Anupam Kher Grieves Over the Loss of Friends in Taj Attack

I feel very angry about the way the intelligence agencies in our country collapsed. The common man’s frustrations at what’s happening are not something to be ignored any more — Anupam Kher

An upset and angry Anupam Kher left for Cape Town on Friday morning having lost friends very close to him in the terror attack at the Taj."The general manager Karambir Kang has lost his wife and two children. They were burnt to death. He's a close friend. How am I going to face him? I'm numbed by what has happened to Mumbai. So far we used to see such things only in movies. Kher played the role of an ATS chief in A Wednesday! and ironically; there was a savage terrorist attack on Mumbai on a Wednesday.

A challenge
Says Anupam, "A Wednesday! was about a man who takes up the challenge of protect- ing a city under siege. In the film, a common man gave it back to terrorists. In real life, the common is a hapless victim." Anupam sees the latest attack as a challenge beyond any other. "Earlier bomb blasts were contained because they were planted at places. Victims fled from where the explosions occurred. Now the terrorists are telling us we've nowhere to run."Anupam is no stranger to extremism. As a Kashmiri Pandit he has faced the wrath of militancy since his childhood. "Only the victims know what they are going through. It's easy for me to express how my heart reaches out to Mr Kang. Only he knows what he's going through. I feel very angry about the way the intelligence agencies in our country collapsed. The common man's frustrations at what's happening are not something to be ignored anymore."

We have no choice
Anupam refuses to react to the current carnage as an actor. "It's not about my commitment as an artiste. It's about my commitment as a Mumbaikar. Mumbai has given me everything. Suddenly it's entering the era of Iraq." He rubbishes the theory of Mumbai's mythic resilience. "All this nonsense about Mumbai bouncing back after each tragedy, please! What choice do the people have? It's like recovering from a war and waiting for the next attack. We cannot offer any solace to people who have lost their loved ones. No balm will work."Not enough is doneAs an Indian, Anupam is outraged by what's happened. "If after 9/11, America has made sure no such incident happens, why do we continue to have 9/11s constantly? It's a failure of intelligence. How did so many terrorists enter Mumbai with so much sophisticated weaponry? No! What the government is doing is not sufficient."

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