Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Enough is Enough - What you can do

I’ve written this post keeping in mind the fact that there’s a lot of anger and helplessness going around following the attacks in Mumbai this week and we need a place to channel this. These are the actions I suggest.

Since my posts are usually read by an average of 2 people (including me), I’d like to say that if anyone stumbles upon this blog, please do whatever you can to bring these actions to reality :-) I’m certainly going to.

And if you need a reason for my blog’s poor readership, well, this blog was set up to cater to me and not an audience. I write for myself, to keep a log of my life. This is in fact, my last guard against Alzheimer’s :-)

Seriously though, here goes…I've split my actions up into three main responsibilities.

My Actions:

1. The Letter

Read the letter below, edit it if you wish, and send it to the editors of all Indian newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc. using both email and snail mail urging them to re print it in their publications, be they paper or online.

Also, as media houses have contacts in the highest places, ask them to forward this letter to as many people as they can, especially the ones with influence. Forward this letter to your friends and any contacts you may have in the govt. as well. Let’s start a movement.

You may copy and paste this in your emails and are free to edit this as much as you want. The only rights I retain are bragging ones - I was the first to write this. Well, actually, my letter is an amalgamation of my and other blogger's and friend's thoughts :-)

The Letter:

Subject: Enough is Enough

We, the citizens of India, demand the following from our leaders:

a. Accountability

Ø Immediate:

· We demand to know how the attacks in Mumbai were allowed to happen. Wasn’t security strengthened after 7/11? Where was security at C.S.T?

· Where was the intelligence gathering network? Why didn’t they spot an operation this huge? Why weren’t any of the terrorist’s cell conversations tapped? What use is all the cellular and satellite technology we boast of if we can’t use it appropriately?

To quote Vir Sanghvi:

…it is utterly and completely bizarre that while we whine about the Home Ministry, the intelligence establishment gets off scot-free even as Indians are murdered on the streets.
It is impossible for the police to guard every building or check every passenger. All over the world, terrorism is fought through intelligence. A good security service penetrates terrorist cells, monitors radio traffic and picks up intelligence about terrorist activity.
The Bombay attacks prove that we have the worst intelligence service of any major power in the world. These attacks were meticulously planned, involved two dozen attackers, many more terrorists in back-up roles, vast quantities of arms and ammunition and, probably, crores in funding.
Yet, our intelligence services had no idea that such an attack was being planned. Clearly, intelligence is the last quality that we should associate with our spymasters.

· Why didn’t Mumbai have any commandos of it’s own to deal with the attacks?

· We demand that inquiries be launched against incompetence across the board. The ministers and babus found guilty get sacked, tried in court, sent to jail and have ALL their assets confiscated.

Ø Long Term

· We demand the withdrawal of all perks given to the bureaucracy and political class. Take away all the free stuff like phones, cars, flights, houses, etc. and let them live on fixed salaries to see how the common man lives, with car payments, EMI’s, phone bills, house rents, water bills, electricity bills, no free lunches, and yes, private security bills as well, etc.

· We demand that a process be put in place that monitors the performance of all babu’s and ministers, much like PA’s in the corporate world. Those who don’t perform, get penalized (with their salaries taken back), sacked, and have inquiries launched against them, with jail terms to follow.

b. Leadership

· We demand that real leaders step forward to take charge of not just difficult situations like these but all political and administrative governance from now on - we’re sick and tired of being ruled by a bunch of nose digging, paan-chewing, tired, lazy, fat, oily, pot belied, squabbling, middle-aged men with poor priorities.

· We demand that our leaders put the interests of the nation first, instead of being swayed by diplomatic messages and delegates from the U.S or Pakistan after every attack. They have their own people’s interests in mind and we should have our’s.

· We demand that every leader be secular, and that fellow citizens reject any politician who spews religious or casteist undertones.

· We demand a comprehensive communal violence bill.

· We demand that fellow citizens vote for sensible candidates who are willing to put their differences aside, and even sacrifice their pride for the people of India. If there are no good candidates, vote not to vote.

c. Infrastructure

· We demand that the govt. increase the budget for public transport. We are tired of being packed like sardines in trains and buses in most metros. If there’s a cash shortfall, money for this should be taken from politician’s pockets and from fines levied on smoking, drunk driving, spitting, etc.

· We are not happy with Rs. 1000 fines. The minimum fine for smoking in public, drunk driving, spitting or littering should be 1 lakh.

· We are not happy with simple jail terms. There have been cases where thieves have been arrested and jailed for the same crime 20 times. This is disgusting, unacceptable and indicates a failure in judicial reform. If a person is found guilty of the same type of crime twice, give him a life term in jail where he’s forced to learn a skill, be productive, and contribute to the economy. It’s time for draconian measures.

· We demand that the central govt. diverts more funds to Mumbai, as Mumbai is the govt’s cash cow.

d. Security

· We demand that the security budget be increased and police reforms put in place. The security forces and police need better weapons, equipment and training to deal with attacks.

· We demand that the heads of security and intelligence forces are replaced and headed with intelligent people who can improve coordination and sharing intelligence information.

· We demand that our leaders have the guts to target terrorists, even if they’re hiding out in a neighbouring country. That’s what satellite imagery and missiles are for.

· We demand the presence of a rapid action security force like the NSG and Navy seals in every metro.

· We demand that every fascist extremist militant organisation in the country is crushed once and for all, no matter what religion or noble creed they represent.


The people of India

2. Sensitivity while blogging

Please refer to Gaurav Mishra's post on how to blog and comment appropriately and intelligently.

3. General actions for citizens
  • Be more aware of your surroundings - report any suspicious behaviour immediately to the police.
  • Crush corruption everywhere.

If anyone has anything to add to the 3 areas, I'd be grateful.



Kishor Cariappa said...

First of all don't bother about blog stats. I can assure you if you do your job with passion, traffic will come by itself. Mark my words.

Secondly, like you, and many millions of Indians, I feel frustrated at times. There is so much we can do, yet so little has been done. I don't want to blame politicians for the mess, coz it is we who elect them, so the onus is on US to elect the right candidate for the post. I just hate when people don't take part in the election process by not exercising their franchise. If you want the system to change, be part of it, and we don't want mute bystanders -- we have enough of those.

If I had a choice, I would go the PoK and Bangaldesh border, carpet bomb those militant camps and send the right signals to future perpetrators. Once we send the ‘don’t mess with us’ message, things will drastically change. Ask Israel and US for proof.

Daniel said...

Yeah, I've been advocating bombing terrorist camps as well.

Though Israel and the U.S are in very different situations compared to us, I agree that it would send out the right message.

Hey, the blog traffic lines were just for levity :-)

Bobby said...

there we go! 3ppl read your blog!

I have been advocating the "don't mess wit us" message from first,

take Andhra Pradesh for example: bf the present CM, Rajashekereddy, the terrorist were like mosquitoes in number...
The "then in power" CM chandrababu didn't do anything, but Rajashekareddy - killed them with hell lot of encounters and whatnots.
Now I hardy hear of terrorism in Andhra Pradesh!

and Daniel, if I was you, I wud have written "Declare the war on Pakistan or resign" to Manmohan!

Ramesh Srivats said...

I understand where you come from but if you want to demand everything from government what makes you think they can do anything at all. How about just asking for security and free private enterprise to do the rest. I have a long post on this if you are interested.

And if you want a few laughs...

Shivraj Patil debates with Sardar Vallabhai Patel on who was the better home minister. Check http://www.rameshsrivats.net/2008/12/shivraj-patil-versus-sardar-patel.html

Daniel said...

@ Bobby:

War with Pakistan isn't the answer. It's only a knee jerk reaction that a hot blooded person would agree to.

Firstly, Pakistan is officially an ally with us and the U.S in our war against terror. The fact that they allow terrorists to operate on their soil doesn't indicate that they are not serious about terror, but rather that their govt is more incompetent than we are when it comes to dealing with it. Don't forget that their govt was kept in the dark about Kargil. Pres. Zardari might be well meaning, but he has little control over the military and the ISI. A war would only turn our last friends in Pak against us.

Secondly, Pak is too large and well equipped for us to actually win a war conclusively. Even if we did win, what next? Annex Pakistan? Make it our 29th state? We need to have a long term goal in mind and not some knee jerk reaction.

Our best bet is to use military action against known terrorist locations in Pak. Also, collecting evidence, presenting it to the international community and having the U.N and the U.S put more pressure on Pak to rein in terrorists, along with building our intelligence network is key to a safe future. In the end, we need a stable Pakistan to combat terror.

@ Ramesh:

Thanks, I like to think I'm a realistic idealist. The letter might demand a lot, but every bit counts and we citizens deserve a lot as well :-)

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