The Indian Express Monday hosted the third edition of 26/11 Stories of Strength — an initiative to honour the survivors and families of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks — with a memorial event at the Gateway of India, Mumbai. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the horrific attacks of 2008. The series – interviews with over 70 survivors and families of victims – brought to the fore inspiring, untold accounts of courage and strength.
The story of one of these heroes, National Security Guard Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, stands out as he showed the world what a true soldier is. He rescued 14 hostages during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, leading his team from the front. He also took the bullets while saving an injured commander.
His father, K Unnikrishnan, at the event said, “My worry is that we are content with our ability to come back to normalcy, under any circumstances, tolerating atrocities committed on our sovereignty. We as a nation should be able to frame stern policies to deal with our enemies, against their using terror as a permanent weapon instead of changing our reaction for political or administrative reasons.”
Watch K Unnikrishnan’s full speech below:
The memorial witnessed performances by Amitabh Bachchan, Javed Akhtar, Kaushiki Chakravarty, Neeti Mohan, Rakesh Chaurasia, Mayuri and Madhuri Upadhya, Merlin D’souza, Harshdeep Kaur, Rahul Deshpande, Mahesh Kale, Javed Ali, Ani Choying Drolma, Shivam Mahadevan, the Mumbai Police Band and the Indian Navy Band.
In addition to the event, The Indian Express launched a book chronicling personal histories over 10 years as experienced by the survivors, recounting their tales of loss, fear, and more importantly, strength. The book can be purchased here.