Monday, December 01, 2008

Mumbai - Where did we go wrong?

By Admiral Arun Prakash

The diabolic, well coordinated and ruthlessly executed multi-pronged terrorist assault on Mumbai has left the nation punch-drunk. And 48 hours later, we still have only a hazy notion of what hit us and how. Since Mumbai is a great port city, many in the media have been looking seawards for clues, and asking the inevitable question: could the Indian Navy (IN) or Coast Guard (CG) have done anything to stop the terror strikes? The dramatic high seas interception of two merchant ships, and their internment in a Gujarat port has added grist to the mill.

I think many of us are missing the wood for the trees. No set of people could have walked off a merchant ship in Sassoon Docks or stepped out of a dinghy at Machhlimar Nagar and launched these attacks. This operation called for reconnaissance, logistics, communications, local support and perhaps even rehearsals; all requiring time. The number of persons involved, directly or indirectly, could easily run into dozens if not a hundred. It speaks of the abysmal depths plumbed by our police and intelligence apparatus that they failed to hear an underworld rumour or a whisper on the airwaves, or obtain any sort of warning at all. But that seems to be now “par for the course” in India.

Soon after the July 2006 serial train blasts in Mumbai, which resulted in over 500 dead and injured, I attended a high level inter-ministry meeting to discuss this issue. After presentations, discussions and brain-storming lasting a couple of hours, a final question was asked by the Cabinet Secretary: what urgent remedial and precautionary measures should we take to prevent recurrence of such incidents?

After a pregnant silence, the sole suggestion that came was voiced by a junior functionary: “We must give the SHOs at the thana level more and better quality walkie-talkie sets.” I was shaken to the core because of the pedestrian and worm’s eye perspective that it demonstrated; not high-technology, not intelligence, not weapons, but walkie-talkies! And this was in 2006, after the nation had been experiencing bomb blasts or terrorist attacks with monotonous regularity in the wake of the horrifying 1993 Mumbai carnage. The score today, of course, stands much higher.

What we have been facing for many years now, and continue to face, is an “asymmetric war”, waged by a ruthless and imaginative intelligence agency. This war has many dimensions; aiding separatism and insurgency, attacking our economy by pumping in fake currency, inciting communal violence, and undermining the morale and cohesion of the armed forces (often through the instrumentality of the Indian media) are some other facets of this multi-pronged assault by the Pak Inter-Services Intelligence agency on the hapless Indian State.

Its most obvious manifestation has been the cold-blooded orchestration of violence amidst our civilian population. This is done through a complex and well-organized network of agents and surrogates, indigenous and foreign, who are trained, equipped and financed to wreak havoc. Mumbai was obviously a soft and undefended target, where they perpetrated mayhem with impunity.

Like ostriches with heads buried deep in sand, we have refused to acknowledge this asymmetric war. And full responsibility for this situation must be accepted by Indian politicians of all hues, who in their ruthless quest for votes and political one-upmanship, have systematically undermined every instrument of state, and rendered the nation vulnerable. While using it to gain electoral “brownie points” they have failed to make terrorism an issue of sharp focus for the security establishment, and our response to the asymmetric war has therefore remained disjointed, fragmented and disorganized for three reasons.

Firstly the netas have has emasculated the police forces and made the intelligence agencies ineffective by interference and politicization, so that they are unable to discharge their core functions. Secondly, the national security establishment has encouraged turf distribution and creation of fiefdoms, and thereby deprived itself of the benefits of holistic thinking and synchronized action. And lastly, in a system that must be unique world-wide, the Armed Forces are kept on the margins of national security management by a powerful bureaucracy, and rarely consulted or heard by politicians; even on issues in which they have exclusive expertise.

Let us return to Mumbai, which is not only a metropolis, port city and financial hub but also home to vital India’s nuclear establishments and the Western Naval Command. There can be little doubt that the city’s porous water-front is its Achilles heel, as is the state’s long coastal belt. But Maharashtra received adequate warning 15 years ago, when in 1993 the “mafia” landed a few tons of arms and explosives by boat near Ratnagiri, and with police connivance, transported them to Mumbai for the carnage that was to follow.

Soon thereafter, all coastal states were directed by the Centre to raise marine police wings equipped with high speed boats and communication equipment. To my knowledge, only Kerala has put together a small unit of this type, while the other states unrealistically expect the IN or the CG to undertake coastal policing functions. These two Services are meant to operate at sea, and cannot, for example, undertake patrolling of Juhu, Chowpatti, Cuffe Parade or Alibag; which is the job of the marine police.

However, that is not all. Like much else in our country, port and coastal security is in a total mess, because at least 14 ministries, departments and agencies (e.g. MoST, MHA, MoD, DG Shipping, ONGC, Customs, Immigration, Fisheries and so on) have a degree of involvement in maritime related issues. Most of the time our security is compromised because the left hand does not know what the right is doing. Agencies work at cross purposes, while important harbours like Mumbai remain unguarded.

For years, the IN has been pleading with te GoI that there is a dire need to constitute a central Maritime Commission for regulation, coordination and oversight of maritime security. That this eminently sensible proposal is languishing due to bureaucratic obduracy is proof of our political myopia and lack of resolve. Let us look at how other nations handle similar situations.

New York was struck by terrorists on 11th September 2001. By 1st October, a Homeland Defence Command had been established and placed under a 4-star military officer. The US Secretary of the Army stated: “…homeland security is the No. 1 job for the US military and we will act accordingly.” On 26th October, Public Law 107-56 was enacted by the US Congress without debate. The contrived acronym USA PATRIOT (standing for: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) explains the purport of the Act. With the sweeping powers available, the Homeland Defence Command has ensured that the USA has remained free of terrorism since 2001. Need one say more?

France, perceiving many serious threats from seawards, revived an old Napoleonic institution: the Prefet Maritime (Maritime Prefect) to implement security in a coherent and holistic manner. This functionary is the “…servant of the French State who exercises authority over the sea in a Prefecture. He reports to the Prime Minister for civil functions and to the Chief of Defence Staff for military operations.” A 3-star Admiral each has been placed in charge of the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Channel coasts of France, and is empowered to coordinate the efficient functioning of agencies like the navy, coast guard, marine police, customs, immigration, pollution control, search & rescue etc. No bickering like we have in Mumbai; France can afford to sleep in peace.

India’s coastal, maritime and national security too, would be tremendously enhanced if the Commanders-in-Chief of the Western and Eastern Naval Commands were to be similarly empowered. But for that we will not only need to reach a higher level of security consciousness but also learn to repose faith, confidence and responsibility in the only national institution which continues to function with dedication, efficiency and intense patriotism: the Indian Armed Forces.

Every newspaper and TV channel is, today, reflecting how drastically the stock of the politician has fallen with the common man. If India’s polity wants to redeem itself in the public eye they must forget hypocritical vacuous statements, forget ex-gratia payments, forget commissions of enquiry; there is only one service they can perform for the nation. And that is to convene an emergency session of both Houses of Parliament, and, sinking their petty differences, show the people that for once they have not their own, but the nation’s vital interests at heart.

This historic session of Parliament should enact or start the process for legislation for:

· Constituting a Homeland Defence Organization, be it a civil ministry, a military command or a combination of the two, with appropriate instruments at its disposal.
· Empowerment of this organization with wide-ranging authority to, inter alia, monitor the movements, search and detain if necessary individuals suspected of posing a threat to the nation, gain access to telephones, e-mails, bank accounts and any other information in the interest of homeland safety.
· Implementing reforms to free the police forces of the debilitating yoke of political interference.

Yes this will be a draconian measure, but for how long must the people of India remain hostage to terror exported from the neighbourhood, due to the weakness and lack of resolve of our leaders?

(Admiral Prakash was Chief of the Naval Staff from 31 July 2004-31 Oct 2006. He currently lives in Dehradun. This column is from Mail Today, which he occasionally contributes to)


Anonymous said...

I wonder why this sudden indignation and frothing in the mouth.....militancy has been around since 1947...bombs have exploded in Delhi/Jaipur other places...ofcourse not live on all of a sudden deep concern if the FIA will really take off or anything is going to change.....just need a live TV coverage...not like the 4 BSF men in Tripura, (but they arent included in the heros list) who died in Tripura but no one was hopping mad .it wanent on TN Naaaa.......

Atty said...

Very thoughtprovoking and perspicacious piece by the Admiral.His usual style - incisive and erudite.Understandably,the spotlight now is on the shortcomings and
holes in our coastal security management.Singapore could provide some pointers.Singapore has a
Maritime Security Committee established to coordinate Singapore's
Maritime Security Strategy. The MSC is an inter-Ministry and
inter-agency organisation that comprises representatives from the
Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Transport as
well as the intelligence and defence technology agencies. The MSC
serves to establish an overarching maritime security framework and
strategy(just the sort of thing which we badly require in our country). Among other things,they have installed a Harbour Craft
Transponder System or HARTS. HARTS is a tracking system that covers
all Singapore-registered small craft, below 300 GRT, to enable the
close monitoring of these craft that are currently not tracked by the IMO mandated
AIS(Auotomatic Identification System - used for tagging vessels above 300 GRT). The time has come to replicate such a model here
in India.The question is - who will make it happen and how?

Ashish said...

This article is an incredible eye opener. I think it would be a great service to the nation if this is passed on to some sensible govt functionaries who can visualise the urgency of the matter and take appropriate steps forthwith.Lets get out of the drama being enacted by leaders who are offering resignations and trying to take high moral grounds. While those in opposition are demanding heads with imputiny. Its time to help ourselves. We all know that even God helps those who help themselves. This is the time for actions and no knee jerk reactions. Lets confront outsiders once we have put our house in order.

Anonymous said...

the failure was that we were unable to bring the episode to an end quickly.nsg came late and from the footage we could see they surprisingly didnt hv any close quater combat weapons. mp5 arent effective if u cant get close enuf.nariman house op was a disaster. tv cams shuld not hv shown anything, terrorists cud b gettin instructions frm bosses in pak, watching everything on tv.
many innocent jews were killed.

nandycool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I hope the anlysis and the theory is not correct. After the terrifying incident at Mumbai and subsequent loss of lives of dedicated soldiers the so called honoured men (politicians, beauracrats, our seniors) responsible for making rules and policies understands the need of the hour.


An article by Brig Harwant Singh (Retd) is produced below for the consumption of all. Just go through the same and be free to make own judgements.

SCPC: Is it a conspiracy?
Ever since the recommendations of the 6 Pay Commission were made public and the subsequent farce enacted by the Committee of Secretaries (COS), ostensibly to correct the utmost glaring anomalies affecting the Defence Services, many writers have opined that yet another degradation of the military: "Is a deliberate act" by the bureaucracy.

Just before WW II, when Hitler had made up his mind to attack Russia, the German intelligence launched a massive operation to convince Stalin, the Russian dictator, about the unreliability of the Russian military and an imminent military coup against him. So successful was the German ploy that Stalin launched massive purges against his military. About 40,000 (forty thousand ) officers were executed in the process. When the Germans eventually attacked Russia, the Russian military was virtually leaderless, resulting in stunning German victories which brought them at the very gates of Moscow.

Similar game is being played against our military by our (potential) enemies for quite some time. When Nehru died in 1964, wiser from the massive problems of crowd control which were faced during Mahatma Gandhi's funeral, last rites arrangements were handed over to the Army at the very last minute. The then Army Chief, Gen JN Chaudhary, moved a brigade to Delhi for that purpose. Pakistan intelligence reportedly alerted our govt. Though it was too late and perhaps too risky to countermand the Chief's order at that stage, the clever 'Bureaucrats' came with a plan to, reportedly, appoint the three military chiefs as "Chief Mourners" to be present at the late Prime Minister's body, pending his funeral, (so that they could not launch any coup). No wonder later the govt passed orders that no formation could be moved to Delhi without its permission. That's why when other Prime Ministers died the Chiefs were no longer put as "Chief Mourners", (for there was no need to thus 'confine' them). Later the 'Vested Interest' convinced an insecure and suspicious Mrs India Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, to raise a parallel army with artillery and other supporting weapons, in the form of BSF. This increased vast 'Establishment' for the IAS and opened flood gates of opportunities and promotions for the IPS officers. Can the BSF handle Artillery Guns in Siachen or Nathu La?

During the Indo-Pak stand- off in 1986-87, in the form of Exercise "Brass Tacks" (and later 'Operation Trident' ), as confirmed by Pakistani Gen Arif in a book, the Pak ISI, spread canard of military take over in India. Unfortunately Mr Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister appeared to have swallowed the bait hook line and sinker and Pakistan killed two birds with one stone. Not only any possibility, how so remote it might have been, of any Indian attack, was removed, but a strong suspicion was sown in the young mind of the Prime Minister against the then army chief, General Sundreji. When the mutual relations between the two deteriorated as a sequel to the on going Bofors controversy, Gen Sunderji, after his retirement in an interview to "India Today" in July Bofors Gun 1989 remarked , "What could they have done to me? Get me killed through RAW." The very fact that a thought of RAW killing him crossed his mind speaks volumes in itself. No wonder, the Indian Defence Services suffered massive degradation at the behest of the 4th and 5th Pay Commissions..

Now, through the mechanism of the 6th Pay Commission, the process of that massive degradation and humiliation of our Defence Services has almost been completed. It appears to be aimed at total breakdown of their self- confidence and working relationship with the Para Military Forces (PMF). In the light of 'Red Corridor' spanning about one third of India covering almost 160 districts from Pashupati in Nepal to Tirupati in south India, where hardly any governance exists; frequent pan India serial blasts by the terrorists at will; dangerous spread of regionalism and religious hatred; very strong centrifugal forces are at play. These centrifugal forces have a strong potential to balkanize India (to a manageable size– which is the stated aim of Pakistan, perhaps an 'unstated' one by China too). If, the only centripetal force, the military, can be rendered dysfunctional due to its low self esteem, poor morale and perpetual bickering between it and the PMF, our enemies would have delightfully achieved their aim.

In view of the foregoing, is it far fetched to theorise that a conspiracy is on against India to break it and the 6th Pay Commission is just one of its tools? After all, our bureaucracy is notorious for its all pervasive corruption. With just a few thousand crores per head stashed/ stacked in foreign banks, (coming back as FDI- thanks to Finance Ministry) perhaps some of the bureaucrats have been occasionally bought by our enemies to play 'fifth columnists' against their own country by weakening its Defence Services. Otherwise how can one explain non- implementation of Subrahamanyam Report after 'Kargil' fiasco. Every one agrees that 'Kargil' was a massive intelligence failure, interestingly the then RAW chief who should have been held accountable for it, was sent as Governor of Arunanchal Pradesh, perhaps, as a reward.

We have a strong tradition of Raja Ambhis, Jai Chands and Mir Jaffars, just to name a few. It is not beyond the pale of imagination that they are again active in their modern avtars in the form of our 'Review Committees' and others bent upon destroying the morale and motivation of the Indian Military Might. When finally the final moment of reckoning comes, perhaps history would repeat itself as it has been doing from Alexander the Great onwards; over a span of about 2300 years, with just one exception of 1971 AD,victory in Bangladesh.

The nation needs to understand that degrading the Rank, Honour and skewing the Pay Parity of the Armed Forces vis a vis the Para Military Forces and Bureaucrats will render its Military "Might" to a "Naught". We need to urgently address/ set right all the Pay Commission anomalies and restore the morale of the Military

Anonymous said...

In every tragedy lies opportunity. Esteemed Admiral and my fellow countrymen snd women - Our strength and our weakness is our character.
Through the ages we have not really provided any resistance to determined adversaries - The erstehile plunderers became the plundered as they assimilated into our society.
We have limited needs - food, shelter, family and children preferably sons.
We manage our affairs using associative bonhomie rather than cool calculation and self interest. We MUST have mai-baap to whom we turn every time we have a problem as we are incapable of taking decisions for ourselves. No wonder we take up the profession that our parents bequeath, marry the woman our family approves of, get abused by a 'fatherly' boss even at the age of forty and value allegience over merit.
The citizens are to blame for this fiasco who are least interested in the working of the government, least interested in knowing how the taxpayer's money is being spent or how security is being managed.
We need to manage ourselves and our country better - more professionally- or else we should be ready to lose a few hundred / thousand people every year to terrorism.
My suggestions :
One - Make every organ of government more accountable by funding independent 'government monitoring citizen's forum' with a dedicated news channel and portal. Insist every organ of the state has supervisers from the elected representatives.
Two- Exercise your franchise
Three - Respect Human beings - Do not allow jhuggi jhopris, over stretched but cheap local transportation, human trafficking, child labour, lack of social support to elderly. To build self respect introduce conscription for one year so that every citizen learns discipline and sacrifice
Four - Drop reservations and religion based civil code - Law should be one for all Indians and the very best should rise to the top of the heap. Provide opportunities for elementary and secondary education but no reservation beyond that
Five- Be militantly secular... Any use - implied or explicit of religion in polls should invite swift disqualification of the said candidate
Six- Be Aggressive- Raise a covert but lethal CIA. Investigate each terror attack honestly and then take out all responsible whereever they may be in the world
Seven - Develop a sophisticated and well paid police force. Equip them well with weapons and vehicles and smart uniforms. Insist that they are fighting fit. Make them confident.
Eight - Reverse the migration to cities by spending hugely in national road, electricity, water , health and education infrastructure. Charge the citizens for every civic facility provided and plough the savings of eliminating this subsidy to develop your countryside.

Lastly - Intelligently, Develop a strong lean mean fighting machine in your Armed Forces considering the threats of today rather than that of the 20th century

Anonymous said...

I am a big engine puf, puf, puf

All set to go chuff, chuff, chuff,

The station bell goes ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong,

Cheeni from Meerut
c/o 56 APO

mirza said...

Admiral talking about government.
But tell me one thing “Karachi to Mumbai” who is failure it is Navy, coastguard, Police, Intelligence, or Government.

I think intelligence already provide this two line that there is some chance of attack from sea. I think it is enough for our forces to who to act and how to cover loop wholes and this lines enough what Intel.w ant to say and whom.

U can’t talk like government they lie & blame it on other but Forces should accept the loopholes and should cover now to save our future. Look at the brave fire fighter without bulletproof jacket they stood side by side with our Forces and help them. they did what they trained for.

Follow the path plug the loopholes than u don't need to blame other

My condolences to victims family our fallen hero’s.

Anonymous said...

Bravo. Great article. Department of Homeland Security will be created by our Netas but please dont expect an Admiral or General or Air Marshal to head it. THat would be too easy. THis is Indian Beuraucracy at its best!

neosumit said...

We are all fools who keeping on loveing this country ...I think don't have the balls to take action ...even now after all this that has happened their will be no action ... probaly the terrorist will be left as he is a minority ... we need a leader who has the guts and balls to take action ... we need a new revolution for swaraj

Anonymous said...

This is in reference to the article by Admiral Arun Prakash. An excellent suggestion, sir. But. as with all such 'over-reaching' laws in the past, doomed for failure either prior implementation or headed for misuse by the political 'masters' of this country for their petty personal objectives.

The country's polity does not have the ability to come to terms with the dangers that the very concept of 'India' is facing. One need not look very far back in the annals of history to realise that, all through the centuries, members of subcontinental ruling courts, or 'governments', whatever you may call them, have always displayed an uncanny short sightedness and a tremendous infighting capability that has always resulted in the 'outsider' managing to wreak havoc in the state.

People who do not learn from past mistakes are bound to repeat them. I think, this is the 'karma' that has been inherited by us Indians, and none of our present 'leaders' - or rather 'public servants' as they should be correctly termed - have the leadership qualities, vision or capabilities to pull this country out of this mess.

And sadly, the Admiral's suggestion that the Armed Forces be given the authority since they have the qualifications and ability, will be touted by the bureaucracy as opening the door for a military rule in the country.

Obviously, one needn't be Einstein to realise where the Admiral's well meaning suggestions are going to end up in . . . .

Anonymous said...

Dear Admiral,

We can complain a lot about things happening to damage the morale of services as well as politician-bureaucrat nexus against soldiers but the uniform restricts from doing a lot of things.
We need a few good men out there. We just have one retired officer (Gen Khanduri) from services who has joined active politics. He has been doing exceptionally well considering the company he has to keep. Why don't retired soldiers join public life more prominently? Once we have a few more, I am sure the soldiers, especially senior officers, can make a significant contribution after their retirement. Otherwise the goons will continue to rule the country, and the few good men out there would have been left wanting in what the country expected of them. Only writing in newspaper columns and in media won't be enough. This is probably another war which needs to be fought.
Can Indian politics have some gentlemen too???

Anonymous said...

The terrorists are not going to repeat their tactics and methodology in times to come. They will certain come up with another excellent innovative strike. Therefore, like a fool concentrating on sea front, NSG, ....and so on would not give an answer. Govt must think and act holistically. And do not give too much of publicity, the damage done by media by passing on real time intelligence has already been seen.

Anonymous said...

The terrorists are not going to repeat their tactics and methodology in times to come. They will certain come up with another excellent innovative strike. Therefore, like a fool concentrating on sea front, NSG, ....and so on would not give an answer. Govt must think and act holistically. And do not give too much of publicity, the damage done by media by passing on real time intelligence has already been seen.

Rohit Nyss said...

I say why can't the Indian Political scenario be constructed the same way as Corporate India. You need to have the experience, qualification and determination to do the job that has been handed to you. We the people of India are the stockholders of this great Corporation called "INDIA". So when we have a PM, he represents the CEO of the company and the various ministers under him the likes of VPs, GMs, Senior Managers, et al.

How we fear losing our jobs or missing out on Increments and promotions when we don't achieve targets. How come they have no such system. How do illiterate cut throat Thugs with police records get elected is beyond me.

We are the stockholders of this great Corporation called "INDIA". Let us see that our stock value doesn't get depleted by incompetent office bearers.

Hope this makes sense to all those reading.

Anonymous said...








Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Good article But will the policeman home secretary and policeman's spouce allow it. The first misuse of the public anger has manifested itself in purchasing private planes for BSF ostensibly for NSG why not keep them with the VIP squadron of the IAF for NSG at Delhi.

Kaps said...

An Analysis

I do not have any access to intelligence or first hand information gathered via interrogation of Mohd Ajmal Amir Amin. This analysis regarding the timing of attacks is based entirely on information available in public domain.

There are media reports that this attack was planned in early September but was postponed and the order to go ahead by the handler named Zaki-ur-rehman Lakhvi was given only in end November. Now please recall time line of 6th CPC imbroglio. It was in end August that perpetration caused bu CoS was highlighted and a GoM was constituted in early Sep.

My point here is that the imbroglio of 6th CPC was engineered by ISI and the effect it achieved was ideal for any foreign marauder looking to disintegrate. I will go as far as to say that had the GoM not been constituted, we would have seen this attack in early September itself when all the hue and cry about "Armed Forces show descent" was being raised.

In the period intervening constitution of GoM and actual attacks in end November, the Blogs dealing with military issues have been rife with anonymous posters trying to incite participating armed forces personnel. The comments posted by these anonymous users were quite vicious. In addition, the invisible decision making process of GoM was bringing out a lot of despondent posting by members of armed forces themselves, giving a hint of a morale that was at an all time low. The icing on the cake came in the wake of cracking up of Malegaon bomb blast probe. Implication of Lt Col Purohit provided enough reason for perpetrators to realise the state of Indian Armed Forces, and tactically they would have found it an appropriate period to carry out the attacks that had been in planning stages for months and had already been postponed.

This may all be called conjectural, but to leave any side of the story un-investigated will be like ignoring the intelligence dispatches received as a routine. I would therefore like to submit that the angle of subverting 6th CPC with negative connotations for Armed forces and destabilising an already existent command structure must be investigated.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Admiral Sir,
In case u read this.........I have a lot of respect for u and the article has been well written...but one does not understand why you have been so silent on the 6CPC issue????We are not really bothered about all this homeland security and all that anymore.....We need money............When we retire,we do not want to run around looking like fools........The public does not respect people who are poor and we are poor..........What are u doing now that u are out of the forces to ensure that the future generations of the defence forces do not have to beg??????

Anonymous said...

@Neosummit said,---"we need a leader who has guts and balls---".Only our PM can take/supposed to take such decision.He has balls also,but he takes orders from Madam Sonia who doesn,t have ba---.So my dear friend neosummit,nothing is going to happen.Relax and have a ball with lower gradepay and lower payband if you are a Lt Col/or were a Lt Col as on 01-01-06

Anonymous said...


mirza said...

To Anon.
We r not here to discuss pay commission.

Our house is on fire we need doused it flame not pass bucks.

For pay commission We can pay attention to this later.

So please stick to issue.

Anonymous said...

Leaders Not Heroes
Gautam Jha

The public response to the recent shootings in downtown Mumbai leading to over 200 dead appears to be dissimilar to earlier incidents. Bombings on earlier occasions that led to even higher casualties did not evince such ferocity of opinion. This time the politicians were howled at while the babus, as usual, skilfully made themselves scarce at this hour of reckoning. True to form the Police and Army officers bungled and gambled, respectively, with their lives. An examination of the ‘difference’ in our response this time round may indicate whether it will result in any progress towards a safer civil society.
First let’s take the nature of the attack. Unlike the place-and-forget bombs of the previous decade this was an extended shooting spree. The clear, present, and continuing danger was faithfully beamed into our bedrooms. The jihadis’ use of the media as a force multiplier was overwhelming. The event forced you on notice even if you had gone to sleep or went on a holiday of less than 62 hours. But then, it is not beyond the pale of imagination that if the media were not there, who knows, the perpetrators may have gotten away after the act!
Second, the rich and famous too were the victims this time. The characteristic shrillness of the response, as Mahesh Bhatt pointed out, may have been the result of the upper classes (sans the politician and babu) being killed. That such a response does not reflect the vast majority was accurately but inconveniently (to his detriment) expressed by Naqvi of the BJP.
Third although this attack resembled Akshardham it was a far more military like – brilliant in planning and bold in execution. That surprise was complete is evident from the clips of ATS officers strolling about trying to figure out the gangsters responsible for the ruckus.
Fourth, the opportunity to fight terrorists in real time illustrated the chaos of governance. Till date nobody knows who was in charge. Even the army doesn’t know if and when the situation was handed over to them. It underscores loudly to those who care to listen, that even minimum prior coordination between the Chief Secretary and Military Commander was conspicuous by its complete absence. Festering protocol issues?
What about the Mumbai Police? Are we to believe that the Mumbai Police was not even equipped to kill ten AK-47 toting youngsters? If that is true then are we to believe that other Indian cities are also at the mercy of a dozen motivated criminals? And which sophisticated weapons and equipment were the terrorists carrying? Was it not the Mumbai lower middle class citizenry that thrashed the only surviving terrorist? The deficiency, if any, was of resolute and selfless leadership in the administrative machinery. The complete void in the police force after Kamte’s sudden killing showed the bankruptcy of leadership in a police force ‘administered’ by police managers.
The tragedy is that the Chief Secretary who is the chief of the administrative machinery can never be held accountable. And to top it all we have had declarations of fantastic donations from none other than the ‘friendly neighbourhood terror fighter’ Modi and others. We are now resigned to a few reluctant reshuffle of ministerial and secretarial portfolios and some sabre rattling by MEA mandarins. Of course the blame game has begun -MoD, MHA, Navy, MEA, Army, IB, RAW, the lot. Wait for the mudslinging fest around the corner.
The rude fact is that we want others to fight this dirty war. We may bay for Achutanandan’s blood but his remark about Maj Sandeep’s family was not very off the mark. Indeed, no politician (I don’t know about dogs) would care a damn about the Major had he not made the supreme sacrifice. Chilling, but true.
Now that this armchair attitude has landed the war at our doorsteps, the rich and famous as well as commoners of Bombay are struggling for the best bargain. We are looking for heroes. We ought to be looking for a leader who can lead the fight on terror.

Anonymous said...

We went wrong when we elected Mata Hari and her gigolos to lead us. That joker Achudananan has to the audacity to say that not a single dog will go to Maj Sandeeps house. What is the DG NSG doing like a wimp? He is supposed to lead a band of the most fearless and devoted men and he cannot stand up for the honour of one of his fallen comrades. Hogging all the headlines when he was not required he now shies away from publicity. Comes in only when the going is good. Is this what we call leading by example. If he has the balls he should withdraw the NSG from Kerala till the CM goes on his knees to apologise.
The Malayalees who declare a bandh when a pye-dog gets piles in Tamil Nadu are today not even protesting. Is this where a 100% literate state proves that education is not knowledge. Poor show.
The root cause is the incompatibility of organisations. How can the Army function when a generation gap exists between the army and civilian officers who are supposed to co-ordinate?
The other idiot Anthony ko gussa kyo nahi aata? A Slain Army Officer is humiliated and he sits with a smug face like one with constipation would do on a WC. Can’t he pull up his country cousin?
The GoM ministers do not have time to even rectify the deviously manipulated pay anomalies of the Armed forces.
And the Supreme Commander of the Armed forces? Takes all benefits like hospital, PBG etc. The Lady hasn’t spoken once for the men she commands. In these days of cost cutting let the Army withdraw the PBG and convert it into a fighting unit. The Police wallahs or CPO/PMFs can take over.

Anonymous said...

Admiral Sir,
What happened has happened, we can do the postmortem later, shouldn't we try to avoid repeating the same thing again?
But alas no, there is no action , even if there is that will be useless. The GOI will form committees and commission to decide.Either they wont deliver or the report will go under carpet. In the past 60 odd years has any reports put to good use? Unless we do something about all these, terrorism will happen!

~ Cheran

Anonymous said...






On Nov 27th itself I have written that this was a SSG operation. Now that the Mangla Dam training has come forward - one needs to know that SSG is HQed near Mangla Dam. This was an out and out Kiyani ops - aka Indian embassy bombing in Kabul. What can you say when the external wing of ISI is under the control of Zakiur Rahman - commander of LeT. Let us not kid ourselves - this was a Pak army spl ops attack to divert its army from Afghan border to release pressure on Taliban (de-facto Pak Army brigade for deniable ops).

Our response: The best thing India should do if there's hard evidence pointing at Pakistan state sponsored links in the attack is to would make a demand to Pakistan (e.g. hand over Dawood). Within a week, if there's inaction, India should reduce the water flow of the Chenab by 1/4, at the same time cut all communication/road/rail/air links to Pakistan. Why Chenab? We don't want to drag in Kashmir. Chenab originates in Himachal, an uncontested part of India. Moreover, Himachal is well buffered from Pakistan, making it more difficult to reach for an airstrike.

Anonymous said...

This Adm while in service never had the spunk in his balls to put his views across either to the political boss or to the bureaucracy. Having retired and left with a lot of free time he has resorted to writing to put across his views. He has in a previous article stated that the armed forces are getting more than enough and should therefore not ask for more. He rants and raves about his being a kashmiri and how intricately he knows the kashmir issue. Was himself not free of controversies whilst in service and made nil or no contribution to the Navy.

Anonymous said...

Sir that the most sensible thought articulted for the long term. Now for short term. Someone give me Rs 300 crores. My plan of action; shortlist the people who concieved the plan , people who trained these scums, the fathers of these 10 scums. That will make around 30 scums in Pak somewhere. Spend money , locate them. Higher desperadoes in Pak and Afghanistan. Offer Rs 10 crore for each head. Get them eliminated. Once done offer condolences and condemn the killings. Such gangs are available in Pak and Afghanistan. For 10 crore they will happily kill their mothers. Any takers????

Ram said...

My dear Admiral Prakash,
I have served under you in various capacities and seen you closely. When in service you have been just a goody goody boy and unlike a fighter pilot. You could never meet trouble head on. You never had the balls to put across your views and could not take charge of your C in Cs of the three Naval Commands. You have more than a cupboard full of skeletons. You were always biased and played favourites. No self respecting tri service think tank or organisation has approached you to be their panel. Now after retirement, once you are sure that you are not getting a governorship or any plum post, you start writing. Old soldiers should fade away, not keep popping up like old coins.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that there is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section " 49-O" that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked and convey the presiding election officer that he/she doesn't want to vote anyone! Yes such a feature is available, but obviously past + present leaders have never disclosed it.

This is called "49-O".

Why should You go and say " I VOTE NOBODY". Because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received "49-O" votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way; of our whole political system. It is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public.

Please spread this news to as many as You know.

Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India. Show Your power, expressing Your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting. So don't miss Your chance. So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote 49-O) and pass this information to all.

Use your voting right for a better INDIA. Share this with as many as You can. Because sharing is caring. It is caring about our dear Mother India.

Anonymous said...

Read this and if you were watching Arnab Goswami on Times Now and his frequent utterances on it being a Black Day if the channels were blocked, you would understand just how immature our visual media is. They have become larger than life figures and do not know how to handle sensitive situations. Worse, they won't listen to those who know better.


A blog on the irresponsible journalism by Burka Dutt (and all other English channels) written by Chyetanya Kunte, an Indian living in the Netherlands and working for Shell, Netherlands.

"Appalling journalism. Absolute blasphemy! As I watch the news from home, I am dumbfounded to see Barkha Dutt of NDTV break every rule of ethical journalism in reporting the Mumbai mayhem. Take a couple of instances for example:

In one instance she asks a husband about his wife being stuck, or held as a hostage. The poor guy adds in the end about where she was last hiding. Aired! My dear friends with AK-47s, our national news is helping you. Go get those still in. And be sure to thank NDTV for not censoring this bit of information. His wife, a noted food critic & a reporter for Times of India, was later found dead in her room.

In another instance, a General sort of suggests that there were no hostages in Oberoi Trident. (Clever.) Then, our herione of revelations calls the head of Oberoi, and the idiot confirms a possibility of 100 or more people still in the building. Hello! Guys with guns, you've got more goats to slay. But before you do, you've got to love NDTV and more precisely Ms. Dutt. She's your official intelligence from Ground zero.

You do not need to be a journalist to understand the basic premise of ethics, which starts with protecting victims first; and that is done by avoiding key information from being aired publicly—such as but not limited to revealing the number of possible people still in, the hideouts of hostages and people stuck in buildings.

Imagine you're one of those sorry souls holed-up in one of those bathrooms, or kitchens. A journalist pulls your kin outside and asks about your last contact on national television, and other prying details. In a bout of emotion, if they happen to reveal more details, you are sure going to hell. Remember these are hotels, where in all likelihood, every room has a television. All a terrorist needs to do is listen to Ms. Barkha Dutt's latest achievement of extracting information from your relative, based on your last phone-call or SMS. And you're shafted—courtesy NDTV.

If the terrorists don't manage to shove you in to your private hell, the journalists on national television will certainly help you get there. One of the criticisms about Barkha Dutt on Wikipedia reads thus:

During the Kargil conflict, Indian Army sources repeatedly complained to her channel that she was giving away locations in her broadcasts, thus causing Indian casualties.

Looks like the idiot journalist has not learnt anything since then.. I join a number of bloggers pleading her to shut the f**** up.

In fact, I am willing to believe that Hemant Karkare died because these channels showed him prepare (wear helmet, wear bullet-proof vest.) in excruciating detail live on television. And they in turn targeted him where he was unprotected - the neck. The brave officer succumbed to 12 bullets in the neck."

DNA India reports about a UK couple ask media to report carefully:

The terrorists were watching CNN and they came down from where they were in a lift after hearing about us on TV.

— Lynne Shaw in an interview.

Anonymous said...

"The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line between the
Fighting Man and the Thinking Man is likely to find its fighting being
done by fools and its thinking done by cowards" -Sir William Butler

Swaraj said...

The fact remains, in this booming economy, everyone is busy making money, acquring assets & showing superiority.
Its not just politicians, even security agencies play their own blame game, and trying to prove there was no lapse on their part. But to whom are they trying to prove it.
Its high time some-one took responsibility and told these guys, "Hey! Just wait a sec, what are we doing here? Take a break from making money & think of yourself & your organisation & your country." The need of the hour is someone who is well-educated an can take charge of the situation and doesn't end up blaming other parties, someone who has a positive picture in his mind on how to 'start' improving the nation, someone in whom the 'youth' can put their faith in. And this someone cannot be a Mayawati or a Amar Singh. We need to find who can this "someone" be!

Grrrr said...

Went wrong by not doing 311 BC again (Naval Duumvirate elected)
911 kya cheez hai ?

nandycool said...
This comment has been removed by the author.