Saturday Nov 27, 2021
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan Friday penned a note on the 13th anniversary of the 26/11 attacks that took place in Mumbai.
The legendary actor chose to write a few words about the horror as it went down and spoke about the gestures that bind India and Pakistan together, such as the "warm hug" given by Indian skipper Kohli to Rizwan and Pakistan captain Babar Azam after their T20 World Cup clash.
The piece, published in the Indian Express, stated: "The strike on Mumbai, November 26, 2008, played out as slow-motion mayhem, targeting its landmarks, while audiences watched the terrible spectacle, live and uninterrupted, on TV."
He recalled how horror had struck the Taj and Trident and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station.
"It stretched from the five-star hotels, Taj and Trident, frequented by the city’s glittering elites, to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station, from where, over the years, hundreds and thousands of Indians, men and women, have poured into Mumbai, as if pulled by a magnet, carrying with them a hope and a dream."
He noted how these were the same people who "rushed back home in panic" during the pandemic and helped remake Mumbai.
The Sholay star then spoke about how people from both sides of the border unite in rare moments that bring them together.
"Sometimes they nestle in the warmth of the hug that went viral, that India’s captain Virat Kohli gave to Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, after the men in green defeated the men in blue in the first game of the T20 World Cup that concluded in Dubai recently," he wrote.
He spoke about another moment that brought the two countries together, the "smashing success" of the 2015 Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan. He described it as "a cross-border tale about empathy and compassion, an Indian man’s struggle to reunite a Pakistani child with her family.”
"Freedom from fear means that we are more at ease with our neighbour,” he wrote. "No terrorist must be allowed to change the way we are in the dark, or with our neighbour, or ourselves. No single act of terror must be given the power to destroy the interconnectedness of our stories, our plural solidarities," he added.
Pakistan may have registered an emphatic victory over arch-rivals India in the T20 World Cup match last month but Kohli's warm embrace of the two Pakistani openers won hearts in both countries.
Skipper Babar Azam and Rizwan had seen Pakistan through to a historic victory against India that ended the Men In Green's losing streak against Men In Blue in World Cups.
Babar (68) and wicket-keeper Rizwan (78) posted the highest ever partnership against India in T20Is, surpassing the 133-run record that had been held by David Warner and Shane Watson.
Here is how people reacted to the warm embrace.
Pakistan went on to win four other matches in the T20 World Cup and qualified for the semi-finals. However, they were beaten by Australia, who went on to win the ICC T20 World Cup by beating New Zealand in the final.