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The Real Problem

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But not a single politician spoke of the real problem. There can be no change unless India is able to strengthen not its laws, as we have more than enough of these its security network. For this only two steps are necessary: end politicisation and rid the police and the intelligence and security agencies of corruption.

Merit has long ceased to matter. Policemen now pay politicians in the districts first to be recruited. They then pay them to get better postings. They are then paid in turn to turn a blind eye to corruption.

At the end in any city or district, police seniors are men appointed more for loyalty to the government in power. This is true of all positions, whether the diplomatic service or the coast guard. But it becomes lethal when those entrusted with maintaining law and order are too unprofessional to do so.

Or, too corrupt to care.

The politician makes money in equipment and hardware. For instance, the soldiers sent up to fight Pakistanis in the Kargil mountains did not even have proper snowshoes.

Why? Because no one had thought of placing an order, as this was a small ticket item when compared to heavy weaponry, and the commission did not justify the effort for the politician concerned. Similarly, the Mumbai operation showed that the city police, and even the anti terrorist force, that lost some very good officers in the operation, were not equipped to fight the terrorists.

The senior-most officer Hemant Karkare, was seen putting on a heavy, outdated jacket and going into battle with just a revolver.

He did not have a chance.

So while there has to be an investigation to determine those behind the attack, there has to be another equally serious inquiry to determine who failed in their duty, when and where, and to take action. The follow-up lies in an overhaul of the security apparatus.
Of course, this is easier said than done, for the politician will not allow the administration to get out of his grasp.

This is where the people of India come in.

Instead of being swayed by the divisive agenda of the unscrupulous men who claim to lead us, we should make it clear to them that they have to be seen strengthening the system and making themselves and their officers more accountable. Hard states are not made by stringent laws. Hard states govern with a soft hand, but ensure that the entire law and order machinery are strengthened through merit and training.

And are not frustrated but secure, not angry but accountable, not arrogant but responsive and mete out justice with an even hand.

This is when terrorists will be kept out as they will not be able to penetrate the armour of Indian unity

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Such a scale of operation could not have been carried out without local support. And, that obviously came from the Mumbai underworld - more specifically - Dawood Ibrahim's men. So, while all the diplomatic efforts on a global level can get started to get Pakistan to behave, we first need to get our 'police reforms' moving.

Karnataka is amongst the few states that has made some progress on this front. A high-level meeting of police officers, chaired by DG and IGP R Srikumar, forwarded the draft of the New Karnataka Police Act (based on the recommendations of the Soli Sorabjee Committee), to the State government for legislation a few months back. Check:

Perhaps the civil society needs to pursue its immediate adopiton and speedy implementaion.

Muralidhar Rao



Vasantha's picture

What can we do now?

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I read somewhere that the Karnataka branch of ATS has not been paid their wages for two months. I hope this is not true. In terms of what can be done to improve the situation, we need to make a list of equipment (and training to use them) that the police need and campaign for fundings for the equipment and better salary for the force. Karnataka govt can afford this at the moment. The list can be easily obtained in the UK/USA. The second thing that needs to be done is a central database of people. There are millions in India who are not on any kind of record which makes it easier for outsiders to merge/blend in without notice. Everyone should be able to have some kind of ID - this may be forged by the terrorists, but this would make it more difficult for 'sleeper cells'. For example, no one asked/checked out the Kashmiri Handicrafts guy where he came from when he moved to Karnataka 2-3 years ago and he was arrested in connection to the arms being smuggled into Bangalore a year ago or so. These are just my thoughts. Am not sure how these can be done or whether these can acutally be done. Other suggestions and opinions are welcome.
kbsyed61's picture

You are right, Corruption is the biggest

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Murali Sir,

You are 200% correct in saying that corruption is the biggest cause for terrorist having free run.

One more sane analysis from seasoned journalist, M J Akbar

s_yajaman's picture

One more example of corruption

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I saw this in the TOI.

Every law has a price for which it can be subverted.  It is a perfect free market.  So if there is a national ID card, you can pay for one and get it.  If a fitness certificate is needed, it can be bought.  Need to smuggle AK47s - no problem - for a price we will just turn away. 

No society is sustainable when rules and laws are followed by a minority.  I wonder what it will take for our politicians and admininstrators to stamp out corruption.


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