Bollywood in shock, says govt must wake up

Mumbai: Bollywood has sharply reacted to the 13/7 Mumbai blasts that left 19 dead and 129 injured. The film fraternity has launched a scathing attack on the government with most stars castigating authorities for their failure to protect the citizens.

Raveena Tandon feels that it is high time the government woke up.

"Shocked beyond belief! Will our government finally wake up? We`re still treating Afzal Guru and Kasab as our bloody guests. What message are we sending out to terrorist outfits by showing such misplaced hospitality?" she asks.

Actor and activist Shabana Azmi was in a meeting when the three blasts ripped apart the city at Dadar, Zaveri Bazar and Opera House. Azmi "felt sick at the pit of my stomach".

"It is a heinous act that deserves the strongest condemnation. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. The guilty must be found and punished severely," she says.

Veteran actor Om Puri doubts the timings of the act that coincided with 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab`s birthday.

"I am appalled beyond words to know that the latest blasts in our city coincided with Kasab`s birthday. Is this a coincidence? I doubt it," he says.

Newbie Sonakshi Sinha had to "rush into the home of a friend for safety". She says: "These acts of terrorism are meant to show us the weakness and cowardice of the people behind these acts."

Mahesh Bhatt, who is known for being vocal on social issues says: "I was getting ready to attend the success party of our film (`Murder 2`) when I heard the news. I immediately spoke to my brother Mukesh and asked him to cancel the party. I am overpowered by a sense of impotent rage. When will this stop?"

Vikram Bhatt: "I was getting ready to leave for the `Murder 2` celebration party when I heard the shattering news. Our joy at the film`s success was turned to grief."

Bipasha Basu laments that "loss of human life has become a joke!"

Basu says, "In the garb of resilience we keep forgetting incidents like this again and again. It is really unfortunate that no one ever gets punished. Loss of human life has become a joke! We keep condemning acts of terrorism and that`s where the story ends every time and is repeated again."

Director-choreographer Farah Khan is upset because Maharashtra government was unprepared to deal with the attack.

She says: "I got the sinking feeling again. I can`t understand why Mumbai, being is so vulnerable to such attacks, gets all the intelligence personnel flown in from other cities! Why don`t we have our own permanent anti-terror squads in Mumbai?"

Ritesh Sidhwani, whose film `Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara` got released Friday says, "My film? I am not even thinking about it at this moment. The first and most important thing on my mind after I heard about the blasts was to stay calm and not encourage forwarding rumours on the sms."

Hema Malini says her "heart reaches out to people caught in this situation."

Music Composer Vishal Dadlani of the duo Vishal-Shekhar felt "sad, worried, angry and disappointed".

"Sad for the victims, worried for our future, angry at being constantly manipulated by politicians, terrorists and the media, and disappointed with humanity at large," he emphasizes.

Celina Jaitly says: "This is an insult to our democracy and all that we perceive it to be. Is the life of an Indian so expendable?"

Minissha Lamba is "appalled that a massive operation like this went undetected" by security agencies.

Pooja Bedi`s first reaction was to call her kids. "I am so sad my city and country are yet again subjected to such a gruesome tragedy," she says.

Gulshan Grover says: "I wonder if we are REALLY prepared to face such attacks! Again we`ll discuss this latest attack for a while. Then everything will be back to normal."

Amrita Rao feels helpless.

"It`s sad my Mumbai gets terrorized so often. It leaves us all feeling helpless," she says.

Vinay Pathak is very "angry, concerned and anxious" for the safety of the innocent people.

"How can a city like Mumbai be so insecure for its citizens? This heinous act needs to be snubbed much more forcefully," he insists.

Director Kunal Kohli is perhaps the only one who can sympathise with the authorities.

"The government and army moved in swiftly. Terror forces can be fought by supporting the government, not by criticizing it. Let us support our government and armed forces at this time of crisis," he says.


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