Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Security is Everyone's business

I had been in Mumbai few weeks back. Infact a week after the very tragic Mumbai blasts.

Though i had an initial fear of going there immediately after the blasts, later i thought if something has to happen it can happen anywhere and at anytime.
And logically speaking, i also had a feeling that security would have been tightened in mumbai because of the blasts and where there are security checks, there threats are also relatively less . So that made me feel that probably Mumbai would be a safer place now than ever before.

So i just decided to have maximum fun and visited many popular places like Gateway of India, Mahlakshmi temple, Siddhi vinayak temple, Marine Drive, Haji Ali Mosque etc.

Of all these places, i did find some basic security at gateway of india ,extreme security at Siddhi vinayak and mahalakshmi temples.
And very surprisingly no security at Haji Ali mosque. Probably Govt feels that the terrorists will not target a muslim dominated place, which in my opinion is a foolish thought.

Though i was really surprised to see the Govt not providing any security at Haji Ali, where i saw a maximum number of people (from all religions) as compared to other places, i convinced myself that it's a very costly affair for the Govt also to provide security everywhere.

But then i was shocked at the way the security checks were happening at the mahalakshmi temple.
It was like this...
With some metal detectors they first checked me (just the way it happens in airport). Here my bag was not checked.
And after that a lady asks me to come forward so that she can check my bags.
But when i gave my bag..she said in Hindi...' I will not open it u open it urselves'.
I agreed and just started to open the zip of bag...and before i could even open it fully and show her my bag..she peeps into my bag from that small opening (just for name sake) and tells in hindi 'Ok ..u can go'
I really wonder what she checked in my bag without even opening it properly:S
Even if i was carrying a small bomb she can never find it out, from the way she did the check

This clearly proves that Quality of Indian security is very bad. And the reason for this is not the Govt directly , but the people themselves.
When i say people, it's people working for the security deaprtments and at the same time common man as well.
Though Govt is spending so much on increasing security, have the security officials at the grass root level ever realised the need for it and importance of it. Or are they doing their job just for name sake?
The importance of security has not reached the grass root level in the security enforcing orgs, be it indian police, or army, navy or airforce.

CNN IBN Live had recently shown how one of their correspondents crossed the sea with big RDX kind of materials three times and came to india. And none of the times the security and the customs could catch them. They had done this as a case study to see how efficient is our security forces.
The reason for this was that the security guards and the police living in those coastal areas are not really motivated enough to take care of things and they just do it without any passion.
And many times they don't even know what they should do.

This seems to be true everywhere and not just with Govt security officials.
I see similar behaviour in my companies security gaurads also. My security checking lady knows me pretty well, so she has literally stopped checking my bags these days :)
I carry my thumb drive everyday to office which is actually not allowed and no one could find it till now.
But then the problem here is not just with the security gaurd, it's also with me:)
Ideally i should be reporting about it to the seniors, but then if i do that then i cannot carry my thumb drive anymore. So i dont. Haha :D Just kidding
But then this exactly is happening everywhere. People don't feel responsible for securing themselves or things around us. They are more worried about their freedom and they see security checks as something that hampers their freedom. I see many people resisting to security checks and feeling insulted.

People must realise that it's very important to ensure that security formalities are properly done, even if takes away sometime of theirs.
And we should also motivate and make all those security gaurads realise the importance of their job, so that they do it well. Not the way it's done in Mumbai temples.

Some years back there was something called ' Janmabhoomi' programme started in Andhra Pradesh, which means that the common citizen and the govt share the responsibilities of locality upliftments rathen than totally depending on the Govt.
For example, if i want to bring drainage system in my locality, then the localites come together and plan for it and get it done by themselves, and the Govt pays half the expenditure. This way we need not wait for the Govt to monitor and manage eveything which is usually time consuming.

I think similar thing for security should also be done. Responsibility must be shared by all.
Security is everyone's business.

2 comments:

సుధాకర్(శోధన) said...

This is very much true in almost everywhere in india. I see such instances of very naive security checks everywhere in hyderabad.

K.G.Shriram said...

I luv Bombay too !

Lived there for 9 years... Have taken a temporary reprieve at Nasik.

Learning how to make sevai from Mom !

And taking about security... Bombay is secure because everyone is watching everyone ! And the beggars have the best eyes of them all... even a beggar is a professional here...

Also I make it a point to never travel by first class...it is prudent to note in all trains compartments had brokers of a certain vertical travelling regularly... My hunch is that it was about money...