In this report, NewsHour Special Correspondent Simon Marks travels to Ahmedabad, 340 miles north of Mumbai, for wedding season to see if the attacks on Mumbai Nov. 26 have changed life in other areas of the country.
Cities like Ahmedabad have seen explosive growth over the past 20 years; commercial areas, shopping malls, and office blocks are sprouting up everywhere as people leave the countryside and follow what they hope will be a path to prosperity in the cities.
More than 35 Indian cities now boast a population larger than one million. Many said they feel fearful and blame India's politicians for not providing enough security. Marks also traveled to more rural areas where people felt the attacks did not affect their lives directly.
Politicians and workers on the train out of Mumbai discussed whether the attack, now linked to Islamic militants in Pakistan, will create more division between Hindus and Muslims.
"It is very wrong that these terrorists came to India. The politicians need to take a harsh stance toward these mad men so it will never happen again. And I think we should attack Pakistan. I think we should teach them a lesson so they never, even think of doing it again." - Varun Pujara, Villager
"We feel scared. We don't let our kids wander around on their own. And even when they go to school, we feel worried. When they come home, we're relieved." - Munni Behen, Trinket Seller
"I would not like to talk in terms of Hindu, Muslim, this and that. I always prefer to talk about the Indian community." - Narendra Modi, Politician
"In a fractious democracy like ours, there are enough politicians who thrive on the politics of division and the politics of hatred. And I was afraid that some of them would seize this opportunity to demonize our Muslim minority." - Shashi Tharoor newspaper columnist and a former undersecretary general of the United Nations
1. What divides people into different groups? (hint- geography, religion, class …)
2. What is nationalism? What can make a country come together despite hatred between different groups in society?
1. What were the differences and similarities between the reaction in Mumbai and in smaller cities and rural areas?
2. The reporter said that two-thirds of India's population -- more than 600 million people -- still live in the country's rural communities. Does that surprise you? How does it compare with the United States? What is the effect of the rural nature of Indian society on its culture, economy, politics?
3. Why might this attack create more tension between Hindu and Muslim populations in India? How did the 9/11 attacks affect the lives of many Muslims in the United States?
4. If you could travel to India, where would you go, what would you want to see?