Friday, November 28, 2008

The Bombay Tragedy

At this point more than anything else I'm feeling tired at the deplorable drama in Bombay. More than anger, humiliation, more than anything else, I'm feeling sorry for the innocent civilians killed, held hostage, the security forces killed & those still engaged in fighting a cowardly enemy, their families & their friends.

Ultimately, that is what it's all about. The talk around our security situation, the politicking, the sensational news coverage are all detracting from the basic human tragedy of it all in some way.
All of us armchair experts/concerned netizens have expressed concern & disappointment, and there are some brilliant points made on the still ongoing tragedy from sanjukta, Ketan, Jo & constantmotion. Apart from the call for us to use our heads & maintain peace, our posts have primarily focused on saying NO to getting used to terrorism! Very honourable. Most have desisted from blaming the Govt. machinery, which says a lot for the netizens. This is not true of some people on TV that I saw yesterday. I'm presenting my take on the situation.

Don't forget that above all, this is a enormous human tragedy!

Despite all the initial knee-jerk criticism of our intelligence, security & government machinery, one must commend our police, the ATS, the NSG & the armed forces for their unstinting efforts to bring the situation under control. Martyrs like ATS Chief Karkare, Salaskar, Maj. Unnikrishnan & the many other as yet unnamed bravehearts who lost their precious lives fighting a dastardly enemy! (Worrying is how Karkare got shot in the chest thrice despite wearing a loose bulletproof jacket? How Salaskar got shot in the head; wasn't he wearing a helmet? But that can be talked about later.) Such a waste of life! Human Tragedy like I said, above anything else! Kudos to all of our brave men who're doing their duty for the country. But prevention would've been better than cure.

Prevention: I don't know how many of us have worked on financial processes in BPO's. Mere Data Security needs to be watertight here (physical security too) lest critical customer information falls into the wrong hands! Despite putting in all kinds of measures, small & big incidents/frauds do happen. If a Risk Management Team, an Operations Team, an Audit Team cannot get it right on a 300 seater floor; you can imagine the challenges of ensuring security in a 1 Billion strong nation, that has the World's 7th largest landmass! It's a humungous task. India fails at things everyday! We failed at battling poverty for long, we fail at infrastructure, we fail at electing the right leaders, we fail at riot prevention. Failing at terrorism is nothing unexpected. It's just that it's a greater shock than all these other issues because of the immense human tragedy. But also because some of our elected leaders choose to make it a poll issue.

The same Navy that was being celebrated a few days back for sending pirate ships scurrying, is suddenly the villian for not having spotted the terrorists' vessels!!??

We're forgetting our victories against terrorism in Punjab. They came at a great human rights cost. A lot of our policemen & leaders like PM Indira & CM Beant lost their lives. This was largely internal terrorism that we quelled. Can we do it again? I'm sure we can. Should we do it that way again? I don't know about that.

Ratan Tata said something to the effect that we should've learnt from our mistakes. He's right about that. Why despite numerous terror attacks on public places was security lax at the Taj & Oberoi? Or at most malls/cineplexes? Why do we as citizens not walk up to the mall manager & question them on the security situation?

It's obvious that we need a better method to tackle terrorism. But all of us who're crying about it have no clue to go about it really. We must put our heads together. We must come up with ideas. We must form NGO's to tackle it. We must send our list of ideas to the PM. We must not stand on the sidelines. We must participate in solving the problem. A few good men can only make a beginning. They need our support to go all the way!

YP Singh echoed what I'd said in a comment. He said the intention is to target the Americans & the Britishers. Since they can't get to them intheir country, let's go to India & target them. Makes a lot of sense. Kill 3 birds with one stone! 4 if you add the targeting of Jews.

Srinivasan Jain asked whether we're seeing a new form of terrorism; one that has no demands, it just seeks to kill & terrorize. Is he only expressing himself now or did it just dawn on him?

Shobha De shot her mouth off as usual. I'd expected someone with her exposure to look for more constructive solutions than mouthing off. It looks like 20 something netizens have more sense than she does. What I don't get is how a literary porn star (or is it literary pimp/madam?) gets so much footage?

narendra modi came & announced a Rs. 1 Crore compensation for the families of all those security personnel who lost their lives in the battle. Momentarily stumped I caught myself slowly mouthing, "Noble move...";

Until I heard him this morning back to politicking & electioneering (criticising our Prime Minister) in the face of such human strife! Then these questions came to me:

  1. Lives of brave securitymen who die in a high-profile anti-terrorist struggle are more important than those security forces who died recently in a naxal attack? Or those who lost their lives in the Bihar floods? No largesse for them?
  2. What was he doing in Bombay? advani was there. He should've been talking. rajnath singh is their party president, he could've been there. What was modi doing there? Saying all the things that advani couldn't???
  3. So the security personnel are doing a good job, but our intelligence failures must be blamed on the PM! So one days the Navy is a hero & on another day we must criticize the PM for the Navy or the coast guard failling to spot the terrorists?
  4. Forgetting the intelligence failures of Kargil, Khandahar, Akshardham, Parliament is a very noble thing to do as well!

Such honourable politicking at such an opportune moment! I'm sure this is what we want in a leader!!!

Edit: For more related conversation, please refer to the sister post's forum.


  1. How do you add links in your comments? Like in the last one ... ?

  2. I Googled "HTML", found this link & saved it in my favourites. Referred to it frequently & slowly but surely became better at it. :-)
    Thirst for knowledge.

  3. you're right. petty politicking... steps in pretty quickly, doesn't it? i suppose that's why most non-political people detest it so much. and yes, i'd been thinking the same thing. how easy it is to say the police doesn't do enough. who can do enough to make a billion people feel safe? who is safe, where? and where does the real flaw lie? time for a lot of soul-searching.

  4. Added the link to 'Proposed Electoral Reforms' by Election Commission.


Apologies but Moderation is a necessary evil, what with spam, bots, flamers & trolls abounding.
The publishing of any comment that is abusive or way off-topic remains at the discretion of the administrator.
Thank you for commenting.