Thursday, December 4, 2008
Recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai hit close to home with University of West Georgia President Beheruz N. Sethna and his family. Born in India and former residents of Mumbai, the Sethna family knew many of the victims of the bombings and attacks.
In two recent television and radio interviews, Sethna shared his personal and cultural ties with Mumbai, formerly called Bombay. Mumbai is a major city in India and has an international and financial role in India much like New York City has in the United States, said Sethna.
Sethna recalled viewing the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower from the window of his parents’ flat and mentioned that he frequented the five-star hotel for Rotary meetings. During the attack, an elderly aunt who lives near the hotel called him to seek advice on what to do.
Eric Jens of WLBB 1330 News Talk and Justin Gray of FOX 5 Atlanta interviewed Sethna for more insight into the ongoing struggles in the port city.
“The bulk of Muslims are quite happy to be part of India,” said Sethna in the Jens interview. “There are the few, of course, that cause havoc and thereby give the rest of that religion a bad name in India.
“You have to be extremely careful that there is not a Hindu backlash against the minority Muslim community. That is exactly what the terrorists want.”
Sethna, president of UWG since 1996, has experienced an international education, from Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay to Columbia University in NYC. He has been named in the “Who’s Who in Education” section of the Atlanta Business Chronicle and listed as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend. Sethna and his family visit India and Mumbai at least once a year.