Bomb blast

Be fair in the Blame game

9:25 AM

Mumbai is a city that has seen too many terror attacks and bomb blast, India seem to barely get over one blast that another one occur somewhere else. And with each attack the medias go on a field trip: Who is to blame, is the Government too lax?, are our intelligence agency efficient, has the police done its job, could this have been avoided? Who is to blame.
The finger pointing game starts between governments agencies, political parties, political figures, no one want to accept even a dollop of responsibility.
While the finger pointing game is on, media congratulate the resilient spirit of Mumbai, life goes on, interest die, and in an effort to show that they are doing something, some official bodies increase security in hot spots, put billboards to remind citizens to be alert and hope no other calamity will strike…
But wait let’s rewind a little bit shall we? The part about the billboard to raise awareness about  citizen alertness.
That one actually implies that all of us, and yes that’s you and me included have a part to play in making our cities safer, and by far the most sensible advice of all.
It’s pretty easy to do your part as a citizen, start by reporting suspicious unattended luggage. There I said it, it is easy!
And apparently according to an experiment conducted by the Hindustan Times with the findings published today in Mumbai’s HT cafe supplement dated Tuesday September 20th 2011, page tree (epaper link here), not so much, the journalists did leave a huge black bag in several hot spots location, including on the seat of the local train which has been the scene of a bloody attack on July 11 2006, in all six location not one person noticed, or cared, in the train one guy even grabbed the bag, shoved it aside so he could get the window seat, same scenario at a bus stand, and in another location the street cleaning staff just cleaned around it without raising an eyebrow, in front of the court, policemen passed in front of it without noticing it.
I sadly think it says it all, what if the infamously praised resilient spirit of Mumbai isn’t just perceived as such when in fact it could be just not really paying attention and caring about safety? I think I said it once or twice in the past few years, one thing that actually puzzled me about India is a screwed sense of civism, or lack of it all together. Could that actually make the job of terrorists that much easier? After all if no one seem to pay attention to big black piece of unattended luggage in places that have been the target of attacks in the past, it just proves how easy it is to leave a bomb anywhere.
In the same line of sloppy safety measures, the Mumbai mirror reported a few weeks back about a training exercise conducted by the city police itself, sending some policemen in plain clothes in shopping malls carrying a gun to put the metal detector and body search conducted at the entrance in 4 big malls, all mall security staff failed to detect the gun which was tuck into the policemen’s pants, that’s how easy it is to bring a weapon into a mall, people. Proving the point I had for years in Bangalore that these measures are just bogus and there or to give a false sense of security to people, or just be a propaganda destined to keep people fearing attack and the proof that the government cares about the citizen that elected it in it’s present form…sigh
So who’s fault is it that India isn’t safer? All of us, the government for being lax and corrupted, the police force for having a few rotten tomatoes among their rank who discourage citizens from reporting suspicious parcels, the private security staff in malls for not doing their job, and us people for just not doing our bit, reporting bags is one thing, but what about constantly making an effort to keep streets clean so that hiding a bomb in a pile of rubbish becomes less easy? And of course just doing a concrete effort at ending corruption in the first place.


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