Six years ago most of us sat and watched a carnage in Mumbai being enacted on our TV screens. It seemed like a bad dream as we watched terrorists in action and nothing could have brought home the impact of terrorist action as those endless hours. We heard, unbelieving, some of our media giving running commentaries as the commandos launched their search and destroyed their mission. This was war and we knew where it came from. It was obvious the terrorists were not ragtag jihadists but were trained, programmed-to-die killers. The battle was being fought as much on TV as in the jihadis’ control rooms across the border and on the ground in Mumbai.
In a world where technology changes exponentially as well as becomes accessible to the common consumer, the concept of communications and threats will change rapidly.
India came to a stand-still for three nights as we all watched the State’s confused reactions on display, accompanied by a media who made this tragedy and carnage into a mega event, just what the terrorists had wanted. Terrorists attacks will take place in the future also and the state may not be able to avert all of them. The point is whether the government and the people have learnt lessons for the future and are now better prepared to avert and handle these situations.
It is of course unfair to compare ourselves with the way the US has handled future threats following September 11, 2001. It is not just that they have immense resources and are better able to allocate and equip themselves. Bush was able to ram through the highly restrictive Patriot Act, Congress was more than willing to provide funds and Americans accepted new restrictions for greater security, the US had world support (today we are all Americans, said the French) with the ability to strike across globally as they did that less than a month later. The US also does not have a neighbour like we do.
In a world where technology changes exponentially as well as becomes accessible to the common consumer, the concept of communications and threats will change rapidly. Defence and science research in developed countries now concentrates on developing tools and methods that miniaturise weaponry and surveillance or rely on robotic weapons. The terrorist has quickly adapted to this technology. Thus, apart from the present brutality of the likes of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Al Shahab, the Taliban or LeT, a new threat looms. Cyber terror and cyber warfare alongside ‘conventional’ plots and schemes will play havoc to global systems. It is not just the terrorist who uses these modern techniques; so do criminals and spies in the pay of enemy countries. Downstream activity for chasing communications, deciphering coded messages, instant translations need language experts; money transfers on Internet and espionage related activity in multiple codes, are difficult to follow.
In India we have usually invented a new agency after each debacle which is first opposed by the existing systems, then allowed to function for some time and finally warped beyond recognition and into obsolescence.
So how does the State secure its people and the country’s assets and interests? Have our security reforms post-2008 kicked in? In India we have usually invented a new agency after each debacle which is first opposed by the existing systems, then allowed to function for some time and finally warped beyond recognition and into obsolescence.
The US, with all its legendary freedoms and privacy laws has gone in for total electronic surveillance. A great deal of this surveillance after September 11, 2001, had preceded the Snowden disclosures but this has only tightened measures. In fact, going further, US surveillance over friends and enemies has consistently been extensive, although one does not talk too much about the former. Today the US has aircraft fitted with mock antennae for listening to all phone conversations in the US. Americans download about 5 billion email messages a day. Any State that resorts to massive surveillance could be described as totalitarian unless it unequivocally accepts alternative opinion, disagreement, criticism and dissent as legitimate expressions of democracy and distinguishes this from disloyalty. Hopefully, Americans will continue to make a distinction between privacy and freedoms that impact on security.
Nevertheless, there is no escaping state surveillance. This is going to be the new world where one of the main methods for intelligence agencies to collect intelligence is to electronically listen to every conversation till the suspected terrorist can be separated from the innocent. Terrorism is far from being noble, follows no rules and is not likely to disappear suddenly. Counter-terrorism can be harsh but is required to follow some rules. We need state-of-the-art intelligence but we need the freedoms. It is always going to be a difficult choice.
Is India ready for the enormity of these emerging challenges of the new world?
first you get rid of following movements where Indian governments is busy day and nights in suppressing them, by force…. killing them/ committing genocide.. they are Galo / Bodo / Kashmiris / Manipuri / Mizos / Naga / Punjabi / Tripuris and Tamils.. at the time of independence when we snatched away Pakistan from under your nose after keep you at our feet for one thousand years ( 1000 years ), you harbored with Goraaz and connived with them for adding up above mentioned localities under name of India, whereas, those people never wanted to annex India.
you are worst form of democracy and secularism… if such is the presentation of these two words, then Martial Law and One man show is far better than this. sooner will be counting N number of pieced and you will keep on crying this was India, this is Bharat, this was Hindustan, this was that and that was this and so on…..
you are abetting and funding terrorists and now they are breathing under your nose… as you sow so shall you reap. live with Jihadis and Taaliban / Al Qaeda offices in India….
UNLESS THE MODI GOVT CARRIES OUT REFORMS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE , POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICES , JUDICIAL AND DRASTICALLY REFORMS THE OLD COLONIAL STRUCTURES, ARMED FORCES AND MODERNISES AND INCREASES THE STRENGTH AND EQUIPMENT TO WORLD STANDARDS AT THE SAME TIME REDUCING THE CORRUPT MILLIONS OF UNPRODUCTIVE BABUS IN 60 MINSTRIES NOTHING WILL CHANGE AND INDIA WILL CONTINUE TO BLEED INCLUDING INTERNAL SECURITY WHERE RAPES , DRUGS , ARMS AMMUNITION IS SMUGGLED ON LARGE SCALE WITH ACTIVE CONNIVEMENT OF GOVT OFFICALS . INDIA IS NOW LIKE LATIN AMERICAN CORRUPT ECONOMIES WAITING TO EXPLODE INTERNALLY AND BE HUMILATED AND ATTACKED EXTERNALLY . THE ENEMIES PLAN OF BALKANISATION OF INDIA WILL SUCCEED IF INDIANS DONT WAKE UP .
HAS IB STRENGTH BEEN INREASED THREE FOLD REQUIPPED PROFESSIONALISED DEPOLITICSED .
HAS RAW OPERATIONAL , TECHINCAL AND SCIENTIFIC STRENGTH INCREASED 4 FOLD .
THE DEFUNCT POORLY OFFICERED TRAINED , EQUIPPED , CENTRAL PARA FORCES TRAINED OFFICERED LIKE ARMY .
HAS THE ARMIES SPECIAL FORCES INCREASED THREE FOLD AND EQUIPPED LIKE THE GERMANS , AMERICANS , FRENCH OR BRITISH
HAVE THE ARMIES 400 ODD BATTALLIONS REEQUIPPED TO EUROPEON OR AMERICAN STANDARDS . TH ANSWER TO ABOVE ALL IS A RESOUNDING NO
HAS THE DEFUNCT IAS , IPS , IFS COLONIAL SERVICE HANG OF INDIAN STRATEGIC THOUGHT CHANGED . NO WONDER POSTAL SERVICE OFFICERS ARE DEPUTED TO US FOR COUNTER TERRORISM COURSES WHILST THE REAL HEROES OF ARMED FORCES ARE DEGRADED, RANK , STATUS AND PENSION WISE . FOR CENTURIES THE MUSLIM INVADERS RAPED THE PLAINS OF HINDUSTAN . THE BANIA BRAHMIN , TRADER COLLABORATED OUT OF WEAKNESS AND GOT INDIA ENSLAVED , WITH ISIS IN SYRIA IRAQ AND SPREADING IDEAOLGY IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN THE NEW TERROR ATTACKS IN KASHMIR ARE A HARBINGER OF THE SLAUGHTER OF THE TIMID INDIANS WHO REFUSE TO LEARN FROM LESSONS OF HISTORY . UNFIT SENIOR UNQUALIFIED GENERALS ARE AT THE FOREFRONT IN KASHMIR NOMINATED BY A CORRUPT MOD . THE SOLDER OFFICER S MADE TO FIGHT WITH HANDS TIED BEHIND BACK . WHILST CHINA SENDS SEPRATISTS TO JAIL AND DEATH , SUCESSIVE INDIA GOVTS ADVISED BY BABUS HAVE FATTENED THE GELANIS AND KILLERS OF INDIAN SOLDERS WITH TAXPAYERS MONEY . A NEW SEPRATIST IS NOW BEING PROPPED AS A FUTURE CHIEF MINSTER . THE NEW MODI GOVT WAS EXPECTED TO CHANGE THINGS , BUT MANDIR MASJID , AND FRIVLOUS ARES ARE BEING CONCENTRATED UPON . THE REORGANISATION OF INDIAS HIGHER DEFENCE MANGEMENT AS RECOMMENDED BY KSUBRAMANIUM , ARUN SINGH , NARESH CHANDRA IS THE CRYING NEED OF THE HOUR . NO LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNT AND NO SIGNIFICANT BUILD UP OF CAPACITIES TO DEAL HARDENED TERROISTS SEEM TO BE THERE . FAT UNFIT POLICE AND PARA MILTARY OFFICERS ARE SHOWN PRANCING IN BLACK COMMANDO UNIFORMS DURING NSG DAY CELEBE