Poltical Will required to curb terrorism

THE TERRORIST groups have waged a war against India. We have witnessed series of blasts in two cities of the country very recently. Our honourable home minister, Shivraj Patil took time from his busy schedule and went to see the victims in Ahmedabad. Thank you so much sir! Like his previous speeches he repeated the following lines when asked about the attack.

i. We condemn the dastardly attack on innocent people.
ii. We are determined to fight these terror groups and will not bow to their wishes of creating rift in the society.
iii. We appeal to maintain peace and calm.
iv. The government has announced the ex-gratia of Rs X to deceased and Rs Y to the injured.

I have heard these lines many times, but the fact remains that still we haven’t done anything significant to curb the menace of terrorism. Why have we failed to do so? The reasons lie with our politicians who have adopted a soft approach towards the terrorists. Shivraj Patil says that he and his government will not be soft on terror and the same man has made a statement in the Parliament — “The ones who have been killed are our brothers and ones who are killing are also our brothers.”

What indication does he want to give to the common man who has lost his loved one in these brutal attacks. The government is buying time in Afzal Guru case even after the verdict of Supreme Court. Why?

Terrorism

What makes the matter even worse is that we don’t have any law to deal with terror. As it is efficacy of our judicial system is questionable and with no stringent laws to counter terror we are trying to fool ourself only. If PreventionofTerrorismAct (POTA) was misused then the government could have amended it or introduced a new law. Doing away with the law was just stupid. Few leaders in the government say that despite having POTA, we had attacks in Akshardham temple, Raghunath temple, Parliament. They are not wrong, but then this logic should be applied everywhere. We have laws against thefts, rape and murder and yet they take place daily. Shouldn’t we done away with these laws and give culprits the freehand to rape, steal and kill?

Terrorists have no religion and to call them Muslims and dole out concessions under the duress of political equations will keep raising the morale of those walking free in the Indian backyard and indulging in barbaric acts under a notion that the government has only high sounding phrases and to crack the whip against them is not a realistic possibility at all. We have a serious problem with infiltration from the porous border with Bangladesh; and while much of the illegal migration mainly involves financial reasons — it is now established that those with nefarious intentions can cross over into India just as easily.

There is an urgency to understand that we need to overhaul the agencies monitoring the security of our country. India’s police to population ratio is one of the lowest in the world, barring the poorer African countries. There is a high deficit of personnel in intelligence gathering. The IB has barely 3,500 field officers. We need to address these shortcomings. There are over 3,000 posts lying vacant in IB for quite some time and yet we have recruited only 1,200. There is dearth of expertise in our security agencies, forensic department and police.

We do not believe in using science to tackle crime and terrorism, the most effective way worldwide. Investment in forensics would not just help get crucial leads in terror cases, but help solve other ordinary crimes. The people to police ratio in the country is 1:1000 and then we waste 70 per cent of the police to protect the VVVIP’s. If these politicians can’t make us secure then they should give up their Z+ security. The police force for some reason is not getting the priority it deserves.

The policy of appeasement should be done away with. The soft approach is not going to help anyway. People can sympathise with the governmernt if there had been any attempt towards the security of the people. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in our country yet. Post 9/11, 7/7, Madrid blasts, there hasn’t been a single instance of a terrorist attack on the countries that were victims of these terror bombings. And here as I look at my country, a proud Indian that I am, I am ashamed to admit that my country can not protect its own citizens in its own land. How long will this continue? We do not have the urgency, we do not have the intent and we do not have concern for our lost countrymen.

The one who entered our territory to kill innocent people should not expect any leniency from the government. Unless we apply bullet for bullet policy, it is impossible to thwart the terrorists. There should be only death punishment for them. As it is we are facing shortage of food in our country, hence, there is no need of keeping these terrorists in prison and feeding them. Identify them and shoot them down without mercy. An eye for eye and a tooth for tooth must be the response of the government to those rejoicing in death and destruction of India. When this policy is applied there will be human rights violation, but we must accept that in the larger interest of the nation.

As a common man I want some action not reaction from my government. The government is answerable to us. If not then it is our duty to revolt and make the government take some action. I just hope these dumb headed politicians do some good for the people and country.

Image Courtesy: freethoughts.org/archives/terrorism.jpg

Should Organ Trade be legalised?

HUMAN ORGANS Transplant Act was enacted in 1994 and it put some curbs on the commercial trading of kidney. But it resurfaced in 1998 after discovery of organised rackets in Noida and Karnataka that year.

The organ trafficking is not new to the world and India is considered to be one of the biggest centres. The number of renal transplants has increased manifolds in last decade and has led to a number of ‘unrelated’ transplants in the name of ‘altruistic donation’. Kidney is a paired organ in the human body and one of the kidneys can be removed from a live person and thus, is most preferred organ in trafficking business. The donors are poor people, who are lured by very lucrative offers for jobs but are paid a meagre sum by brokers involved in the racket, while hefty financial gains are enjoyed by the person at the higher level of hierarchy.

Dr KumarThe Gurgaon kidney racket kingpin, Dr Amit Kumar, has been arrested and very soon will be deported to India from Nepal. Kumar has been on the run for few weeks. Only time will tell whether the arrest of kingpin would have any effect on the kidney trade going on in the country and worldwide. This incident has surely led to a debate as to whether organ sale should be legalised.

Consider a hypothetical situation, where the person X is living on dialysis for couple of years but could not find a donor for himself. One day, person Y, who is in dearth of money, approaches X and offers to donate his kidney for a certain amount. X can pay that much but knows that law does not permit him to do so. What should he do now? No guesses, he will go for it, whether legal or illegal!

There is a yawning gap between the demand and supply of kidneys worldwide and this leads to black marketing of kidney. Whenever one law is broken, there will be a series of illegal activities such as exploitation of recipient and donor, human rights violation. The rich people are ready to pay huge sum of money to save their lives, and there is a set of donors that donates for the sake of money only, or is made (forced) to donate the organ. In a last year’s report, World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that ten per cent of all transplants involved patients from developed countries to poor countries to buy organs. This was the case in this racket too, and Dr Kumar conducted 500 transplants in a few years, mainly involving the foreign recipients.

The various policies and strategies to boost the donations have not been successful. Till date, the supply of transplant organs is left to altruism but now we need some more imaginative strategies. We need to encourage a law of ‘presumed consent’, which authorises the doctors to remove organs from a ‘brain dead’ individual if there are no objections from the family members. Several European countries including Austria, Belgium, France, and Italy have legalised this law and they have witnessed increase in the number of donations.

We can also have a policy, where kidney sale is legalised and the recipient has to obey some pre-set rules such as health insurance cover for donor, no exploitation at any level, no commerce involved, etc. A review committee consisting of responsible persons can formulate these rules.

I think that we should now seriously look at this alternative because the current black market is accessible only to those people who have resources.

Organ TradeMany moralists will not agree with this point of view. Ethically thinking, we may feel that buying and selling of organs is wrong, but is it morally wrong to let a patient suffer and die on dialysis when something can be done to save his/her life? Why not legalise the sale of organs then?

Unless and until we bridge the ever-widening gap of demand and supply, such rackets will continue to flourish. The efficacy of the legal system is also questionable and very soon, we may see Dr Kumar on bail and the never-ending trial leading to nowhere.

Mumbai is for all.

The dogs in Mumbai have been unleashed once again by power hungry regional politicians. Petty ‘taxi drivers’,’chaat waalah’ and other poor vendors are being accused and abused physically in broad daylights, in the heart of financial capital of India, Mumbai. Indian newspapers are full of reports that North Indians (particularly those from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar) in Mumbai are being attacked by supporters of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a regional political party founded by Raj Thackeray in Maharashtra. Raj has been giving anti- North Indians statements for quite sometime and is ridiculing the festivals of Northern India (particularly the Chhat festival of Bihar). Just a few days back, he alleged the superstar Amitabh Bachchan of not doing enough for Maharashtra and insulted him for his love for the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Marine DriveThe comments of Raj are not only naive but stupid as well. Mumbai has 30% population from North India. The trades related to Dairy, Milk production, education, Paan (beetel leaf), Taxi transport, Flour Mills, Vegetables, Security Guards and junk items are being managed by North Indians in Mumbai. In fact these people have become part and parcel of the life in Mumbai and they are doing their best in making this city the financial hub of India. As such a blatant attack on them is likely to hamper the overall functioning of the city. Raj is of view that Mumbai should be run by Maharashtrians and none from outside should meddle with Marathi Speaking people. But attacking the innocent is condemnable act. He is just targeting poor and daily earners and none from those who control the economy. This is the way he want to bring “Navnirman” in Maharashtra. Going by his worldview, some native Americans should now vandalise Indians out there, right?

The Shiv Sena’s changed ways – the party wants to go beyond its traditional Maharashtrian vote bank and hence wooing North Indians – have given Thackeray a chance to make a bid for its traditional voter base. And Raj Thackeray, hoping to divert the Marathi manoos to his party, has jumped in to occupy that space.

I have been in Mumbai for last 3 years and find it very nice. It was the first time in my life when i saw the various cultures together. The Marathis, Gujaratis, Marwadis, Rajasthani,North Indians, South Indians, etc. This is what is known as spirit of Mumbai. Mumbai has something for everyone and this is what so very especial about Mumbai. Mumbai is considered to be the Global City of India. It is home to one of the world’s top 10 centers of commerce in terms of global financial flow. Mumbai is also the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and houses important financial institutions. But the incidents like this certainly dent that image of Mumbai.

The recent developments have revived the question whether those living in metropolis have a right to target migrants from other states. It is high time that as a Social Secular Democratic Republic, we rose against regionalism and learn to treat all as Indians? This political gimmick is unnecessary, unwarranted and will spark tensions among common residents of the city of Mumbai and state of Maharashtra. Raj has lost his political sheen since leaving Bal Thackeray & forming his own party MNS. Instead of Nav Nirman his party is only busy in destroying things. The situation needs to be calmed very soon because the Political Games hve begun (Reference to speeches of leaders from Samaajwadi Party, MNS) and one more incident can lead to chaos in Mumbai which will be totally uncalled for. A sense is required from people of Mumbai and don’t fall prey to this situation. I really hope the people would show a great maturity at this hour.

“Incredible India” notion is a SHAM

RapeDESPITE REPORTS of increasing incidents of rape of foreign tourists at popular tourist sites, there seems to be clear apathy towards the whole issue of tourist safety in India.

Already, several prominent countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada and France have issued warnings on the law and order situation here through the travel advisories they circulate to their citizens planning to visit India. They have specifically warned women tourists about the possibility of physical harassment and molestation in major tourism destinations like Delhi, Agra, Goa and Himachal Pradesh. In 2007, there has been a spate of rapes. The Incredible India tag the government seeks to promote surely rings hollow to the victims of such savagery. Some of the incidents that came to light were:

  • On New Year’s Eve, molestation of tourists was reported from Mumbai and Kochi.
  • A British journalist has alleged she was raped by the owner of a guesthouse in Udaipur where she stayed last week. 
  • In another incident in Rajasthan, a 28-year-old American tourist was allegedly molested by a priest in a temple in the Hindu pilgrim town of Pushkar. The priest was subsequently arrested.
  • In March last, the son of a senior police officer was found guilty of raping a German researcher in Rajasthan. 
  • Also last year, a Japanese tourist complained that she was drugged and raped by a group of men in Pushkar. 

Molestation in MumbaiUntil November 2007, a record 4.4 million foreign tourists had set foot in India, double the figure within this decade. This is however an insignificant number compared to China’s 45 million, Singapore’s 7.5 million and Spain’s 55 million. The problem is that though we’ve been able to increase tourist arrivals, little has been done to create the infrastructure to host these visitors. The security aspect, which is important, has been neglected for long.

Those associated with tourism in the country, are worried about the spate of crimes targeting single women from abroad and have urged authorities to check the trend. This not only maligns the image of our country but affects the economy as well. Tourism industry is one of the main contributors to our GDP. India has always been considered a very peaceful country, but these rape and molestation cases have been affecting the country’s image. Tourists will have to be reassured that they are safe here; otherwise we may see a decline in arrivals, especially of foreign individuals.