16 LESSONS FROM 9 / 11
(UNITING THE NATION -SERIES)
There is no doubt that India and US are in entirely different Geographical, Political, economic and military situations. Therefore, 9/11 may have been tackled by US in one way – but India may have to tackle its own challenges like Bombay or Delhi Blasts differently, to suit its own situation.
Yet, there are certain lessons which do hold good for us, from the US experience.
1. US leaders – be it republicans or democrats, did not blame the US citizens of any community, majority or minority – wholesale, at any point of their fight against terrorism. But, at the same time, they do not compromise on Individuals, whether US citizens or foreigners, of ANY COMMUNITY, who are actually found guilty of terrorism or aiding terrorists in US. In contrast, some Indian Politicians have the Penchant for blaming some community, majority or minority, wholesale – and not limiting their rhetoric to the actual terrorists. Only the terrorist is the terrorist – not the community.
2. Leaders of all sections, Christian and Muslim, in US, unequivocally condemned 9/11 terrorist attacks. This must happen in India too.
3. A terrorist attack on a Nation – seems to be the best Occasion – to gear up the Nationalist sentiment and unite all people in the country. Well. Every adversity has its Opportunity. India is consistently making the mistake of NOT UNITING the people every time such a situation occurs. Somehow – Nationalism seems to be becoming a bad word in India. When was the last time, any of you have heard of Nationalism? This must change. Else, India will be highly vulnerable.
4. A terrorist attack is also the occasion which shows up (to our self) all of our weaknesses in defending our self. We must give our self a ONE YEAR TIME – to seal off all these weaknesses. We must achieve this, without backing out on them - whatever it takes! Yes. WHATEVER IT TAKES! We must do it. No excuses. No delays. No constraints. The Government must take the initiative bring together the Opposition, the CAG, CVC, SC (also if necessary) with itself – and make emergency laws to procure honestly the best of whatever is required and make all other necessary arrangements. In such national effort, everybody will co-operate.
5. We are buying many big things also easily. Can’t we buy CCTVs? We can. Flood the four Metros plus Ahmadabad, Hyderabad and Bangalore with CCTVs, Metal detectors (the best in the world), sirens (for alert) – at one Go. Where the will is there, there will be a way. Extend it to other capitals also quickly.
6. In case of terrorist attacks, have a method of alerting all CCTVs, sirens, aerial surveillance etc at all places in the city concerned.
7. Make even big commercial establishments turn one or two of their CCTVs towards ROADS, making it easy to track the movements of terrorists. If TAJ and other establishments near TAJ had such CCTVs turned towards Roads, those terrorists who ran away also could have been tracked.
8. Likewise, it is not only the High Courts and SC (etc) that must have CCTVs turned inward and outward both – but, some establishments on the roads nearby. Some of these CCTVs may give us a few other petty or big criminal activities on day to day basis also – with proof.
9. One of the beauties of US, UK etc is – their citizens start using their Mobiles and Cameras very efficiently. And, when they give it to their Police, their Police receive them gratefully. Indians also can do it. But, Indian Police behavior towards such information givers must change very, very drastically – if they have to come forth with such Info. You must not be calling them to Police stations at all – after the Info is given.
10. India has both external terrorists and also those in India assisted by external terrorists. Both should be treated with the firmest resolve. The one Great Lesson that the success of US in tackling terrorists is this:
11. If you constantly go after the terrorists, the terrorists will have no time to go after You. Either he must be afraid of you; Or, you will be afraid of him. This one lesson – cannot be forgotten or neglected by any nation, which must tackle terrorists.
12. From the most ancient Indian administrative art – we need to remember a lesson : Do not keep balances in 2 things : (1) Debt (Rina sesham)(2) Enemies (Sathru Sesham). We are not talking of ordinary differences with others. We are talking of people who want to terrorize and humble us as a nation. We should not confuse or equate such terrorists against the Nation – with other ordinary criminals. An Osama Bin Laden was dealt with US in this way. Other criminals and even murderers in US do not get such treatment. Give the terrorist many times that of what he has tried to give us. No compromises. No pardons.
13. As an ordinary Indian citizen, I can think of many such strategies. If our Parliamentarians, all the 550 and odd of them, come together, unite and plan, I am sure, they will devise many more effective strategies. Government can, in fact, encourage brain storming sessions in all of our IIMs and other premier Management Institutions to conduct such brain storming and research sessions – to come up with many ideas with great Potential. As the saying goes – if you want the best idea – Generate many ideas first.
14. Getting the best of weapons for the Anti Terrorist squads, having a hundred such squads at the least,(may be more), Giving them free hand in tackling terrorists without Political interference, Putting them under the most honest and courageous leadership, and such other actions – all can be taken within, say, ONE YEAR, from now – if people and leaders come together.
15. If some rules are to be broken for the purpose, let all parties come together (at least 2/3rds) – and break any rule together, to save the nation. I think, this must be acceptable.
16. Statesmen are not really different from other leaders. Leaders can become statesman – by taking a visionary stand, in specific, emergent circumstance. This is one such circumstance, for India. Let all of our leaders look beyond their party, religion, region, caste and other boundaries – and ensure that India is made un-vulnerable to any terrorist attacks in future. This effort will give India, many extraordinary Benefits (as side-effects!)-making us the No.1 Nation much sooner than ever predicted.
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