against an ideology of hatred, an ideology that believes in using violence against innocent civilians for resolving problems,” he said.

A massive terrorist attack targeting landmarks in Mumbai last month killed more than 172 people — including about 30 foreigners — and injured nearly 300.

“All Indians, in spite of differences in religion, social customs, languages and traditions, stand as one in opposing this ideology of hatred and violence,” Narang said.

After the brief remarks by Narang, the Indian national anthem was sung and a minute of silence observed.

M.G. Patel, better known as “Kaka” in the Indian community in Taiwan, said he felt especially strongly about the tragedy as a native of Mumbai. However, he also believed that the attack was not on Mumbai alone.

“Indians often say ‘the world is my family,’” he said. “So, it’s not only [an attack] on India, but on the whole world — everybody in this world must stand united.”

While shocked by the attack, Indians’ Association of Taipei president Lal Gajwani remains hopeful that the power of love may prevail.

“Terrorist acts are done by misguided people with no religion or state in mind,” he said.

“Hopefully, these misguided people will realize one day the power of love, peace and non-violence, then we can bring them back to the right track,” Gajwani said.

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