I received a forward mail from a friend today, which linked to the following article criticizing the system for the serial blasts across India. Here are my views on the same.
Its hard to digest the fact that dozen’s of bombs are found in big cities, outside hospitals, busy markets and even the police station. Is it really that easy to plant a bomb? Or perhaps the biggest question, Is it really that easy to make a bomb and run a terror network?
My answer would be Yes and No. Don’t get confused, but in a nation of 1 billion people no matter how much security cams you set up, no matter how much frisking and checking you do; there would be breach of security somewhere or the other. When these terrorists can accomplish something of the scale of 9/11 in US, this is certainly no big feat.
Making these low intensity bombs aren’t too difficult (not saying that they are easy) and planting them certainly isn’t very difficult either, they fit into a school bag easily. My friend Piyansh easily passes coke bottles inside theatre’s (again not implying that he can carry bombs as well :P), all I want to say is these small bombs are somewhat easy to hide and travel with. (You can read more on Terrorist Bombs here)
A very common comparison that I draw between Internet and the material world is the Policing. If you look at any biggie on the internet, say Youtube, Facebook, eBay, Orkut etc all of them rely on the community (users) to report anything objectionable. Not that they don’t have their own checks, but then it is practically impossible to manually keep a tab on the millions of their users. Similarly even the our local police relies on the public to report suspicious activities to them. Now here is where the problem for me rises …
How much do the people trust the police? How confident would you feel to report such an activity to the police? Has the police department maintained a good image, worth trusting? The day several blasts ripped through Ahmedabad, the police in Mumbai were on high alert. Nakabandi and patrolling was beefed up. And just a little past mid-night they took away 4 servants who work in my neighborhood (along with many others I presume). So while returning from a bday party in Virar I get the SOS call from my neighbor Piyansh that we need to rush to the Police Station to get these guys back. (More on this day of my life, which I call the Longest Day of My Life II – Later)
So as I reach the police station (a little past 1Am), I realize that these people were taken into custody by officers from the ‘Detection Dept’ – Which I presume is some thing serious. They don’t wear a Police uniform (at least the seniors I met in the jeep outside of the police station didn’t), so that really means they are into investigation. So I approached this person in the jeep (who according to the constables was the man incharge) and told him that they have arrested innocent people with no criminal intent or background. Yeah just that they were 4 ppl (+ driver) in a stationed rickshaw listening to FM.
And I was shocked at the response I got “Are you PM? Are you CM? I listen to only two people!”. This according to me describes the attitude and image that these police men carry!
Where can the authorities improve (In My Opinion):
- Make the cops more accessible and friendly. Seen the movie Hancock? These cops need a PR consultant according to me.
- Get an online + anonymous system for citizens to report suspicious activities
- Cut out corruption in security contracts. We need better CCTV cams. I recently read about the CCTV at the Airport being of so poor quality that the a person who lost his baggage couldn’t recognize even himself while examination of the CCTV footage.
- Streamline the intelligence, faster flow of info. (though am not a expert on how it functions)
All that is written above are my personal views, you are free to post your comments below.
Image courtesy BBC