India needs to pay more attention to security matters.
On the overall perception, there is surely a feeling that things are getting under control, with the efficient management of the Ministry of Home Affairs. But that is only a perception caused by the current leadership – Mr P Chidambaram is known to be a no-nonsense kind of minister.
But one has to really see how matters are shaping up on the ground. In Mumbai, which got hit the worst by terrorists in 26/11 attacks, things have not returned to where they should have been in the first place.
I am referring to recent news reports that the supposedly new bullet-proof boats are really not effective, after spending millions of dollars in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks. Also, one hears via the media that the equipment that was determined to be necessary for a crack team of urban SWAT Team are not yet in place, despite provisioning the necessary funds.
Where are things going wrong ? Apparently, the bureaucrats and the government machinery do not seem to be seized of the urgency. Secondly, the procurement procedures do not appear to be top notch for effecting a quality procurement – one cannot compromise or play with peoples’ lives.
It appears that India loses its focus once a problem goes away, or people forget the matter. But this is one attack that India and Indians will never forget. So, if the babus (slang for bureaucrats) play with such critical security matters, then if God forbid another attack happens, how to defend and how to place the responsibility ? It is very critical to follow global processes in Security and not compromise on matters pertaining to the sovereignty and security of India.
India is today in a position to get what it wants. Money is not in short supply. Economy is growing close to 9% GDP growth rate. So, why can’t we spend more money on security training, state-of-the-art weaponry, control systems, higher quality of intake for the anti-terrorist agents, faster transportation via attack helicopters, small airplanes, and fast attack boats ? This job is not for the armed forces or the navy. It is for the defence of the urban centres of India. All major metros need such SWAT forces with the best equipment, and ready to fly out in 10 minutes flat. Like what we see in the American movies.
India can do it. It only needs to remove the usual bureaucratic wrangles and get an efficient administrative mechanism with ample funding.
Let us ensure no more such attacks happen on Indian soil. We cannot just pray, we must prepare and be ready all the time. We should take training help from friendly countries who have had more experience and better equipment, tricks and techniques.
And, we must invest on a tactical communication system, which not only provides highly secure communication channels, but should be able to bring down enemy communications on its knees once an attack is deciphered and makes the enemy nerve centre think that things are going OK for them for some crucial minutes, while a counter-attack is being mounted.
The layman may not understand all this, or not even interested. But this is crucial for the safety and security of India’s large urban centres, wherein we have huge populations living together along with commercial, industrial and retail establishments.
Strategy should be in place. It should be offensive in nature, rather than losing critical time on devising a very defensive strategy. No harm in eliminating terrorists who kill common people.
4th December 2010