Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Maximum (Terror) City

Another ‘26th’ disaster. This date is really turning out to be an unfortunate one. I had just finished with my exams and I turned on the TV (a rare activity I do in the hostel) and I saw the burning Taj and Oberoi, the carnage at Leopold’s and the CST massacre. Taj is one of the faces of the Mumbai shoreline and the first thing that greets people when you enter from the Gateway of India. Leopold’s is one of the oldest hangout places for tourists and Indians alike in the city. And CST, the lifeline of Mumbai, was held hostage by 21 year olds. An attack on these places is a slap on the face of Mumbai.  

Now that the terrorists have been killed, the finger pointing game has started. The first to go was Shivraj Patil, who frankly had to leave given Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore and Mumbai all happened in a span of 4 months. I do remember distinctly reading about a blast every 3 weeks. RR Patil, with his DDLJesque dialogue just revealed the administration’s mindset about the terrorist acts. They have conveniently been accustomed to anything and everything that happens. The typical ‘Chalta hai’ attitude so characteristic of us. 

But the gaffes have continued to flow in like water. Politicians have amazingly started taking things personally with counter attacks being launched on protestors and bereaved parents alike. Just a word of caution for you people. Since you have been elected by us, we have every damn right to question you for your utter incompetence. Maybe we didn’t do it in the most polite of the ways, but I guess that’s not a reason to take things personally. So start acting professionally, else if we take things personally, then there might be hell to pay for you. 

Amidst all the chaos, the real focus has shifted from revamping the structure of the current security system to mind games. Since P. Chidambaram has taken over the Home ministry, we can (and hope to) expect some better measures in organistion from a more responsible and educated person. As for CMsaab, it’s highly foolish of you to take along RGV and your son for a tour to the Taj. It ain’t good PR management. You might be genuinely concerned (otherwise you have no business being the CM) but stupid moves as these and your shocking sarcasm at the press conference (with the videos being played over and over again) leaves little to the imagination about your attitude. 

With most of the focus on the Taj and its restoration, it’s highly imperative (and logical) that we shift gears in CST too. It is the gateway to Mumbai and anyone can enter it with weapons (as yesterday’s mock operation by TOI showed). So checking must be intensive. People who complain of their right to privacy being breached can go home and stay there. We don’t want idiots and cry babies like you to enter the city. Strong measures call for some compromises on everyone’s part in order to ensure the safety in the city. Its very hypocritical when people resent the laws and are the first ones to complain when the law fails. So learn to respect the laws first. 

I have some very honest questions. Why don’t we have a separate NSG unit or any unit for that matter for anti-terrorist operations? This is the 4th time we have succumbed to terror. Why couldn’t the 200 odd commandos storm the Taj and Oberoi when there were only 10 terrorists in all? Surely, there would have been lesser hostages killed. Why were the warnings ignored (not once or twice but 4 times)? There is a serious need for the detachment of security forces from legislation so they can cut the red tape and get into action straightaway. Bureaucracy is the bane of democracy with the bureaucrats leaching the taxpayer’s money in pointless meetings and parties. What I would like to believe is that not all politicians are hopeless. Some might be seriously interested in changing the system but have their hands tied behind their backs by the majority (who we all know in and out). This is the only hope that I have for the city I love the most in the world. This is a highly volatile time where strong actions and not emotions should be the order of the day. 

Lastly I salute the all the officers for saving the city. Never again will I grumble about police checking. I feel immense pride in being from the same Institute as Hemant Karkare, although the Institute seems to have forgotten him. There wasn’t the standard two minute silence in respect or even the slightest mention of him. Shame on you, VNIT. 

Perhaps the admin people were too busy pepping up the college for a future NBA visit.


Vasavadatta said...

As the bitter truth has hit us now, we know that our government and security structure are good for nothing. I guess us citizens must adopt ceaseless vigilance and hope it helps in some way. Be it Achuthanandan or RRPatil, all the chaps are good at are making fancy dialogues.

The terrorists find a new lacuna in security each time to prod and awaken us. It is most shameful that we let the terrorism happen first and speak later.

The people have more than equal blame, I agree. We can't stand in a queue and complain of crowded ticket counters. We chuck our trash out of train windows and call our own country dirty. We have absolutely no national pride. It isn't enough that we praise the bounties of our country to foreign nationals - when we say the same things to ourselves will stuff change.

VNIT should be proud of Hemant Karkare. Considering the paucity of eminent alumni, a better homage was expected. He was born in and grew up in Nagpur, too. The city was strangely mute about it.

Neeraj said...

Frankly, inspite of the bitter truth, i hope it never comes down to every citizen looking out for his or her safety. the government are there for precisely that (along with other duties off course).
That is why i think the protests on the streets of mumbai and other parts of india, even though a bit over the top, are what we need.
This can go on forever

anand said...

All these politicians are great spokespersons' and nothing else.Someone from the young brigade(educated too) needs to come and stand up for a cause.I guess now its time that youngsters should get into the system and change it rather than criticizing it.