Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Mumbai Shootout Saga…

The recent terror attacks in the city can be described at best as shocking, un-nerving, and unprecedented in scale and execution.

The two strong emotions it led to were one of gratitude for the fortune of being alive, and two a mixture of fear and anger. A constant obsession with the news channels, newspapers and websites covering the events non-stop only worsened matters. In fact think by now I have mastered most statistics, and conspiracy theories floating around – a PhD in it may be due soon!

All that information caused quite some unease. In the days following the siege my thoughts were centered around my possible response if cornered in office or at home by some of the terrorists. One part of my head said ridiculous while the other said think again. If the stoic impregnable Taj could be laid bare and stripped in such a savage manner how safe was my humble abode or the work place.

As these thoughts threatened to unsettle me a new realization dawned – life in Mumbai (or for that matter off late in most cities) is possibly a gamble – a matter of luck and hence it was better to give up worrying and to just appreciate and enjoy the small pleasures of life till death do us apart. So that’s what I have finally started doing..

Most conversations however continue to be centered around it which has all of us rehashing and analyzing the details specified in various channels. Resilience has become a badly misused word - used to signify numbness in the head and heart... Candle night vigils, Peace marches, long drawn TV debates and the blame game among politicians continue unabated..

Personally feel the manner in which the internal security of the country needs to be managed. It has to have a centralized reporting structure, clear specification of responsibilities for generating and following up on leads, appropriate remuneration and compensation at various levels of the intelligence and defense personnel. It is also necessary to fix responsibilities of the bureaucrats and the politicians. Anger is good but it needs to be channelized well and peace marches or candle night vigils are alone not enough.

Just found this old pic of the Oberoi & the Trident in much happier times... Hope to see the same back again soon :)


deeps said...

hope it s a turning point and better days are ahead of us

somitra said...

Altough easier said then done. It seems in retrospect to manage security. But if you analyse the statistics it is extemely difficult to curb it. With India teeming with population of billions How can you know whether the next person is a terrorist or not. Just imagine a case of securtity checking everyone at CST. We would never be able to make it to the train on time. With India's racial mix we cant even follow the controversial racial profiling that Britain and US a doing unabated. One can blame the RAW and Intelligence bearueau but with a country like India with militants and terrorist on all borders (ltte, bodo, bangladeshi,maoists) I am not sure how will they know whether a threat is for real or hoax.
Alas I dont see a better time coming soon or a better solution coming soon. I can only pray that these people who think violence is the only measure to solve differences get some enlightment and deviate from the path they are going to take.

shark_surfs said...

agreed - easier said than done.. however in a country like ours with such a huge population the right governance and systems could be used to gather information and ensure vigilance... Well if 2 people roam around and enter cst with 2 huge rifles and no one questions or stops them or alerts others - then there is something wrong.. Setting up cctvs is not the only point - monitoring them closely is also important.. having a workable disaster resolution mechanism in a timely manner at easy disposal is need of the hour... the cost would be high yes but so is the value of human life which is forgotten in times of peace..

Each citizen needs to be alert - of course one hears that at the aftermath of a blast and its forgotten after that.. Reinforcement of the need to be alert has to be periodically given.. This is should help minimize the frequency atleast...

Got a mail today which charts the pattern of the blasts in India off late - apparently one has happened on the 13th or 26th of every alternate month !!! Through these measures this frequency can be reduced at-least ... Its not just a blast that has affected people...Its the repeated occurance at such frequent intervals and the ease at which governments and security agencies move on without any change in ground realities !