Address by Governor at the Memorial Meeting organised by the Public Concern for Governance Trust to remember the martyrs of 26 November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Memorial Meeting organised by the Public Concern for Governance Trust to remember the martyrs of 26 November 2008 terrorist attack at Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai at 1815 hrs on Saturday, 26 November 2016
Mr J F Ribeiro, Chairman of the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), Mr R K Anand, Founder Trustee, Mr Dara Gandhy, Managing Trustee, other Trustees of PCGT, Shri Sevanti Bhai Parekh, Smt Sarla Ben Parekh, distinguished invitees, dear children, students, youths and friends,
At the outset I would like to thank Shri J F Ribeiro, one of the finest police officers produced by India, for inviting me to be a part of this meeting. His enthusiasm, at the age of 87, to create a more humane and more caring society brings me here.
Today all of us are here to remember and pay our tributes to our fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, the police officers and jawans who lost their precious life in the most inhuman terrorist attack on Mumbai.
We are also here to express our solidarity with those who lost their near and dear ones. I was extremely sorry to know that Shri Sevanti Bhai Parikh and Smt Sarla Ben Parikh lost their son and daughter in law in the terrorist attack.
But, it is quite reassuring that they have not just overcome their personal grief with courage, but have come out to give the message of unity to the people of India.
We admire your courage and express our solidarity with you, Sevanti Bhai and Sarla Ben Parekh.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Memories of 26 November 2008 are difficult to fade away from our collective psyche.
The three days, from 26th November to 28th November 2008, were perhaps the darkest and most traumatic days for our nation, as indeed for nations of the world.
Those three days altered the destinies of many, shattered the dreams of many, left many families without a bread winner and left many children orphan.
More than the social or economic impact of the terrorist attack, the emotional impact of such incidents is deep and lasting.
It was all the more painful that in the case of Mumbai attack, the victims were women, men, even children, hotel staff, tourists etc. That reaffirms the fact terrorists are inhuman and have no religion.
Nothing can fill the void caused by the loss of near and dear ones. But time has come to unite and put our act together to fight terrorism.
There is no single strategy to defeat terrorism. But involvement of citizens, civil society and non-governmental organisations has been regarded by various national and international organisations as an effective strategy to combat terrorism.
One of the four pillars of the United Nations Strategy to counter terrorism is to ensure the respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for countering terrorism.
It is here that the role of civil society, of you and I, and of organizations like Public Concern for Governance Trust assumes significance.
We must inculcate in our children and youth the feeling of respect towards fellow human beings, towards women, towards children and towards weaker sections of society and remind them that it is their bounden duty to defend the nation.
In a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic society like ours, it is all the more important that we teach our children to respect the religious, ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity of fellow citizens and human beings.
We must shun the false feeling of ‘My religion is superior than yours’ or ‘My Caste is little upper than yours’.
Secondly, we must stop branding communities based on the impressions or perceptions of ignorant persons.
Sometimes we portray entire communities as anti-social or anti-national. Such passing of judgments is detrimental for our national unity and integration.
In today’s age of technology, smart phones and services like whatsapp, a lot of misinformation is spread, canards are spread, false stories are circulated in the social media. Sometimes, one community is pitted against the other.
I think, all right thinking people must intervene and stop such misinformation from spreading.
For many years, Mr J F Ribeiro has strived to make the Mohalla Committees a movement. We must revive and rejuvenate such initiatives aimed at promoting communal harmony.
We want to see close cooperation between citizens and police to avoid communal disturbances and pre-empt incidence of violence and terrorism.
All of us should feel concerned that international terrorist organizations like ISIS are luring our youths to join the ranks of terrorist organizations. We will have to create awareness among our youths about the dangers of such organizations.
Last but not the least, we must join hands to end corruption in our society. Corruption is the biggest hurdle in peace, goodwill and good governance.
I am impressed by the work of Public Concern for Governance Trust to involve the youth in generating public opinion against corruption. I want to see the Publc Concern for Governance Trust becoming a nationwide movement of youth for good governance.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister is committed to ending terrorism and isolating the sponsors of terrorism. We must support him in his efforts.
Let us on this day resolve to wipe out terrorism from the face of earth through our collective efforts.
I applaud the work of Public Concern for Governance Trust and thank all of you for your patient audience.
I do convey my appreciation to all the children who presented patriotic songs today and wish them well.
Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.