Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ACT NOW : Bringing Change To The Indian System


To me the failure to come up victors and prove to the world that we are a world force in organizing infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games is a failure again. Nearly as poor as 26 /11








26 /11 when we are taken hostage.

The immediate crisis and tragedy got over, but the hostage situation continues, we are still hostages to apathy, irrational anger, political divide/lobbying , even today after that rude shock. The commonwealth game failure to perform in terms of coming

up victors and showing ourselves capable of keeping targets and our word is a national failure and humiliation!

It is time we stop just creating divides and alienating different communities, allowing politicians to take us for granted or expecting someone to come & change the system for us. Divides and corruption is the key issue that results in this failure!

Its time to start specifying what action we want.
Lets start demanding specific solutions.

Global Terrorism is here to stay, its time to decide how can we equip ourselves to safegaurd our loved ones, colleagues, friends, country men.

The calamitous failure of national intelligence, anti-terrorist machinery and disaster management, should show us that it will be possible to affect change only by being together , united and to clearly point out what we WANT?

Our system failed. Today and on 26/11.
How else can you explain the falling 'down' and falling 'apart' of infrastructure on the eve of the commonwealth games. With teams coping out and not coming to India?
How else can you explain less than a dozen terrorists bringing the police, elite defence and commando forces to their knees in a battle that raged for over two nights and two days, with what looked like no end in sight?

CORRUPTION WILL NOT GO AWAY BY WISHING IT!
TERRORISM WILL NOT GO AWAY BY WISHING IT,
WE HAVE TO MAKE IT GO AWAY BY KILLING IT.

With inputs from many industry leaders and concerned citizens we d drawn up the following CHARTER OF DEMANDS which we put before the 'powers that be' at Mantralaya in the wake of 26/11

1. A single Federal (all-India) anti-terror agency - with a significant presence in each city, with capabilities (software and hardware) for rapid response and the best equipment money can buy.
• Why was Karkare's BP jacket inferior to the NSG BP jacket, in this age and time, when we Indians pay Rs 5 trillion in taxes? Why did none of the agencies have night-vision glasses?
2. Networking of the communication and financial data – with tracking of all financial transactions – develop and set-up a Federal intelligence Grid
• Post 9/11 the US and UK networked their communication and financial data so that security agencies could check on their computer screens on any terror suspect - India is nowhere near that, nor are we even thinking of it.
3. Anticipation of attacks and being prepared for them, rather than post-facto preparation

• When the terrorists started hijacking planes and entering through the Indo-Pak border, post facto we enhanced checking at airports and fenced the border. So the terrorist shifted to hotels and the sea route; post facto we shall make all our hotels and sea ports and coastlines secure. Then the terrorist will shift to, perhaps, malls and micro-light aircraft, post facto we shall make malls and the air space more secure. and so on..........
4. For countering terrorism (as compared to normal policing) we need much higher number/ levels and grades of police/ intelligence infrastructure.
• Intelligence operatives to population ratio in India is less than 5 per lakh in India compared to above 40 in many countries - this, despite India being beset with multiple types of terror – 6 at last count - much more than specific terror threats for the west, Russia, China etc.

• Registration/ monitoring of all vessels on of the coastline. Will also include radar monitoring and regular patrols of our coastline
5. We need a tough anti-terror law and the judiciary to act quickly
• We kept Maulana Masood Azhar in our jails as an under-trial for 6 yrs and then released him to the Kandahar hijackers - he is the current big boss of the JeM in Pakistan. Why did the judiciary take so much time? At that time we had the strictest of laws - TADA.

• In 2000, post-Kargill a Group of Ministers made a report to realign and resolve India's security infrastructure - red tape has killed it.
• To get over the red tape, the PM in 2005 announced the Police Mission to reform the police system - red tape killed that too. We must implement the Police Reforms.
6. We need to fill senior level vacancies in IB & RAW
• IB and R&AW have suffered 40% vacancies in top level supervisors (IPS officers) for more than a decade now and 50% vacancies in levels of SI and Inspector!
7. Mumbai needs to have a directly elected Mayor, who will act as the head of government for the city (and head all the local level organizations like BMC, police, fire department, ATS etc.)
• While statehood (like Delhi) would be ideal, let’s start with a directly elected Mayor – like London, New York, Shanghai.

8. Crisis Management and Training - Massive investments required in the training of the police, firemen and citizens with security drills, evacuation and sanitization procedures. With the Federal Intelligence Grid, provide CCTV networks across city/s with a coordinated crisis management cell during emergency, color coded alerts and a media/ communication strategy.
• Many lives could have been saved by a faster and more professional response, such as by the fire department and the police. Training and drills must be undertaken regularly to citizens and visitors, so that people know exactly what to do in an emergency and not panic – during the emergency there is no time to think and then start planning or making ad hoc decisions.
• Review of fire service procedures - why did the fire engines not act sooner to put out fires at Taj and thus save lives?
• An oversight committee comprising ordinary citizens to ensure that these measures are implemented within a timeframe agreed with government - to address the lack of accountability currently.

• Increased use of digital close circuit cameras (CCTV) at key locations throughout the city/s. London did this 20 years ago and it has helped immensely in tracking/ identifying terrorists in recent attacks. An added benefit of these is to track traffic violations without the need of traffic police being on the spot.
9. Implement National ID card project for all citizens.

10. Regular Communication and Updates – the nation needs to be informed of the progress in implementing this plan. Start with daily/ weekly briefings by the Home Ministry on the total progress in the prior period, and action taken, and action to be taken, as a formal Media Brief. Within the next 7 days, a Time Line for communicating to the nation:
• Who was responsible?
• Confront with evidence and seek global alignment for action
• Action plan for attacking and neutralizing the threat


11. All Ministerial appointments at Government of India or State level must have at least a college degree. Uneducated Ministers, appointed due to vote banks, especially in key/ sensitive Ministries, spell trouble. Politicians with criminal records must not be allowed to stand for election.
12. Leverage the skill sets and knowledge of the best international security forces to ensure that our security and anti-terror forces are equal to the best in the
world in a defined timeframe of 6-12 months.



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