There is no category of criminals as brutish and barbaric as terrorists. The depravity of their intention is matched only by the perversity of their actions. Their target is the innocent citizen, the non-partisan, the individual, the nameless child who might have been drawn to death by the accident of circumstance, or the misfortune of destiny. The terrorists who attacked Mumbai on 13 July were cowards, hiding maliciously behind anonymity. Since we live in an age increasingly stripped of values, whether in war, peace or the indeterminate grey in between, a brave city like Mumbai has adjusted to the fact that terrorism is part of the price of urban density. But Mumbai will not reconcile itself to either the inefficiency or the alibi that politicians trot out to protect themselves from the whiplash of accountability.