Friday, December 19, 2008

Power & Politics / Mail Today, December 15, 2008

THE MORE things — and people — change, the more the government refuses to change or learn. After the terrorist attack in Mumbai, a new chief minister and deputy are in place in Maharashtra, a new home minister has taken over in Delhi. Of course, some things — and people — don’t change. Like the National Security Advisor who hangs on to his job with barefaced cheek, the home secretary who is left without even a fig leaf. The IB director will soon go but only because he is retiring. The list is long: the Maharashtra DGP A. N. Roy, the Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor, his deputy Rakesh Maria and others down the line.

These are anxious times for ordinary citizens and they need to be assured that the government cares. Instead, we are saddled with a set- up incapable of drawing lessons. Maharashtra’s new chief minister, the fun- loving Ashok Chavan’s only familiarity with the sensitive subject of law and order is that he is the progeny of a decent man who was once the Union home minister. It is now nearly three weeks since the murderers from Pakistan unleashed mayhem in Mumbai, but there seems to be no urgency to the probe. Instead, myriad agencies in Mumbai are involved in a turf war over who will handle the investigations.

The job is naturally the Mumbai ATS’s, but K. P. S. Raghuvanshi, who heads it now, had earlier been shunted out to the railways and is back only because the brave Hemant Karkare, who we saw on TV borrowing a fellow officer’s bulletproof jacket to take on the killers, did not come out alive. It’s not the kind of CR that inspires confidence within the force, not to speak of ordinary citizens. As of date, 12 FIRs have been registered but nobody knows who will investigate them. Jt. Commissioner Rakesh Maria has such a tight media interface schedule, many wonder when he finds time for his job. So the job now lies with the state crime branch whose methods are more suited to dealing with Mumbai’s underworld and criminals of a lesser Devil.

Sadly, in our investigative agencies, as in so many spheres of life, it is connections that matter. The crime branch reports to police commissioner Gafoor, while the elite ATS reports to DGP Roy. Peers attribute the tug of war to the commissioner’s alleged benefactors at the most powerful address in Delhi while the DGP reports to the chief minister who is at Delhi’s mercy.
Commissioner Gafoor was outside the Trident and Maria in the control room when the horror unfolded but it is clear they were able to do nothing. You couldn’t miss the irony on Friday when TV channels reported that Fahim Ansari, an accused in the CRPF terror attack in Uttar Pradesh, has been handed over to the ATS. This when the ATS has been kept out of the investigations.
In one of his many interviews, Maria said he will file the charge- sheet within 90 days.

Why 90? Because that’s the deadline as per Indian laws. It would have been laughable if the matter wasn’t so serious. 26/ 11 is a case that calls for professional handling of the highest order; unfortunately, it stands in danger of falling victim to political one- upmanship and bureaucratic turf wars.


Vinoy Kumar said...

Well said Prabhuji.Inaction and incompetence are hard to go.Until the terrorist attack, the Mumbai police were busy helping Raj Thackrey and his brigade carry out their terror attacks on Biharis and UPites.And the ATS was too preoccupied with their new found "Hindu Terrorism".No wonder the external terrorists found Mumbai a very soft target for their 'holy war'.There is a whole lot of incompetent people in the police force, intelligence, administrative services and needless to say in tne"political service".How many would you get removed from their jobs?
We Indians are by nature poor learners.That's why we have had such a chequered history.The fate of the country is indeed doomed.

Ronak Shah said...

Here are some ideas I wish to get implemented:

• Criteria of filing nominations for candidates in elections like degrees, experience, credibility, reputation. No criminal background or illiterate person can stand in an election.
• Public Resume including point-by-point case of work done available for the voters to evaluate candidate for the general public. Nominee must have social service or national service experience, and must have valid rights to file nominations in elections.
• Open-Debate in locality/media between candidates before elections in front of the voting public.
• Pre-election interview as well as Q&A’s via media and public for the all public servants standing as a nominee for elections. Nominees must not be allowed to give specches by gathering crowds but must be checked on the basis of conative action or inaction.
• Pre-election Proposal Work Plan sheet detailing ideas to be drawn by candidates to show their proposals to the general public as a task sheet for them to get elected in the coming years as a trust-worthy representative. All promises to be detailed within the task sheet. A quaterly report card must be made for all the politicians.
• Sizing up nominations before accepting them according to their capabilities, deservance and experience (cognitive, affective, conative abilities). The public can openly file for removal of a nominee’s application because of an criminal / fraud offence/ non-eligibility criteria of a public servant. Vigilance at every step of the ladder.
• Showing bank a/c funds, assets, family funds, etc transparently necessary for every person from within the family of the nominee.
• Showing transparency of the usage of all taxes & public funds to the general public.
• Major decisions like spending lot of money on public projects concerning the general public have to be approved by the general public through a voting system before any action is planned on there.
• Corrupt politicians to get 10 years in jail (non-bailable) and corrupt policemen / bureaucrats to get at least 3 years in jail (non-bailable). Tougher punishments for government officials amd employees in case of corruption.
• If victims of terror are dead, their family can raise voice against the government for negligence and hold special ‘specific rights’ to protect civilian interests. They can even sue the government for negligence and demand valid changes in the political system.

Salaries of politicians, bureaucrats, police, etc must be increased according to necessary requirements to stop them from being corrupt and rewards in cash/kind for quality performance must awarded. One cannot do social service by being hungry. After all, time has value and it must be given its due.

There has to be a Political Leadership Training Academy to be setup by corporates, individuals, businessmen, teachers and the government. Youth must be imparted training for being a political leader before they are offered a place in the elections.

Please, Please, Please... start an Angry Citizens Telephone (ACT) line for citizens to voice their concerns against India's Politicians, bureaucrats & political system. The concerns must be addressed by an expert group of people who are Judges / Political Analysts and are able to monitor activities of politicians. Give a 'voice' to citizens to air their views and concerns.

Politicians are public servants and it must also be noted that public servants do not become politicians. We want leaders, not politicians.

The youth is honest, vibrant, creative, innovative, quality-thinkers and energetic. Todays' politicans is cunning, dishonest, lethargic but experienced. I believe more youth must be imparted proper knowledge to represent the country in the best possible manner.

Please take up these matters at the highest levels in the country. I hope I can bet on you Mr. Prabhu Chawla to get these implemented somehow.

I have many more ideas, please contact me at my email: ronaksha_h(at)

Ronak Shah.
Budding Internet Entreprenuer, Freelance Writer and Aspiring Politician (after 26/11)

You can reply here as well as I'm tracking the follow-up comments as well.

Ronak Shah said...

Like kerala has 99% literacy rate, why don't we have such a literacy rate for kashmiri people with better facilities, EDUCATION and better environment, more tough security.. and much more for people of kashmir. It will be a strong resistance to the people of Kashmir and help them fight the evils better. Train them for self-defence.

chinta said...

Prabhuji i would like ask only 3 short questions
1)After 26/11 attack why the UPPER class people so much angry becoz the attack was on Five star hotels or their area?
2)Why this time UPPER class people were cricising Police, Political system,Law? Dont they remeber other incidents also ,in mumbai itself there were dozen of calamities and attack alreay taken place so why this time only?
3)Is media playing their 'actual'role which is suppose to be?Dont you think media also become upper class? Burkha Dutta,Sobha de,Rajdeep sardesai none of them went to CST for coverage or for to know what is actually happening at CST.They were (All Journalist-Money Maker,performing role of Agent who represent someone, on 26/11 they were representing Upper class)

Sir, I am really frustated, as we the real suffering people (Mumbaikar-who travel 45 Km each day in 2nd class in that horrible crowd, without knowing that will I come back to home to see my family?)

Sirf TV pe batein karake kuch nahi hoga , do action and this is for all those who only talks and that is also their buisness nothing else. So Burkha dutta, Sobha de,All other channels who never revealed other side of coin dont have right to ply with emption of our common indian. Plz tell them sir
thank you ( as u r only person whom I belive for now )

Ronak Shah said...

why don't we have tough laws for politicans who create rioting like Raj thackery and ban them from contesting elections forever.. why don't have stringent laws to govern the mishappenings of teh police force while we are strengthening their hands..

Sanjay said...

What makes you think that "Impotent India" (the term coined by India Today itself) is going to act differently this time? India's impotency is complete and irreversible.