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Were the people who fought against the terrorists and helped the innocents and injured...

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user4017232 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 26, 2013 at 4:45 PM via web

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Were the people who fought against the terrorists and helped the innocents and injured during the attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 heroes?

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kipling2448 | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 27, 2013 at 1:36 AM (Answer #1)

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The original question referred to an anonymous "author" as having designated individuals who helped fight off the terrorists and help with the wounded during the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, as "heroes."  Because the author was not identified, a general answer is provided below:

The definition of "hero" is usually one who places him- or herself in danger in order to protect others from harm.  To the extent that the worst tragedies almost always bring out the best in some individuals, then the term heroic can certainly apply to those who risked their own lives to protect innocent civilians during the Mumbai attacks, which were carried out by a terrorist cell affiliated with the Pakistani Lashkar e-Taiba  (translated as Army of the Righteous, or Army of the Pure) guerrilla movement, which was created to carry out terrorist attacks on Pakistan's rival, India.  Reporters who covered the attacks witnessed and reported on acts of great bravery on the part of ordinary Indian citizens.  A particularly notable example, as described by CNN's Fareed Zakaria, was the staff of the Taj Hotel, target of one of the attacks, who risked their own safety to protect that of the hotel's guests. 

Another case of personal conduct during the Mumbai attacks that can be considered "heroic" was that of Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who, as reported by the publication India Today, was a member of an elite Indian special forces unit who was killed fighting the terrorists in the Taj Hotel.  While Sandeep Unnikrishnan was a soldier who was trained to fight insurgents and terrorists, that does not make his actions any less heroic, or his death any less tragic.  [See "Mumbai Attacks: Statue of 26/11 Hero Unveiled in Bangalore," India Today, November 29, 2012]

Finally, when the terrorists attacked the Chabad House, a Jewish center of learning and charity in Mumbai, they immediately murdered the center's director and his wife.  The deceased couple's baby, however, was saved when his caretaker grabbed the infant and escaped from the building during the shooting.  The nanny risked her life to save a Jewish baby from Islamic extremists intent on its murder.  That, to many, including this "educator," constitutes true heroism.

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