January - March 2009



 The current issue

 Editor's Note

 Mumbai 26/11

 Five Main Targets

 - Leopold Cafe

 - CST

 - Nariman House

 - The Oberoi Hotels

 - The Taj Hotels

 Heroes at the Taj


 Two Men & a City

 - Hasan Gafoor

 - Jyoti Krishan Dutt


 Mumbai 26/11
 Lessons Learnt


 Tolerance Targeted
 in Mumbai

 Parsis & Jews of


 Deccan Odyssey

 Bombay to Mumbai


 Taj - Mumbai's
 much-loved icon



 the print gallery

 the art gallery

 gurgaon property









   about us              back-issues           contact us         search             data bank


  craft shop

print gallery


Editor’s Note

This is a special issue on Mumbai – it is our way of saying "We care."

Our apologies for the delay in publishing the first issue of 2009. The tragic and shocking events in Mumbai made it imperative that we scrap the already-prepared January-March 2009 issue of SALT and bring out a Mumbai Special as a tribute to this vibrant city. We had to start anew – and I hope the delay justifies what we have brought you.

The highly planned and coordinated November 26 terrorist attacks on multiple sites in Mumbai left almost everybody angry, and hurt. Everybody saw a bit of themselves that had been attacked. Contrary to the assumption of some in the western media who felt it was an attack aimed at foreigners – it was an assault on India – in which Indians and foreign guests lost their lives. Both the hotels that came under attack are owned by Indian Groups – the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, an iconic hotel, by the Tata Group, and the Trident, Nariman Point and Oberoi, Mumbai by The Oberoi Group.

At Nariman House, members of a peaceful community of Jews were brutally killed – the first time ever that Jews were targeted on Indian soil – albeit by foreign nationals. At CST, more than fifty people were massacred, and some also at other sites.

Both Parsis and Jews are miniscule communities in India (they are not even minor any more) – yet, they have never demanded minority status – in fact they have, as proud citizens of India, made their name in all fields – business, politics, arts, and armed forces as well. Progressive education is what they have always focused on. We have covered both the communities this issue – for their role in making Mumbai what it is today. And also the silent heroes, who saved their guests and taught the world the true meaning of the word ‘hospitality’ – the staff at Taj and Oberoi hotels.

Our security forces – police and the NSG – came under a lot of criticism for what many perceived was a ‘delayed response’. Not many amongst us realise the limitations in which our police functions – shortage of weapons and lack of other vital equipment – all of which can impact an operation of this nature. Given these limitations, it was a police person who nabbed the only terrorist alive – and he did it unarmed. Similarly, the commandos had to load and unload their special equipment and weapons from vehicles at two locations – Delhi and Mumbai. Still, they reached Mumbai within the prescribed time and tackled a very complex situation admirably and successfully. We carry a feature on our men in uniform – who did the nation proud. Another serving officer writes on the failure of policy and practices and the lessons learnt after Mumbai 26/11.

Questions must also be asked of the marines and the coastguards – one cannot target one arm of the security forces and overlook the other.

Just before Christmas of 2008, both Taj Tower and Trident, Nariman Point – reopened their doors to guests – "we can be hurt but we will never fall," said Ratan Tata, head of the group that owns the 105-year-old Taj Mahal Palace hotel. A similar sentiment was expressed by Mr. Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi, Chairman of The Oberoi Group – "We’ll do whatever it takes."

The city is getting back on its feet, and we captured some images of the city – forty days on. It was beginning to smile.

Cheers Mumbai!

Roopa Bakshi





Copyright © 2000 - 2009 []. Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.