India Insight

The night bombs scarred my son’s dreams

The other night I was surprised to see my seven-year-old son walk out of bed, shivering, crying and barely able to speak.

Calming down after 10 minutes, he said that he was getting regular nightmares about bomb blasts.

India has seen a series of bombings in recent years, this year serial blasts have rocked three major cities.

blastahm.jpgThe first was in the western city of Jaipur on May 13, killing more than 60 people.

At least 16 bombs exploded in Ahmedabad on July 26, a day after blasts in the southern Indian city of Bangalore killed one person and injured several.

With Islamist militancy, has India passed the tipping point?

Victims of the bombings in AhmedabadThe bombings that killed 45 people in the communally sensitive city of Ahmedabad have shaken India’s establishment. It is now sinking in that India faces homegrown Islamist militant groups operating with a scale and sophistication unheard of in
previous years.   

A group called “India Mujahideen” claimed responsibility for the attacks, the same group that said it carried out the bombings in Jaipur in May that killed 63 people.

For years, India had been seen as country that had largely rejected the attractions of global militancy spurred on by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. President George W. Bush notably said there were no Indians in al Qaeda.

Sophistication and savagery in Ahmedabad

One of the most striking things about the weekend’s bomb attacks in Gujarat was the mixture of savagery and sophistication.

Security personnel search for evidence near a bomb blast site in Ahmedabad July 27, 2008. REUTERS/Amit DaveSavagery because of the way a second wave of bombs were detonated at a hospital, apparently to target the crowds of concerned relatives who had gathered there. Had they been watching Contract, a recently released Bollywood film with a similar plotline?

Sophistication because of the way the coordinated attack was planned and executed without the intelligence agencies getting a sniff of it, even though dozens of people must have been involved.