Vigil for the terror attack victims of Ahmedabad and Bengaluru

published on August 4, 2008

It is widely believed that home is where the heart is. The Indian Diaspora, whose heart throbs for India, is no exception to this belief. But recent unfortunate series of terror attacks in India have hurt the home and bled the hearts of this Diaspora. To express their feeling of closeness with victim’s families and mourn the untimely loss of innocent lives, many Indian organizations and people of Indian origin came together in a vigil held in San Jose, California on Sunday, August 3rd.  
Recently, India and the world were stunned by series of devilishly well-planned bomb blasts in the cities of Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. The terrorist outfits which carried out this attack, placed the bombs in highly crowded areas, with intentions to harm as many lives as possible. The audacity of the attackers and their intentions to take so many lives draws immediate parallels to 9/11 attacks in US.  
The concerned citizens and multitude of organizations of Bay Area in California , deeply felt the sorrow and pain from such an incident. A vigil, organized to support victim’s families and express concerns to Govt of India for tighter laws against terrorism, was held in Caesar Chavez Park of San Jose. Over 200 people including women and children from more than 32 prominent Indian organizations participated in the vigil. American-Jewish organizations also joined the event to express their sympathy and support in this challenging time. Also present on the occasion were the Mayor of Sunnyvale, Sunnyvale City Council member, the Commissioner and the Supervisor from County of Santa Clara. Speaker after speaker spoke of the enormous cost and sacrifice India and its people have been paying to counter the forces of terrorism. Mayor of Sunnyvale spoke about why terrorism needs to be condemned and the need to fight it globally. The concern and passion among the participants where visible irrespective of age and gender. Neha, a teenager from San Jose, spoke of the depth of her concern that motivated her to do everything she could to help organize this event.

At the end of the vigil, a resolution was passed unanimously by all participating organizations and attending people. The resolution, expressing solidarity with affected families, urged the Government of India to fight terrorism with a heavy hand backed by stricter laws against terrorism and destructive activities. It emphasized the need for special courts, equipping terrorism fighting agencies with effective penal codes and infrastructure.

Even though this gathering of concerned citizens cannot recoup the losses and the untold sufferings of the victims, it did serve to send a heart felt message to them that in this hour of grief they are not alone and also a strong message to the perpetrators of this crime that the resolve to counter these heinous acts will only multiply manifold

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