26/11 terror attacks: 7 years on — ‘Like Mumbai, Paris does not want to relive terror’

French, German consulate pay tribute at the Gateway of India

Written by Srinath Raghvendra Rao | Mumbai | Published:November 27, 2015 2:16 am
mumbai, mumbai terror attacks, mumbai 26/11, 26/11 tribute, 26/11 attack tributes, mumbai 26/11 tributes, mumbai news A concert to pay tribute to the 26/11 terror attacks at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Thursday evening. (Express Photos by Pradip Das)

France Consulate General Yves Perrin declared India as its friend in the fight against terrorism and that Paris, like Mumbai, did not want to relive its night of terror. “Friends like India are committed to the values where barbarism does not take place. We hold enough assets to defeat terror. Long live the friendship between France and India,” said Perrin, who was speaking at the Gateway of India on Thursday evening at a tribute on the seventh anniversary of the November 26, 2008 terror attack.

Perrin added, “With a particularly heavy heart, I rise to pay tribute to those who died here seven years ago. As you know, Paris was hit too on Friday, November 13 by unprecedented attacks using the same means used in Mumbai. Paris, like Mumbai, does not want to relive its night of terror,” he said.

The tribute, which was organised by the Rotary Club of Mumbai and featured musical performances from the Shillong Chamber Choir, Avanti Nagral and Luke Kenny among others, also saw several diplomats in attendance.

Germany Consulate General Michael Siebert referred to the the Prussian King Frederick the Great, while talking about the 26/11 attacks. “We pray with the families of the soldiers and the civilians who died saving others. In India, we are used to seeing a Hindu girl in a saree, a Christian girl in jeans and maybe a Muslim girl in a chaddar walking hand in hand and chatting. We see Bollywood actors of different faiths work side by side. This is what has always been Bombay and Mumbai,” he said.

Adding that there had been attacks in Paris and Mali recently, Siebert lamented that the attacks had been classed as ‘Mumbai-style’. “Mumbai got a sad notoriety when the attacks were called Mumbai-style attacks. We want Mumbai to be famous for the joy of living, for tolerance. The Prussian King Frederick the Great said that ‘everyone will be saved in their own way.’ Religion allows us to find a moral anchor. Terror cannot be attributed to any religion. Tolerance and humanity must and will win over mass murder and annihilation,” he said. Maharashtra’s Additional Chief Secretary, Protocol, Sumit Mullick was also present at the event and said, “In the sea behind, there are boats of all shaped and sizes. The attacks made Bombay into the hub of international trade and commerce. On that day, the sea became an unwitting catalyst of importing terror. On that day, Bombay exported its innocence forever. We are resolved not to succumb.”

ON the 7th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT) in collaboration with the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) organised a ‘Concert for Peace’ at the Tata theatre on Thursday. Commissioner of Police, Javed Ahmed, was the chief guest.

The ‘Concert for Peace’ is an adaptation of ‘Children of Gandhi’ composed by conductor Daniel Nazareth. The music was played by Symphony Orchestra of India conducted by the resident conductor of the NCPA, Piotr Stravinsky.

City police chief Ahmed said, “I lost some dear friends on that fateful day. This day is a reminder to us every year to make sure that our city is a safer place to live in.” Khushroo Suntook, Chairman of NCPA, spoke about the importance of music and culture in helping citizens move forward in times of distress.

The event saw a huge crowd. Mala Malkani said, “This was a very moving performance. I hope that we do not ever have to face a day like the one we did seven years ago.” Paula Mariwala said, “I have some bad memories associated with this date. But life goes on.”

srinath.rao@expressindia.com

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