Thursday, November 26, 2009

Are we really safe?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

As we observe the first anniversary of the 26/11 attack one question which is there in everybody's mind is are we safe? Can we hope that a 26/11 like attack won't happen again? These are questions which perhaps have no answers. Although the government has taken some measures to deal with such a terror scenario it has done very little to prevent 26/11 like incidents. The situation on the ground still remains a worrying factor for the society.

Although we have sent several dossiers to Pakistan what has that resulted in? Has the infiltration in J&K come down, or has Pakistan taken any concrete measures to deal with the handlers of 26/11 other than displaying mere tokenism? What makes our Prime Minister sign a joint declarations with a country which is fighting a proxy war against us? Why is it that we don't attempt to neutralise terrorists like Hafeez Sayeed thus taking the war to the conspirators of attacks against us?

The heroics of our NSG men during the attack meant that most of the states immediately demanded NSG hubs for their states. The civil society sees this as a full proof measure for their security. We couldn't be more wrong in our assumption. NSG is a reactive force and acts whenever there is a crisis situation. So they don't prevent a fiyadeen attack or a bomb blast in a busy market area. Secondly NSG being a highly skilled force small in number will only be called out during major operations.

It is the local police and the intelligence network that has to be strengthened. It is easier said that done as India has one of the worst police to people ratio in the world. Add to it the fact that most of these men are not armed (forget the term poorly armed) fighting terrorist becomes an impossible task. It isn't surprising that regularly being made to do ornamental duty around the politicians and bureaucrats, many of our policeman aren't fit to fight terror any more.

The civil society also has to take up responsibility of making the nation secure. How many of us really don't mind getting frisked? Isn't that for our own security? Are we willing to shed a little bit of our 'Fundamental Rights' which can go a long way in making our country secure? Why can't we think of citizen policing like it is practised many modern nations. Do we verify the identity of individuals before renting them a house or selling them a vehicle? Are we playing our part correctly?

We have to take strong measures to make our nation safe. The absence of a major attack isn't a concrete proof that our internal security system is in place. All of us see a completely different picture when we walk onto the streets and don't feel secured. As someone rightly put it we are safe till the next attack. So, lets not sleep till something worst that 26/11 happens.


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