For the past three years, we've been working on OrgScope with Ritesh Rajani, a brilliant software developer employed by ProdExNet, which is headed by our colleague and dear friend, Sujatha Bodapathi. The story of our collaboration with Ritesh -- across distance, organization, timezone, language, culture, hearing impediment, and age -- deserves its own post. But this is about what happened last week.
Ritesh is in Chennai, India, 640 miles southeast of Mumbai, and on the opposite coast. Distance aside, our hearts have been with Ritesh and his colleagues, the people we know best in India, ever since the terrible attacks. Jeff Stamps, who's worked extremely closely with Ritesh on OrgScope, wrote to Ritesh and today we received his very heartfelt reply, along with those that followed, posted here with his permission.
I replied, asking Ritesh if I could post here (he's a great reader of this blog), and he came back almost immediately with this note:
Sure, you can post that on your blog (but there's no need to put my name :-)
Well, since I was not in Mumbai I cannot give any personal anecdotes, however, most Indians (including us) were glued to their television sets for 3 days throughout all the events unfolding. The media had a minute to minute coverage of the sites (they were also criticized later, since this might have been helping the terrorists).
A surprisingly good account of the entire episode can be found at: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/26_November_2008_Mumbai_attacks> Also you can see sections: Criticism of politicians and resignations, and Nationalism among the Indian public
Then came this one:
We're all feeling the shock of the awful attacks in Mumbai. All our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
The attacks were aimed at our people, our prosperity and our peace. But their top target was something else: our unity. If these attacks cause us to turn on each other in hatred and conflict, the terrorists will have won. They know that hatred and chaos feed on division. As radical extremists, their only hope of winning is by turning the rest of us against each other.
Let's deny them that victory. We're launching a message to extremists on all sides and all our political leaders, one that will soon be published in newspapers across India and Pakistan. The message is that these tactics have failed, that we're more united than ever, united in our love and support to each other, determined to work together against terror and call on our leaders to do the same. If millions of people sign it, our message will be unmistakable, click below to sign it and please forward this email widely:
It's time to speak out, let's do it together.