Up yours, Mr. Terrorist

Beacon of Hope 22 months has passed since terrorists held the Taj Hotel in Mumbai (and the entire nation as they watched in horror) hostage to one of the most heinous acts of terrorism in India. 22 months since 173 people martyred, hundreds injured, and crores of property destroyed. 22 months and still no justice for the victims.

But one man has done what the politicians, the media and the law could not do – restore a semblance of dignity and hope to the victims.  Ratan Tata – a giant among men, an icon in the business world, and a great humanitarian. When his HR team brought forth a proposal on what the Tata Group could do to compensate the victims (an amazing list by itself), Ratan Tata asked – “Are you sure we are doing enough?”

Enough Mr. Tata? You got to be kidding right? In a nation that treats its politicians and actors as Gods, citizens as dust, and citizen rights as negligible as the fly in your khichidi, you are indeed a beacon of hope. I am not going to recount the entire list here, but present 3 cases (The Week – October 3, 2010 – The Cover Story – “Healing Touch” and “Wah Taj”) that moved me, and let you imagine the comprehensive program the Tata group has implemented not just for its employees who were affected by the attack, but to even the “pav-bhaji” vendor across the street.

  • Manoj Thakur, 29, was working at a roadside shop when the firing at Leopold Cafe injured him. He got Rs 5000 from the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust (set up within days of the 26/11 attack by the Tata Group) for six months, and then got a job as a waiter at the Taj President in Colaba, Mumbai. His children’s education is taken care of by the Trust. So is his wife’s higher education.
  • Diagnosed with terminal illness while being treated for injuries sustained by the taxi blast, Shyamsundar, 36, was given Rs 10,000 for a year, and his entire medical bills are being paid by the Trust.
  • This is not to say the Trust forgot employees of the Taj who died in the attack. The families of these 12 employees will get the last drawn salary as long as the spouse is alive. This is apart from the lump sum amount (in lakhs) paid to the family, free education for their children, and complete medical insurance.

The list goes on. Ratan Tata and his company has touched the lives of every victim of this attack, and ensured their families  get to live a life of relative peace and security.

True, none of these efforts will undo the work of the terrorists on 26th November in Mumbai. None of these efforts will bring back the dead. But these efforts are bringing back hope. Hope, that in a nation of cynical, corrupt leaders, there is someone who cares. Beyond borders. Beyond doubt.

If there is one quality that separates terrorists from people like you and me, it is a feeling of hopelessness. When you lose hope in the system, in yourself, and in your God, that is when you decide your fellow human beings are not worth the air they breathe.

But what the terrorist forgets is that when they kill someone, they are not killing a Hindu or a Muslim, or an Indian or an American, but a son, a father, a husband, a brother and a human being filled with hope, dreams and aspirations for his family.

This blog is dedicated to Mr. Ratan Tata and the Tata Group of companies. For caring. For showing those terrorists that while they can destroy lives and property, they cannot destroy hope.

Up yours, Mr. Terrorist.

Sources:

http://wadias.in/site/arzan/blog/the-tata-gesture-post-2811-mumbai-terror-attacks/

(Unfortunately I could not get an online version of the print articles, but did find the above link that comes close to what the Tata Group is doing for the victims and their families.)

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15 Comments

  1. Our Ls Ms and Ps and their likes or probably the whole political fraternity must be sent for a ‘Must Do’ course @ the Tatas to know what giving really means, to learn what ‘For the People’ really stand for. Wish we had more and more Tatas around.

  2. My late father was employed in Tata Steels as well as my Uncle and my Cousin brother..I was born in Tata Nagar..Tata Company is a great company Indeed!!!!

  3. I am overwhelmed by the response to this blog. Thanks for the support you showed (on the blog and on Linkedin and Facebook) and I look forward to seeing more companies and groups using Tata as an example to do more.

  4. Dynamic leader .Most respected Indian. Great human being with social welfare inclination.
    Honest , secular …
    I see him as a Prime Minister of Inida .

  5. There are animals everywhere and then there is someone like Ratan Tata.
    The question should to the reader should now be what are we?

  6. one need to understand that Taj Management Ignored Police advice on maintaining security at Taj hotel prior to Terrorist attack..which led to free run for Mr Terrorist

    If Ratan Tata gives adequate compensation to Families who owned burnt Nano cars..it would be Great..

    No Doubt Mr Ratan Tata is a Very Successful Business Man…& very ethical…but hs faults cannot be ignored

  7. In short of right words to appreciate and honour the GREAT RATAN TATA and his committed team for such divine efforts towards humanity . He is a true example of the word ” LEADER ” -While reading the above article felt that god is in action …….

    Big thanks to you Revathi Krishna for this article . Also, Am going to circulate this article to all my contacts .

  8. Ratan Tata reassures my hope that no one can stop India Inc. to become world leaders.
    Are Ambani’s listening ??

  9. Spent 10 yrs with the Tatas , have a lot of respect for them and the way they deal with a situation. Experienced many a situations first hand. Good writing, great heading !