05 December 2008

What are we really scared of?

Anger clouds our thinking. So, does excitement, and emotion.

Terrorists occupied the Taj for 60 hours. And the Taj occupied our media for more than a week. It was such a good opportunity to bash up our politicians. Artists, Journalists, Political analysts, Movie-makers, retired bureaucrats..almost everyone had a say and almost everyone of them had to say that the main culprit was the politician.

The Home minister, who had no clue as to what (or who) was coming, was unwillingly made the scapegoat. And we dutifully sympathised with, prayed for and thanked our NSG, Army, Police and whoever was there at the operation, for saving our lives and recapturing Taj. What could have been an icing on the cake was to hoist an Indian Flag at the Taj.

Do we really think our whole national security was in the hands of just 1 minister ?
Or do we believe that if our RAW / Intelligence sleuths had credible information, they would not have acted in advance?
Do we really think 7 hours for NSG to drop into action is really late. It takes 2 hours on flight for any chopper to fly from Delhi to Mumbai. Under who's estimate is 7 hours bad? and what's a good time to respond?

There was a news that a gun was easily smuggled into Mumbai CST station despite the metal detectors. Do we believe that we could physically check the millions who travel in trains daily at CST station? It is a statistical nightmare, even if we station 100 hawaldars at CST.

National security is largely based on information. Information which comes on the street and off the borders. We kid ourselves into thinking that more policemen means more security.

The other funniest thing going around these days is the spirit of Mumbai. Did we really think that we could bunk work and sit at home, just because some terrorists are holding up a hotel. No matter what happens next door, my kitchen stove lights up only when I work. Spirit of Mumbai is for ad-gurus.

We have been living in these conditions for ages. Is that we are only worried about terrorists from aborad? What about our own naxalites? Is our life more precious if we loose it to foreigners, but less so if Indians take it.

Or, are we worried that a handful of terrorists could paralyze our country. Work everywhere else did happen normally. Only a couple of locations in Mumbai were effected. MNS, Bajrang dal, various political & social organization do that to our cities every other day. Are our time and freedom more precious when foreigners meddle with it, but less so if some local gang does the same.

A familiar foe is better than an unknown one. Our freedom, time and life has always depended on the will of politicians & police. Now that it is within the reach of an unknown terrorist is what's really scary.

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