Thursday, July 31, 2008

To be Alert

While watching the TV news last weekend focused on Bangalore and then Ahmadabad blasts, what we could see obviously was shock, panic and resolute citizens to help the affected and showing an instant spirit to fight terrorism. But will this enthusiasm last? Shall we ever get organized and consistent as well as disciplined to raise above all future threats so that no one can come in the way of our peace and progress?

In most of such cases it is temporary. And such short lasting steps by the authorities as well as by people like us leads to a wide scale frustration and pessimism in the society. We feel hopeless. This was quite evident when a news correspondent asked an apparently educated, high middle class gentleman at India Gate in New Delhi as why so many people still flock out of homes to visit public places on weekends when there is a red alert in the city? He simply replies- it is a part of life! One has to accept this reality, and accept whatever happens to us!

Why such a response? It reflects the mind of most of us in recent times. Are we assured of safety after we stay home for a few days? Is there any guarantee that things will be corrected once and forever if everyone complies with the red alert?

So, what is required is a consistent and everlasting approach by everyone o fight this menace. A well scheduled and regular program to tackle this problem is the only approach which can be successful. (It should be a software based program where nobody’s complacency can affect its ongoing implementation}

Here are certain issues which I could think in last couple of days, and would like to share with you-----

· Positive Energy in our reactions—what I could personally see in the American president’s actions against Afghanistan and Iraq was more of negativity than doing something constructive. The very approach from their side against that country, government and one particular community was full of bias and negativity...

· in my opinion, only positive energy and actions can correct such complex problems. One of my friends and senior executive in a corporate always advises me—rise well above your competitors and people surrounding you. Then no action of theirs can ever harm you or land you in any trouble. I know that in a complex situation like terrorism, it is very difficult to plan actions that making verbal suggestions. But it seems this is the reality.

· Viewing the events in last 3 days, it was apparent that making appeals to the public to be alert and aware was quite scattered. And worse was a lack of appreciation for people like one in Surat, who independently started thinking about a Maruti car which was lying in front of a general hospital for 2 odd hours which he enquired with local hospitals and then concluded that something is fishy about it. Such glaring examples of alertness should be promptly recognized, highlighted and appreciated in a way that each and every citizen is aware of such an incident.

· extending my view of such 3 Maruti cars being identified and then making conclusions that the numbers were of Baroda passing but fake and were of two wheelers. But why the story ends here? As far as my knowledge goes, it should take not more that 1 hour to trace the original owner of that vehicle from its distributors’ list. I hope that investigating agency must have done it but it should be made known to the public partially at least so that the informer feels some excitement and fulfillment that his alertness and actions is being followed by the agencies and what he has done is quite very important. Such scenario can encourage others to do the similar things.

· Further going to the matter of fake numbers, it was told by the media that this series of numbers- GJ 6 CD ---- is for two wheelers only. In fact this is a very important point and it makes things simpler for intelligence department. In most of the cases a vehicle has to pass a major road where a toll naka is there or a spot where there is police patrolling. Now the need is to update or link toll naka computer systems issuing tickets with RTO data, so that any fake number plate like this is instantly noticed. The system will reject a fake number of a two wheeler when issuing a ticket for a four wheeler. Even make of that vehicle can be linked with the RTO number, so that even amongst four wheelers, one can identify a fake number. Police posted for such patrolling should also be trained and equipped with such data, so as to make them efficient and prompt to detect a crime being executed at such an entry level.

· And record of toll naka can be helpful for tracing the route as well as precise timings of the movement of a suspected vehicle.

· Technology is the only one consistent tool with us along with resolute administration creating high morale across the departments and cadres. As it is well known that terrorist acts are implemented with a wide range of methods and that too in a highly unpredictable way, proper use of technology only can help us with high degree of accuracy and dependability. Why we are too slack in using it is a big question mark. Even if a phone call or an e mail is received and is being flashed repeatedly in media, there is no further progress beyond that in hours or days following it!

Viewby my friend Dr Harin Vadodariya

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