Sunday, December 7, 2008
Some thoughts in the wake of the Mumb...
Some thoughts for action in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. These ideas may have been independently proposed by others and certainly these ideas have formed through numerous discussion with friends and colleagues since 26/11.
Caveat Emptor: These ideas have a general progressive bias, but you can see this tragedy has evoked the occasional reactionary approach
Things individuals can do:
1. Become Security Conscious: Understand the security measures at your neighborhood, your work place and other places your frequent. Look for loopholes and offer suggestions. Always follow security procedures and make sure everyone around you follows security procedure. Challenge anyone (irrespective of who they might be) around you who bypasses security measure.
The idea of Area Suraksha Mitra from Janaagraha maybe a good way to try to this http://www.janaagraha.org/node/2303
2. Commit yourself to making India better: Spend 10% of your time and 10% of your money to make your country a better place. Focus on local problems you see in your daily life and make an effort to solve them.
Janaagraha http://www.janaagraha.org/ is an excellent place to start
3. Make an effort to build friendships with people who are different from yourself. Bridge the religious, urban-rural, education divide to understand the issues and concerns of people different from you
4. Vote and vote strategically. Vote for competance over ideology. Select the best candidate not the party. It is competant and inspired individuals in key positions that can make a difference.
Association for Democratic Reform is a good place to start http://www.adrindia.org/home/index.asp
Ideas for Movements / Organizations:
1. Corporates/Individuals: Develop an online security monitoring based on internet volunteer (use P2P computing concepts). Install security cameras at all places (Stadiums / Tourist Places / Temples / Restaraunts / Movie Theatres / Malls) where security is important and stream the video on the internet. Use volunteers (or even by pay by click) to monitor the output of video camera to report security lapses and suspicious activity.
2. NGO/Media/Celebrities: Organize a massive nationwide rally of Indian Muslims standing out against terror. Show the entire country we are all Indians and we all stand united against terrorism. The image of 10 million Muslims marching an Indians against terror will be very powerful.
Ideas for Governments:
1. Create a Federal Agency with a budget of atleast 1% of GDP to really deal with security. This agency needs to be protected from political interference. One of the first actions should be to create a National ID card for every Indian citizen / resident.
Looks like the goverment is planning a federal agency and an national identity card is in the works. We need to build citizen pressure to implement this ASAP
2. Create the concept of National Service ... Every Indian when they turn 18 will need to spend 12 months do the following:
a) basis military training
b) disaster response training
c) responsibilities and rights of what it means to be an indian
d) oppurtunity for Indians of all religions/castes/language/walks of life to live together and share a common Indian experience
3. Create an elite precision strike force of commandos to target terrorist camps / individual sponsoring terrorism which accuracy and minimal collateral damage. Using guerilla tactics is likely more effective against terrorists compared to conventional army / air strikes and has the potential of achieving the objectives while reducing the likelihood of war. This force should be available but used only with extreme caution.