Thursday, July 14, 2011

My prescription for better security for the people - Worse security for the leaders

This is mostly a rant provoked by yesterday's dastardly bomb explosions in Mumbai and the general reactions that followed them.

In general, I thought the response by the citizenry was touching. People from all walks of life extended helping hands without a second thought. Typical Mumbai.

But the news networks made a pig's breakfast out the thing. They tried their level best to make it look like an enormous terror attack, and could hardly conceal their disappointment when it turned out it wasn't. Which, as Greatbong pointed out in his excellent post, is exactly what terrorists want. They would love to see their handiwork as something which has put life completely out of whack for Mumbaiites.

But a point like that is too subtle to cross the bone-brain barrier of the TV anchors and they went hammer at tongs at it. Somewhere along the way, someone seems to have figured out that no one was watching anymore.

So for the last 24 hours or so, the TV networks have been trying to mobilize anger. All day I've been watching TV off and on, only to find some citizen bubbling over with rage.

One guy I just saw, which prompted me to write this post, went on about how horrible the politicians were and how weak the system was, and how late ambulances arrived and about fifty other grievances which it occurred to me is exactly what the politicians want to hear. All true, of course, but completely non specific grievances. The more the merrier, you can almost hear them saying to each other. So everyone lets off their spleen against some nameless politicians, the anchors yell a bit more and within a day or two, things are back to normal.

But it just occurred to me, and I may be wrong here because I'm a doofus who is usually wrong about things, that the way to hit them, the politicians that is, would be to kick them in the nuts.

Not literally of course. To the best of my knowledge, elected representatives do not come equipped with testicles. I mean figuratively, in the sense that we should do something that would hurt them badly.

So what does Narendra Shenoy suggest? What? Eh? What? What?

Well, here's my idea. Not much of an idea but based on my fervent wish when stuck behind some idiot in the traffic who stops his car on a narrow road to buy a paan or cigarette unmindful about all the cars bunched up behind him and honking. And why is he unmindful of the honking? Glad you asked. That's because the honking is random. You know what I wish we could do? Go everyone honks at the same time. You can bet your panty knickers he will jump out of his Govinda suit, giving you some well deserved mirth and possibly reforming his character.

But we don't do anything like that. We honk a few times, wait till the moron has finished, and shuffle along cursing silently.

This is exactly what the citizenry is doing at the moment of going to press. Making random honking sounds but waiting patiently to shuffle along behind the powers that be.

So, what is Narendra Shenoy's solution, you ask again. Well, it is this. I say take away THEIR security. Why should they get super efficient protection when you and I can be bumped off by any moron with access to some explosive and a cellphone?

With the exception of a few guys - the PM perhaps, the Home Minister, CMs of the states, but certainly not the animal husbandry minister or the minister for civil aviation, EVERYONE's security should be completely withdrawn.

I'm not heartless of course. We should give them a good-luck talisman. Perhaps a nazar suraksha kavach. And I'd definitely support the payment by the state of premium for a 1 crore pure risk LIC policy in favour of the elected representative's dependents.

And the thing is, and this is my grand theory, THEN we will see a dramatic improvement in the general security. Suddenly, police will start finding terrorists BEFORE terror attacks happen. Because if they don't their bosses are probably frontline targets.

Well, that's it. My big brain wave. Not much, I know, but I do believe that if all the angry citizens on TV ask for only one thing, the immediate removal of security for all but three elected representatives, things might just change. But like the honking story, it has to be done at the same time by everyone if it has to work. No nonsense about "we should have more checkpoints" or "we should have better intelligence networks". All those will come automatically. Just ask for complete withdrawal of all security for all but 3 elected representatives in each state, and 3 at the center. What's it going to cost you anyway?


The Soul of Alec Smart said...

I like this idea. And you're right - this might just work. Just like the Parliament attack was the only attack successfully "foiled" because better equipped, better prepared security men acted in the moment, and they were there because the potential victims were the supposed VIPs

Abhishek Paul said...


Dibyojyoti said...

Hypothetical. But I agree. Will effectively put a stop to politicians sitting in fortresses send out messages like "There was no intelligence so where is the question of intelligence failure?" while their sons go "99% bacha diya, 1% lag gaya" and similar BS.

Also, Hang Kasab & Afzal Guru. I know it won't change anything, but I, the average citizen, want some blood to play with too. Why should 'they' have all the fun?!

Saurabh Somani said...

I guess the first step would be to RT the hell out of this post, so that the idea gets about :)

Sita K. said...

An honest, caring leader would have already asked him/herself- "Why do I have such security detail when the citizen is so vulnerable, again and again?"
Since that seems to be not happening, I can imagine your idea not being a favorite with the leaders.
On the other hand, I believe your other idea- presenting a collective front from citizens, can go a long way in opening sluggish&closed doors.

Anonymous said...

Truly what they call out of the box thinking indeed. But here's the flip side. An elected representative means, a bunch of us have come together and said 'Boss, you go and speak on our behalf", which means we also need to make sure that someone 'stays' there on our behalf. God forbid, if something happens, we would have no takers for political posts (I would be shit scared to represent the people if my life is at stake).

I am completely with your logic and would even go to the extent of supporting if such a thing happens...but then, is the improvement in security guaranteed? You really think the police are deliberately lethargic? Having a lot of friends in the civil service, I would say, no.

Kunnu said...

Hi Narendra,

The idea is crazy. But it sounds perfect. Oh..what a day it would be..if it happens. I thought of doing this honking to a new level. By Bringing the authorities to a public humiliation by hanging banners on each and every house...and using as many abuses and cuss words in there for the corrupt politicians and authorities...and on the roads, highways..important places...everywhere...idea being..wherever they go..they should see this...and doing it day by day everyday..untill...they come to these senses..

Sid said...

Naren - the problem is the classic principal-agent problem. The truth is this will not happen. Our politicians believe they are our masters. They get elected not because they are the best, its because they are the least worst. As Nitin Pai said, don't expect too much regarding security from those who can't even fix your city's drains.

Sriram said...

Saar, were you putting beerage when this was spawned? #justasking :D

Phani said...

Super Idea!! Might actually work although it does sound crazy!