Thursday, March 1, 2007

Reacting a Tad Too Late

There is a Kannada saying which roughly translates to "He started digging a well after the fire broke out" (pardon the messy translation). Well, thats exactly what applies to every untoward incident that happens in India.

Two days after the Samjhauta Express blasts, the Delhi-Lahore bus departed "amidst heightened security", as one newspaper put it. Oh great! So by doing this, the events will be reversed and the 65 (and counting) people who perished in the blasts will be brought back to life! And you see, these criminals are seriously running out of ideas. Thats why they are sure to plant bombs in the Delhi-Lahore bus barely days after they pulled off the Samjhauta Express blasts. Right?

Excuse the sarcasm, but the administration must be made up of a bunch of jokers. I am not saying that there shouldn't have been heavy security for the Delhi-Lahore bus. I am just saying that there should have been similar rigor for the Samjhauta Express as well. I just cannot imagine how the security could have been so lax that passengers were able to excuse themselves from the security routine of the train by paying 50 rupees!

But this incident is just an example. Such inaction on part of the authorities has become the norm. What is worse is the pretence of concern and "action" after such incidents take place. From mobs/riots to boat capsizes which kill scores of children to wedding hall blazes to train accidents - the story is always the same. A very avoidable tragedy occurs (often because of official apathy/administrative inefficiency in the first place), then there is the finger-pointing between various agencies, committees set up to "probe the incident and submit a report". The sleepy authorities, given a rude awakening from their year-long siesta, are desperate to save face. All of a sudden, they become very concerned about the people, the public, the country.

The big question is .. why not be a little more cautious in the first place so that the tragedy would have been averted? Had these authorities excercised that oh-so-little extra caution right from the beginning, they would not have had to struggle to save face today. By the way, if you are thinking why I am repeatedly referring to officials "saving face" and not about the officials' concern or country and the people.. well the answer is "What people?" "What country?"

The most shameful aspect of such incidents is the way politicians utilize these unfortunate incidents for political (read vote bank) gains. I have written before about this here. There were reports in the newspaper about how, after the Samjhauta Express blasts, the relatives of the injured had a tough time reaching out to their near and dear ones at the hospital. Reason: There was a constant flow of (competing) politicians at the hospital. Politicians must give a thought to the struggle that hapless relatives will go through if they visit the hopsitals. But, hey, since when did politicians start thinking about people?

I do not know what scale of tragedy is required to really wake up the authorities. I hope they adopt the policy of "Be Prepared" sooner than later and save those thousands of innocent lives. And this policy should not be restricted to the authorities alone. We "aam janta" have as much a role to play in this as the administration. Simple practices like a little more honesty, a little more patience and a lot more principle in life; can do a lot to bring down such extremely undesirable incidents. We can do with a lot less of these, especially now that we are on the right path of nation-building.

Looking forward to an India where more value is placed on the human life! JAI BHARAT.

1 comment:

Ashish said...

Nice post yaar - and quite a marked issue... Wasnt aware of the fact that the security check etc had been avoided - and if my guess is not wrong, this probably can happen at airports/other railway stations too...

Stuff i wana add - security in metros , or even Bangalore for example is max only when there has been a terrorist act/ rumour/ etc etc - and NOT otherwise. Security at most of the s/w companies/ malls like Forum is pathetic... i keep seein it these days. Also - the entry and exit of people to and from India , AND to and from each state (to da other) is hardly given any attention. In this way, many illegal immigrants find their way in the nation, and in each and every state. True - they are detected later - but probably when its too late.

Prevention is better than cure - wat say? :) -