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Stop taking shortcuts

December 24, 2008 18:31 IST

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Complete coverage: War on Mumbai
What are India's options after the Mumbai terror attacks?

What must India do, strategically and procedurally, to ensure that the nation does not ever again endure a brutality like the terrorism Mumbai encountered last fortnight?

Please contribute your views (in 400 words or less) to We suggest you list your recommendations; you can expand briefly on each item.

We look forward to a discussion so educative and illuminating that the guardians of our national security can learn from what you readers suggest.

Alok Krwa says:

The attack on Mumbai requires a strong reaction. We know that. But against whom? Can we blame Pakistan? Can we blame the US?

The attack has brought fear and anger in our citizens and the Government needs to address that.

Attacking Pakistan, just like the US attacked Afghanistan, is not possible since we are both nuclear powers, and an escalation will likely lead  to immense loss of life and property.

However, what we can do is make sure that every citizen of India vows to himself that he/she will be vigilant and will report any suspicious activity to the authorities. We need to make sure that we create a sense of nationalism that is required to fight these unknown enemies.

We need to make sure that people should understand that assisting these terrorists will incur huge repercussions from the law.

This is our best chance to cleanse India of low level of corruption. When you remove low level of corruption, it will eventually cleanse the higher level.

We must not let pass this opportunity to make India a better state.

R K Gupta says:

  1. Form a joint anti terrorism command with USA and other countries and do what Americans are doing in Afghanistan. Storm the LeT and other camps in Pakistan.
  2. Solve the Kashmir problem by forming a joint Indo Pak administrative board and bringing together the two Kashmirs. This collaborative effort will make India and Pakistan sit together for governance purposes.
  3. Start unrest in Pakistan and call it the same way Pakistan is doing.
  4. Pressurise USA into healing itself with allies in favour of India and diminish aid to Pakistan. Also pressurise Saudi Arabia to have vigil on funds transfer for terrorism and start campaign there about India having second largest Muslim population, secular and Middle East friendly, and the demerits of Pakistan and fraudulent Islamic campaign by the army outfit there.

Readers option 1: Set up a federal investigation agency

Raju Banarasi says:

First thing is India must show that it is an aggressive country and not a country of cowards. So attack and destroy all possible terrorist camps in Pakistan after a certain deadline. What we can expect from Pakistan that they will show off and arrest a few but all of them will be released very soon. India must keep an eye on this.

We must not talk with them, rather we have to direct them what to do. If they don't accept then we have to proceed with our actions.

To avoid these things, we must take the following measures:

1. Change the law, bring in severe physical punishment. Death punishment for murders, drug traffickers and rapists at the least. This is not directly related to terror attack, but this will help in reducing crime and the police can focus better. Currently from pickpockets to terrorists all are moving on the same road.

2. Well equipped police (arms and armored) and give them some liberty to interrogate people on the basis of intelligence input or suspicion.

3. Bring termination of service for police officers in case of negligence of duty. No suspensions.

4. Quick verdict from courts.

5. And most important, make it mandatory for every male +2 pass-out in India to serve the nation for at least two years. Optional for girls.

Ajay Jolly says:

We are living in fragile times. You never know from where the next attack might come from. On every terror attack we feel an adrenaline rush to punish Pakistan,

But we must keep in mind that we have very few friends in this world. Gone are the days when countries used to unleash wars on each other to settle scores. Even a small step of aggression will invite strong reaction from the world community. So every step has to be taken carefully.

1. Keep our Muslim, Christian and Sikh brothers' faith that they are as important to our country as any Hindu.

2. Strengthen our economy and ensure that there is collateral progress across communities as far as possible.

3. Eradicate poverty which is the breeding ground for all kinds of attrition in society.

4. Mobilise world opinion against terrorism. Sooner or later they will condemn it from the heart.

5. Strengthen our secret services. Internal as well as external security has to be tightened up.

Readers Options 2: War is not a solution

6. Strengthen our armed forces against misadventures of our notorious neighbours.
7. Strengthen ties with USA and Israel, particularly the latter, and stop treating it as a pariah state.
8. Upgrade our policing and counter terrorism squads and minimise their reaction time.
9. Further strengthen relation ship with our only trusted friend Russia [Images].
10. .Last but not the least become responsible citizens. Let's change attitude. Let's stop taking shortcuts. Let's flush out all corrupt elements from politics, bureaucracy and our lives. Let's live as a close-knit country.
Let's hope we will overcome every assault from extremists and terrorists.

Satish Malhotra says:

If you leave the door ajar, anyone can make an entry, be it a mosquito or a man. If a trespass is to be avoided, the first thing to do is to shut the door, rather than squabbling about fixing responsibility for the lapse of not securing the door. Unless this is done some more intruders will feel invited. Precisely the same logic applies in the present security situation of the country.

A military offensive against Pakistan at this stage will distract the nation from the primary need of sealing the leaking holes in our defence. Therefore it will be better to control emotions, in spite of the outrage, and first carry out an immediate and comprehensive review of our security apparatus, system and process of collecting collating and using intelligence, to prevent fresh episodes.

Also, in this context, it is of utmost importance to identify the people in the middle level who failed to share intelligence and at working level who failed to implement preventive measures. Merely dislodging the Union home minister or chief minister for inadequacies in the system will not be adequate. There are glaring lapses in the lower levels for which the guilty need to be punished to set an example for the future and enhance responsibility at these levels. Lapses at these levels should not be eclipsed by the resignation of the top brass.

Existing intelligence system with multitude of agencies often working to project a better image than others, rather than working in unison, has lacked focus and not been a success. The naval chief has stated that it was a systemic failure. It is high time we free ourselves of an archaic colonial system and adopt a system which serves the need of the country. Even our approach towards security needs to be reconsidered. Perhaps we need to adopt a more proactive and preemptive approach. This will require stronger political will and national resolve.

Needless to add, we need to have more sophisticated intelligence gathering systems and weapons. Urgency in the matter needs no emphasis.

Readers options 3: Be united, peaceful and strong

Vishwanath Korgaonkar says:

1. Change in police reforms (police force to be free from political interference).

2. Change in electoral reforms.(preventing criminals from contesting elections).

3. Tough terror prevention laws.

4. Economic sanctions on Pakistan.

Saleem Shaikh says:

India should enter into an agreement with Pakistan and take over their country to form a Greater India. We would require to do it soon before external forces who played and are playing with efficiency a "divide and rule" game with us. Pak's crippling state, monetarily and politically, will be taken care of while we will have half the stress in regards to border security.

We could police everything with great ease as the border won't restrict our resources. We could focus on development more than ever and with a fair lot of Pak brains, we may overpower the world. A lot many Indians and Pakistanis would be grateful to their government for this move. This would be a biggest slap on the cunning foreseers who divided us in the first place so they spark a fight anytime they like and hence hinder the progress of our nations. Sixty years down the line we still fall for their plan and keep blaming each other.

It is high time we complete our freedom struggle for which many our martyrs laid down their life. While ruling India for 175 years the Westerners understood our soft points and things that could help rule this nation without using physical power. The Hindu-Muslim hatred was nurtured by these few people among us which we see so dominant these days whenever there is tension in the country.

I understand there will be a lot of things to fix which were damaged in last 60 years of separation between the two nations but a few generations down they will be thanking this generation for taking this step.

Readers options 4: Tighten internal security

A K Dhingra says:

We lack political will. It is a fact that present politicians are not interested. They propose laws and oppose it for the sake of their interests. Having ambitions in politics is OK but at what cost? Present set of politicians have only weakened the nation as can be seen from different alliance and floor crossings we have. So these jokers (internal enemies) need to be reformed or shown the door. Most of NSG commandos are deployed at our cost, money as well as life, for protecting them.

So change in political system is the need of the day.

Further asking the US and others for help is not going to solve the problem permanently either. We have to be strong enough so that nobody dares to look at us. Today Pakistan may act under pressure but tomorrow may be a different situation. Pakistan may be preparing for something more serious secretly. This reminds me of childhood when children who were unable to confront some mischief, they used to call some stronger to help. Are we kids? May not be. But certainly a weak nation.

Gobinath Krishnamoorthy says:

First, tighten up the security across our borders. Strictly monitor immigrants and advise political parties not to give ration cards, voter ID card.

Make zero-tolerance policy on infiltrators.

Figure out black sheep within our country, who help/sponsor the terrorism on our soil.

Once the above steps are done perfectly, attack the terror camps outside our border without anyone's permission.

Persuade the international community to block all financial aid to these terrorist(s).

B Dayal says:

A strong defence is must for peace. Strengthen internal security agencies and armed forces. Our politician have been treating this area casually.

Develop capability to hit terrorists at their base. Do not allow them to come into our country.

Make ID cards a must for all citizens now.

Control population. No one is talking of this point. Half of our problem will vanish if we can control population.

Readers options 5: No politics in fighting terror

Jordan Koppole says:

The Mumbai attacks are past. Getting the culprits to book is only one part of it. Avoiding it in the future is the most important part of it.

It is not only for the NSG, state police or military to protect the country but also it is the responsibility of every Indian citizen
living in this country.

Set up a citizen network and make good use of it to get information. If every citizen can watch his neighborhood for suspicious people and activities it is no big deal to get the information regarding anything.

Not only getting the information, acting on that is the other part which only the police or politicians can do. So they have
to work to clear these things.

Increased transparency in the working of the police department and the public representatives and restoring the faith that police act justly can restore a lot of confidence in citizens and motivate them to do something useful for society leave alone terrorism.

Also, it is important to train and educate citizens to handle ad hoc situations that can occur as a part of disaster management. These people can be of some help when something like this happens.

Prajeesh Kumar says:

This is to all responsible citizens of India.

The first step is to find the root cause. This entire terrorist act can be done only with the help of local antinational who are located in India itself.

So how we can prevent such people? For that we should have a strong monitoring and action system.

I will ask all the responsible people in India how often do you react to an action which you feel it is against law and file a FIR? Nobody does so. Why is it so? It is because it takes a long time for our judiciary to get into action and it will take your time also to go after it. So ultimately you want a system where you will get justice in a speedy manner, say, with in month or two, not 10 to 15 years.

For that we have to speed up our judicial process and bring antinational under the law as soon as possible. By doing that responsible citizens will act when they find any action which is against the law as they can make sure that the culprit will get punishment as soon as possible. This way we can prevent antinational in our country and prevent support to any terrorist from outside the country.

In the Supreme Court we have millions of cases and only 30 judges and it takes years to finish the hearing process. By that time all culprits either die or get rid of the system. The number of judges was 25 and they just increased by 5! Even though the number of cases increased dramatically.

I know the politicians and antinational elements don't want such a speedy system as it will act against them.

We have to eliminate the root cause.

So my suggestions are:

1.  Prevent or punish antinational who are in India who support the terrorist from outside.

2.  Make judicial system act in a speedy manner so that people who are doing activity against law will get punished as soon as possible.

3. Increase the number of courts in district and state levels so that the process will get finished soon.

4. Use advanced technology to monitor and act.

5. Educate people about the existing laws and to raise their voice when somebody violates that.

6. Judge yourself.

7. Select politicians with strong will and education to lead the country.

8. Form a group to fight against people who are doing activities against the law.

9. Spread information about such group who can help you and take their help (For eg, advocates or organisations who volunteer)

Gauresh Desai says:

Home minister and defence minister should be selected only from persons having specialised skill having extensive military and defence training and should be at least ex army, navy, air force, NSG commandos.

Every state should have its own intelligence agency which shall be accountable and answerable to the central federal agency. Any failure on their part shall be punishable with imprisonment or capital punishment.

Every state should have own commando setup to fight terrorism.

Periodical checkup should be made for security level.

There should be increase in the remuneration as well as facilities offered to our security agency so that they are not attracted towards bribe etc.

Defence and home ministry should have email id for general public which shall be monitored by the Intelligence Bureau, federal agency, prime minister, home ministry,
defence ministry, security agency, all wings of Indian army [Images] which shall interact with each compulsorily every week to discuss the issues and steps to be taken.

Jitender Arora says:

International level anti terror squad will be created with the help of forces of the whole world and wide powers shall be delegated to them.

We have to wake up our vigilance cell of all the departments not only for armed forces but also for the commercial departments like taxation and other departments around the whole country and these people shall check on corruption on regular basis. They must have wide powers. With this corruption will come down.

Raise the salaries of police officials so that they will not become corrupt

Ganesh [Images] Bhatt says:

To minimise terrorism, the leaders of the world should sit together and decide to act together. An anti terrorist team consisting of intelligence agency, coordinating agency and  a technological team, a suitable taskforce to capture or kill the terrorists should be put in place to act. On the long term strategy we should discuss with the section of the people who are planning terrorist activities to solve their problems or misunderstanding.

Jaipal Sindhe says:

All the state police departments should be well equipped.

They should have enough intelligent sources.

All the sensitive areas should be covered 24x7.

NSG should be in every city and should be reachable in no time.

Least of all, Pakistan should be taught a lesson. Any Indians should not feel that India never reacts.

War on terror is the only option with India to retaliate mumbai attacks. Just go get all the terrorists from PoK or inside Pakistan when it is denying their handover.

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