Thursday, November 26, 2009

We Can Bring the Change

Today we observe the first anniversary of that fateful day which has gone down in our history as "26/11", the name given to that three day trauma suffered by Bombay city in particular and by the country as a whole, which is also called Mumbai carnage. It's name as 26/11 (date/month) became more popular because it sounded like the US 's 9/11 (month/date). (We are in the habit of copying names from the west, for example, our film industries in various cities end with "wood" e.g., Bollywood, Tollywood, Mollywood etc. after Hollywood and we also try to call our scams as 'gates' after 'Watergate" of Nixon era).

Though, previously we also had 7/11 (the serial bomb blasts in the local trains of Bombay on 11th July 2006 which took away 200 lives of innocent travellers of Bombay suburban trains) as well as series of bomb blasts in different cities during 2008 itself, but somehow the world was not much convinced, may be because in the 26/11 attacks the targets were the elite crowd, including the foreigners, the Five Star hotels and the elite restaurant with the only exception of the attack on Bombay VT station where the causalities were common passengers.

9/11 changed the way the world looked at terrorism before the twin towers of World Trade Center in New York came down crashing after the attack by the terrorists.

Did 26/11 produce same kind of response and result ? Well it did but only briefly when large scale public outrage was exhibited not only against the terrorists and their handlers, sitting across the borders, but also against the political and administrative machinery of our own country who needed to be woken up from a deep slumber.

After one year of that event if we take stock of the situation, can we say that things have changed for better or are we just using good words to sound reassuring and are actually still struggling at square one ?

Frankly speaking, though, till today we have been lucky enough not to have experienced re occurrence of a terrorist attack of such a magnitude but it seems to be just co-incidence rather than our concerted efforts in averting the same.


Much has been said in the print and electronic media about apathy of our 'powers that be', regarding gearing up the security and administrative apparatus against such attacks in future, but let us ask ourselves that as common citizens, have we really contributed towards improving our security systems.

Security is a word which is very commonly used in our day today life. In today's environment where the threat to life and property is increasing day by day, this word 'security' has gained all the more importance. It has not remained limited to the security forces but has become part and parcel of our daily lives.
Security is not new to the man as it has been existing right since the inception of the human race. In fact the security is inbuilt in the Nature itself. Every object of Nature has its own security or defence system. A rose has its thorns. An insect has its sting. The plants have their sticky or smelly sap with which the enemy is either trapped or repelled, respectively. The animals have their claws, their teeth and their sharp horns etc, etc. As far as the human being is concerned the security has been part and parcel of his life right since Stone Age when he used to chisel arms and weapons out of stone to hunt as well, as to fight the danger lurking around him. He never forgot to keep a big bolder in front of the entrance of the cave where he lived, to ward off any wild animals that may come and eat away his family. As the world around us made economic and social progress, the threat to the life and property also developed and the need of security also increased in the same proportions.


Let us ask ourselves a few questions :


Do we remain aware of our surroundings ?
The first and foremost necessity to maintain secure environments around us is to remain aware of our surroundings. Be it our home, our office, our work place, a train or a bus or be it a market place, the awareness about our surroundings will help us to a great extent to give warning about any untoward incident which may take place. If we have kept an eye over the normal, we will definitely come to know if there is some thing abnormal around us. For example if you find any unattended object near your home or office, near your seat in a train or bus or even near a shop in the market, you must immediately bring it to the notice of others so that appropriate authorities can be informed about the presence of such object and preventive action can be taken before the damage is done. Same thing should be done if a stranger is observed loitering around in an area where he or she is not supposed to be. It has been the experience in the past that many a times the breach of security had been noticed by the members of the public in advance but since the same was not immediately reported to the appropriate authorities, no preventive action could be taken and the perpetrators of the crime succeeded in causing the damage and achieving their aim.
Do we Co-operate with the Security Staff ?
In our country the Security set up has been made so much subservient to the VIP culture that the security staff has become more used to saluting the persons entering a premises rather than checking and frisking them. The more luxurious the car or brighter the neck tie of the person entering an institution, the crisper the salute by the guard. I am sure Kasab and his friends, while entering the five star hotels, with their bags slung over their shoulders, must have been ushered in like VIPs and must have been saluted by the tall turbaned and moustached durwan at the gate of the five star hotels. And it is not durwan's fault. He has been conditioned into doing so because if he does not do that, the threat to get him transferred or suspended by the high and mighty hangs over his head like a Damocles' sword.
Therefore, it becomes imparative on our part to cooperate with the security staff in carrying out the security checks, regardless of our status as VIP (Very Important), LIP (Less Important) or UIP (Unimportant) personalities. The security guard is duty bound to do the same and is doing so in the interest of security and not out of his pleasure. And it should also be ensured that if the security staff is found lax then no hesitation should be shown in kicking him hard by ticking him off or reporting his laxity to the appropriate authority.
We are all responsible citizens of our country and it is our duty to make our society a safe place. As charity begins at home, let us start by making our own home and our work place safe by adhering to safety and security norms so laid down. This will go a long way in making our country and the whole world a safe place, which we owe to our children. And that will be the true homage to the victims of the carnage.

16 comments:

CY|\|O$|_|RE said...

I agree with u that we must not totally blame the government about the problems that we face in our day to day life.....

we too play a big hand in this...

many times it has been observed that people find dishonored when asked to go through the security check, blame the guards ( who are only doing there duty), talk nuisance...and all...

somehow such people should be made aware about this and should be asked to not to ignore their duty.....then only something can happen for the good of our country.....

nice job of raising such an important issue......may be through your blog only......some of them change their way of thinking.....

but firstly we too need to improve ourselves in this regard.....then only we must talk about bringing others on the right line.......

Capt N.S.Bisht said...

Very thought provoking. Nice read Balli. You have raised some very pertinent questions. Hightime we put action before words. Good job !!

J P Joshi said...

Agree with you... we should, along with the government, be a part of the solution rather than be a problem - by interfering with the laid down norms and security systems for our personal ego satisfaction or out of pure ignorance; ignorance in modern times is no bliss.

A very pertinent post on the anniversary of the Mumbai carnage.

BK Chowla said...

Balvinder,I am sorry I don't agree with you.
We follow the rules,we get checked at any entry point,we get frisked more out of compulsion than choice.I don't understand we most the people go around saying that people must also help.Balvinder,I hope you know as to how many people would like to go to the police FOR giving help?They fear that rest of their lives will be spent under harresment.
Security is a specialised job--how can you and I take the responsibility?
How is the Govt able to provide top class security to the MPs?Why not to you and me?
Govt must do it's job or make way for others who can govern.

Balvinder Singh said...

testing comments posting (please ignore)

Balvinder Singh said...

Mr. Chowla, thanks for disagreeing, because if every body thinks alike then no one is thinking very much. You are absolutely right in pointing out that it is the common man who remains at the receiving end. But then it is we who have put ourselves in that vicious trap. It is fine that we are harassed at the checking points by the security staff. But then most of us try to either bribe or harass or demoralize that security staff for getting out of some sticky situation. He in turn takes it on the innocent common man.

If every one follows the rule and assert themselves then the corrupt will have no room to harass. We only send these politicians to the august houses of parliament and state assemblies after getting carried away by their speeches. How many of us have exercised that right to put a negative vote if none of the candidate is found fit to be elected our representative.

It is always the common man who has been responsible for bringing about revolution in the system. Only we have to assert ourselves.

CYNOSURE
Capt Bisht
JP
Thanks for the response

sm said...

thought provoking
i do not think the people who do not vote have any right to blame the government.

Balvinder Singh said...

SM, yes we keep blaming the government without realising that government is formed by people from amongst us and chosen by us only. if the citizens start asserting them selves, things will start falling in place.

Renu said...

Good questions..even I dont think that blaming govt all the time for everthing is going to change anything....its we only who can bring a change and that will happen only when we put our country above self.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yes Renu, it is we people who form the governments. I firmly believe in the dictum that to reform the world you have to start with your own self. If every body does that, well, the world will be different place. No point in constant complaining.

When we start observing the annual rituals of some event, it is sure that we are only paying a lip service. Such an event should be remebered on 24 X 7 X 52 basis. That is the ture tribute.

Harpreet Kaur said...

Good One, But who cares, general public always grumble if they are asked to stop for security check.Poor guards and security staff always bear the wrath.

Reflections said...

Very thought-provoking post!!!!

Generally, the Indian mentality has always been the "sab chalta hai" or the "let somebody else take responsibility" kind of attitude. It is difficult to expect change all at once.
But like u said, if each person rose above the call of duty it would make a marked difference to the society and not the least the individual himself.

How Do said...

the question is not whether we agree with you - the question is whether we are all doing the right things .. whether we are acting on these thoughts...

my 2 cents is that, what we need also, is a sense of communal responsibility for welfare.. it should be necesary for us to do some things only bcs they are imp to everyone's welfare.. and these things shld not be determined by the state... but by us..

Balvinder Singh said...

Happy, yes the public always complain but we have to first look within that whether we as citizens are doing our bit.

Nancy, yes if every one contributes towards maintaining law and ordr things will change to a great extent.


How Do, yes the communal responsibility is the right approach. in fact how many times people have protested if a security gadget does not function at the public place. How many times the customer has pointed out to the branch manager of the bank where he /she goes to draw money that his security guard , insted of stading at the gate is generally found servign tea to the staff and shifting files or helping costomers in filling up slips etc.

there has to be a meovement against teh slackness of security and it has to come form citizens themselves.

indianhomemaker said...

I feel our chalta hai attitude is too strong...

We haven't changed, and we have forgotten.
...but I must say the terrorists didn't succeed at all if their aim was to divide us. I was glad to see the country united after the attack, even though some politicians tried to cash on even something as horrific as this :(

Balvinder Singh said...

IHM u are so right , actually the aim of the terrorists the world over is to terrorise the common people. But the way our cities and systems bounce back to normalcy the very next day defeats the very aim of the terrorists but at the same time makes us complacent and vulnerable to fresh attacks by them. Instead of putting the blame on the government and the politicians who are sent from amongst us only, we as citizens have a great role to play in making our society a safer place. Society is made up of small cells and if every cell is secure then the society as a whole will ultimately be secure.