Monday, December 01, 2008

Comments on candle light vigils/government bashing/sloganeering

The past week has gone by in a haze. Mumbai was brutally attacked by armed terrorists and it took the combined might of the Mumbai police, the Navy commandos called 'Marcos' and the NSG more than 48 hours to quell the troublemakers and sanitize the occupied areas. 

The incident has claimed the posts of the Union and the Maharashtra home ministers with the Maharashtra CM too expected to be shown the door in a few days time at the most. Civil society has been outraged and important people have spoken out in anger.

If one were to make a few observations about the incident they would be as follows:

1. This should have been a problem handled by the Mumbai police themselves. This is a recurring problem - that of depending on central forces to bail out the situation everytime. Even the Konanakunte incident (that of the Sivarasan vs Karnataka police) fame needed the arrival of an STF team from Nagpur.

2. OK, the central forces were called in, but the time that the NSG took to step in was inordinately long. 

3. The media clearly went overboard in reporting even details which should have been kept confidential. The media should be cordoned off in a separate enclosure to prevent sensationalism.

4. The citizens voiced their anger, held candle light protests, wrote blogs etc. All fine, but practically speaking, what can we do?

  1. Can we ask for information about security apparatus through RTI? It is most certainly going to be turned down with security concerns being voiced... and rightly so.. if we can glean info, so can the sensational media and terrorists
  2. Can we get trained for dealing with such scenarios? Thats a possibility... We should look at establishing some sort of training to be given to citizens to deal with emergencies.. not to panic/ try to take out the offender if the chance arises etc. Some sort of a semi-defense training which is compulsory for all.
  3. To do (2) we would need a national database complete with social security numbers. How about preparing one?
  4. Please equip our forces, right from the beat cop. Else we would be running around in circles!!!
  5. Vote in elections and make sure you vote based on rational and logical thought process.

Small steps, but need to be taken :-)

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