SPEAKING AT the launch of The Indian Express book, 26/11 Stories of Strength, at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Thursday, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said the courage shown by families of victims of the terror attack should “be an example for all of us”.
“The book is amazing in two ways. One is for the families of the victims, who have participated in sharing some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives; and, to my mind, the fact that they have put together these thoughts and memories and future plans for all of us to understand the tremendous loss they have suffered, and yet their resilience to keep going on,” he said.
“It’s been 10 years since the horrific tragedy occurred and life does go on, but it goes on rather slowly for the ones who have lost their dear ones. We can give condolences, we can feel their pain, we can share their sorrows for a tiny amount of time. But individuals who have lost their close ones, they undergo that tragedy almost every day, if not every minute. So I think we must salute the courage that these families, these individuals have shown in putting this book together, along with the Express group,” he said.
He said what we do after a tragedy defines our character. “That is what shows us that we have the perseverance to carry on. We don’t choose how we die, nobody can, but we can choose how we live. And this, to my mind, is a celebration of the life and the time we have on Earth,” he said. He said it was “tremendously powerful to combine this book and to showcase the families and how they have been able to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward, which should be an example for all of us.”
Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express Group, said the book, which was earlier released at the Gateway of India in Mumbai “to mark the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, introduces you to some inspiring individuals who survived the attacks, and to the families of those who lost their own.”
“You see, events such as 26/11 invariably set off a dialogue between the humanist and extremist inside each of us. What we discovered is, of the 70 families we met and spoke with, there are many who, in spite of irreversible loss, choose not to hate. Who, when confronted with a choice between revenge and letting go, choose instead to look ahead. Who, in the face of despair and destruction, don’t search for someone to blame, but take charge, pick up the pieces, and choose to rebuild,” he said.