My Views

Mass Street Protest – Not for India

Posted in India and World, Internal Security, Reality Check by dullar on January 31, 2011

When the Arab world is boiling and people have descended into streets demanding a fair, able and righteous governance, the world has been gripped by a sense of awe and confusion. What has made the people to come to streets? Is it ripple effect? Or surfacing of long suppressed agonies and frustrations? Many analysts and commentators are now talking about further spreading of the protests in different corners of the world, at various level – national, regional or local.

In India, common man has always thought of such protests as – are they worth fighting for. Democracy, some say, along with Judiciary and more so, 2 decades of economic reforms have insulated a large section of society from the day to day problems of governance and livelihood. People, above middle class, have been less concerned about corruption, politics, scams etc because their life’s goals are fulfilled and rooted through corridors of market economy, which by and large has sustained its growth through last 2 decades. Urban population happy with their (Increasing) monthly pay-slips, and pseudo-satisfied in increasing consumption are not the protest material.

For some time, rising inflation has dented the pockets of common man but there is little evidence of their dented spirits and faith in the market economy which continue to be promising. The section of society which lives below lower-middle class is the one which can provide for any protest whatsoever. But they are the voices which mean less than less in the power corridors- both economic and political. They are amorphous, segmented and unorganized to prove to be any danger of concerted protest, if at all.

The only form of threat of such street protest in India lies in pockets. Kashmir’s youth protest sometime back is one of them. But they have been effectively, if not sustainably, controlled, thanks to organized and fully controlled army, which operates under the garb a democratic political environment in the valley.  Further the central government dolled out some economic packages to temporarily feed envious Kashmiri youth. In the south, Telangana movement has been on fire for some time and will continue to do so, as it is also fueled by young blood of college and university students. Their demand have some color of genuineness but a long drawn out political and administrative path for dispute redressal might puncture the steam out of people’s spirits.

Democratically elected governments, police, independent judiciary, grass-root governance systems, civilian controlled army and para-military forces, and a rapidly growing economy are very effective in insulating mass street protests in India as witnessed in Arab world.

 

Lahore Tremors

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Pakistan, Reality Check, Society, State, Terrorism by dullar on March 6, 2009

The aftermaths of 3/3 are slowly unfolding. And what is worst hit that cricket itself. Pakistani cricket is doomed for many years to come. Like the security personnel who have become shaheed protecting the Sri Lankan team, cricket is also going to pay its part of that shahaadat. It was yet another nail in the cricket’s coffin, and jihads have hit that nail very hard. What was conspired, has already happened in Lahore or Pakistan but its shockwaves have travelled east and we are frightened more than shocked.

The same home minister who took the charge of home affairs after the 26/11 tragedy and resolved to provide a secure and free environment to the citizens of this country who were already shaken to the core by the ghastly act, has now seems to be succumbed under the pressure. He dont want to divulge the secuirty forces to secure our cricketing avenues for the IPL. After people of this country faced the Mumbai challenge with grit and sensibility and never allowed fear to overpower our freedom, home ministry is giving signals of fatigue, more so after the Lahore attacks. Experts has cited many parellels betwen 26/11 and 3/3, but one point where two incidents stray apart is the way Indian side is seen to be going at backfoot as far as assuring for security for the sport in near future. Cricketers and cricket stadiums have always been a kind of potential target for the terrorists. The danger of same is now more real in South Asia which is already bleeding with many terrorist attacks in many major cities. The ideal way to deal with all this should be to increase the security cover, gather intelligence about the whereabouts of terrorists and their activities, and put a brave public face in the national and international media so that the public sentiments should not be hit byt the jihadi terror agenda.

A vibratnt, democratic and strong state should never put hinderances on the freedom of its people. State should gather its resources to provide best security ot its citizens. It should not shy away from such responsibility citing lack of security forces, be it General elections or IPL. Postponement of IPL for the already discussed reasons would amount to a failure of Indian state in more than one sense. It will also give signals as how government is going to provide security for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

In the name of security

Posted in Cricket, Internal Security, Reality Check, Society by dullar on March 5, 2009

There has always been security concerns for the much hyped and popular cricket mania summed up by the name of IPL. But this year’s edition of the sporting saga has clouded in some unprecedented security dilemnas and the talk of its postpoonement is doing rounds in the union home department. States has also shown much concern regarding the same. The reason cited is the non availability of enough security personnels who can cover general elections and IPL, both being held in the months of April and May.

Its highly unfortunate that we have concluded onthese lines. General elctions are the biggest festival of this largest democracy in the world where people celebrate their identity as free and sovereign republic and exercise their most powerful right, that is to choose their forthcoming leaders. Cricket is the next big thing that happen in this country in the modern times. The craze and enthusiasm by which this sport sweeps the entire nation is no secret to anybody. Its in this sense that watching and following cricket shows a sense of freedom for people.

Known for its one of the largest security personnels in the world, has such a day come in the life of this nation that there is not enough security for the people when they watch their most favorite sport. Can state afford to curb the freedom of its people to this level that it do not allow some twenty or thirty thousand people to assemble at a place to watch a cricket match. Now the government is mulling over these restrictions on the cricket tournament, tomorrow some other thing can come under the scanner of their twisted priorities. General elections are coming, state do not have enough security forces, so all the people are advised to be in their homes. Is this what we call the celbration of our democracy. Oh no, by the way, people can come out and attend the political rallies and election campaigns, as such events are full under the security cover. Politicians are the only heroes and vvips that we can afford to secure. Yes, they are also much qualified to provide some wuality drama and entertainment to us. Not for one day or one month, but for 5 years in and out of parliament.

Postponement of IPL for security reasons will be very sad and unfortunate precedent, if set.

Military in kashmir – In or Out

Posted in Internal Security, Jammu & Kashmir, Terrorism by dullar on April 8, 2007

The issue of troops withdrawal means different to different sections of India. For political parties it is a new event that will open new ground for allegations and counter alegation. Congress is believed to be forced by its parteners in the J&K government coalition. For secutrity establishments, this is a security issue. For people of J&K it entails relief from tyranny of military, and for the rest of people the feelings are mixed. For the time being central government is taking a round about poistion on the issue and have deffered issue by putting up a mechanism to suggest the course of action.

The arguments that are given in the favour of troop withdrawal are: 1) Given the fact that there is reduction in the level of militancy in valley, the number of troops that are stationed there are more than what is required. The process is already going onfor last 3 months in a phased manner. 2) Military is a mechanism which is trained to deal with security issues, and by training not equipped to deal with civilians. This has led to a great anger among the people in valley which have complained about the atrocities of military. It is agreed that military is doing its job, and the conditions in the area are such that, its hard to make out the difference betwen civilians and terrorist under certain circumstances. There are also allegations of rape, and disguised murders against the military. The human rights situation is on the lower side of expectations.3) The political parties like PDP, Hurriyat are demanding the withdrawal and they to a certain extent can be understood as will of local people.4) Given the peace process that is going on with Pakistan, which has declared the J&K issue as the biggest bone of contention between the two counteries, policy establishments on this side of border are demanding a change of posture upto a particular degree. 5) Other options like replacing military with para military troops can also be exercised and army as such is not required in such huge numbers.

The arguments against the whole process of withdrawal are: 1) The matter of security and peace are supreme and can never be jeopardised under any curcumstances. 2) Though there is a decrease in militancy in valley, but troops are required to secure our long borders with Pak, PoK, and China. 3) There is increased activity of jehadi groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Their presence in PoK can also not be negated under any circumstances. 4) Peace process with Pakistan do involve the long term and credible path, and the Pakistan also have equal responsiblity that they help the process move forward. It is required that they ensure that the cross border terrorism should be checked with firm hand. 5) Increased jehadi activity inside Pakistan has indicated that things are going out of control of Pakistan as well. Attacks on Musharraf, presence of al-qaeda in the northern areas of pakistan also are new matters for concern for India.5) Th issue of troop withdrawal needs an across the party discussions and a minimum concensus is needed to arrive at before any long term step is taken.This exercise is absent till now. But new mechanism as suggested by PM is welcome. 6) PDP shuld not be allowed blackmail the coalition government in J&K. 6) Consultations in a broad manner shoud be carried out with the local NGOs as well.

The ultimate goal of government should be unbreachale security of country, welfare of people, and not-at-all compromising stances with Pakistan in the peace process.

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