Mads has been in touch with several members of the Vassar community who have been affected by the tragedy in Mumbai.
An officer of the South Asian Students Alliance (SASA), who prefers to remain anonymous, tells Mads via email: "The attacks are pretty mind blowing, especially since my parents were in that area about a week and a half ago. It almost seems like a movie: the gunmen coming in on boats, taking hostages in the two poshest hotels, targeting foreigners, and wreaking havoc in so many areas of the city. These attacks seem to come from a rhetoric of revenge, hate and violence."
The student hopes that the attacks will inspire unity in India, instead of hate. "I think it would be a disappointment if they continue to blame Pakistan," says the student. "Instead of alienating others, I think the best response for the Indian government would be to preach a message of unity. If India keeps responding with violence, it will only breed more violence."
"Watching the attacks unravel in Bombay has been a horrible experience in, and outside of India," says another officer of SASA. "The past four days in Bombay, in addition to the bombings throughout India in the past year, necessitate a change in international "anti-terror" policy innocent civilians are being slaughtered on all sides. Fortunately my family is safe, but again, its terrifying that they cannot consider their home and surroundings safe anymore."
SASA will be holding a vigil in response to the attacks, one of the officers tells Mads. The event will be open to the whole campus and more details should be available by Monday night. SASA also hopes to reach out to other campus groups that may have been affected, such as VIS and VJU, in an effort to "continue to foster a relationship where hate among different groups isn't tolerated."
Photo: The New York Times