Sunday, August 26, 2007

Defining "World Scale"

I suppose I want to re-explain what I meant by terming Saturday's attacks in Hyderabad "small [...] on the world scale."

It isn't because the people injured and killed weren't American.

It is, perhaps, because isolated bombings and attacks seem to happen daily in countries across the world. They are more prevalent in places like Iraq than in India, or in America; but every day, it seems, there is something.

They are all tragedies. Many of them are not reported in the American mainstream media. (They probably aren't reported in the Times of India either.)

And this, I think, was why the bombings in Hyderabad loomed larger in the eyes of the students than of the adults surrounding them.

This, however, may also have been due to the university's relative distance. The campus is miles and miles away from the city; far enough for faculty to wax academic and cite statistics and say things like "oh, one can't keep away from a city on the basis of one hateful terrorist activity."

Had we been closer to the location; had we been inside the city; had we been with in enough proximity to see or hear or come into contact with either the explosions or their aftermath, the reactions might have been different.

Which probably makes my initial reaction a bit (as I described in my last post) "cavalier." But also -- perhaps academically so -- practical.

Of course, finding out that there were actually several timed bombs planted at many locations in the city changes things somewhat. The list of dead could have been much larger. The tragedy could have stopped business in the city for a few days.

I could play mind games ("if a large-scale attack is averted, is it truly large-scale") but I am standing by my initial reaction: to stay where I am, watch the papers, and gauge the reactions around me. Even today the reactions from the other faculty are -- to be fair, and blunt -- nonplussed. But, again, we are far removed from the actual event.

I will keep you all updated if more news comes.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I'm glad you're doing well. :)