Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Terrorism and security

I was in north India on a vacation when the bombs exploded in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, and I saw at close quarters the meaning of "security". 

I was at the Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi, sitting in front of the waiting room, waiting for the late evening Rajdhani Express to Bangalore. And in walked a horde of uniformed men and a sniffer dog, all belonging to the GRP (Govt Railway Police) I think. They ignored me and most of the people, though we all had tonnes of luggage and zeroed in on a poor man lying on the floor. On learning that his train was next morning, told him to get lost. He was having a gunny bag and they let the sniffer dog examine the bag, while at the same time, not even looking at the rest of us.  This is what we call security. 

And when I hear our journalists demand "Why the government can't do anything" from the ruling class, it becomes a complete joke. I know there are forums like BRF that term our media as DDM, short for "Desi Dork Media", and I feel that the cluelessness of the journalists is exceeded only by that of their editors ... I mean what does the journalist expect the Government to do ?

That is why I think our society's response to terrorist attacks - mourn but forget immediately - is brilliant. Firstly, our so-called security is a loose cannon that can't keep us any more secure. And, after all, you really can't protect against someone hell bent on killing himself. Secondly, cruel as it may sound, whatever be the number of terrorists, our population is much much higher. How many can you kill after all ? So, unlike other countries, I like the fact that we have tried to convert terrorism into war of attrition, and outlast the terrorists, than actually fight them. And, most importantly, we don't tear the social fabric that miraculously holds this unwieldy country together. I think this is brilliant. 

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