Killers Aim for Mumbai Dream

City's a golden songbird they want dead: Mehta
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2008 12:58 PM CST
Killers Aim for Mumbai Dream
People take photographs of the damaged Taj Mahal hotel after the completion of an operation against terrorists there.   (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

(Newser) – A Mumbai native and 9/11-era New Yorker asks a familiar question in the wake of India's attacks: Why do they hate us? The beloved city he still calls Bombay "stands for lucre, profane dreams, and an indiscriminate openness." It's a sensual, vibrant place that understands money and feels no guilt about it. This "appalls religious extremists, Hindus and Muslims alike," Suketu Mehta writes in the New York Times.

"In the Bombay I grew up in, your religion was a personal eccentricity, like a hairstyle," Mehta says. Mumbai, "the city of flashy cars and flashier women," symbolizes a "mass dream of the peoples of South Asia" that terrorists hate. How to fight back? "I’m booking flights to Mumbai. I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn’t have to be just economic." (Read more India stories.)

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