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Issue No.: 559 | January 2014

26/11 Anniversary

Ashok Karnik
Five years after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, it is time to review what we learnt and did to ensure that another such attack never takes place. As a security analyst put it, 26/11 was not only a terrorist attack; it was a successful war-by-infiltration. We killed 9 invaders and captured one. In the final analysis, did it mean success or shame? Shame, because we allowed the attack to happen despite advance warnings. We were shocked out of our slumber and initiated some measures to improve our infrastructure, intelligence and preparedness. How far have we come? There is some improvement in raising commando units, some up-gradation of equipment and a little more coordination. Formation of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) was a big step but other bright ideas to counter terrorism are still gestating. There is no dearth of ideas but implementation is our traditional weakness. We tend to pontificate on what needs to be done but when the time comes to act, we find excuses why it cannot be done. And then the urgency is lost. For example, the need for CCTV cameras is understood but their placement is delayed interminably.

Vast areas of counter-terrorism effort remain unresolved. The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has got stuck in the state autonomy debate; National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) is shackled by turf wars. Intelligence gathering has not improved; states still blame the Centre for not providing specific and timely intelligence. Coastal security is still a huge problem. Most states have yet to form dedicated intelligence units whose full time job would be intelligence gathering. Police officers are shuffled from police stations to intelligence branches as if mere transfer from one to the other would make them experts at intelligence collection. Other countries less severely hit by terrorism have moved heaven and earth to meet this threat, by amending laws, setting up specialist units and revamping entire machinery for coordination of intelligence. We still debate if the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is good or bad; Anti-Naxal strategy is buried in philosophical debate; the Kashmir problem swings between hard action and no action. In this bleak scenario, one can only hope that although we may not be as good as the situation demands, we are not as bad as it appears.

Every issue has at least two sides. A wise person examines all sides before coming to a conclusion.
This is an attempt to present various sides of an issue so that a considered opinion can be formed.

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Other Articles in this Issue


The Good New and the Bad News



Dr. Sheryar Ookerjee

S.V. Raju


Winds of Change Presage Hope of New Political Order

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

Can We Legislate for a Better Society?

Rca Godbole

High Time to Abolish Governmental Awards

Kashinath A. Divecha

Elections to Parliament: Participation of Veterans

Ravindra Waman Pathak


Indictment of Justice Ganguly: To What Avail?

Keshav Rau

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting - 2013 (CHOGM)

Suresh C. Sharma


Poverty and Humble Beginnings Are No Impediments to Success in Life

B. M. N. Murthy

The Rural Perspective

Social transformation in Rural India

Sharad Joshi

Point - Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

26/11 Anniversary

Ashok Karnik


Ashok Karnik

Feet of Clay

Ashok Karnik

Mini general elections?

Ashok Karnik


Snoopgate: A Comedy of Errors

Firoze Hirjikaka

Tarun Tejpal: How Have the Mighty Fallen

Firoze Hirjikaka

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

India and Latin America: ‘The Big Thing in the Making’ – Part Two

B. Ramesh Babu

National Security

Need to Move from Dvaita to Advaita

G. R. S. Rao

Book Review

What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets


Educating Adults

Implementation – Finance

Suresh C. Sharma

A Triangle of Deceit: Onions, Gold and Black Gold

Jyoti Marwah

Onion Crisis Hits India

Dr. Rita P. Bhambi

Onion Crisis

Sarah Ratnani

Gold hits a new high

Hanspal Amandeep Kaur

Sachin - An Example to Emulate

Rahul S. Kumar

Special Republic Day Pull Out

Unsung Heroes of the Indian National Movement

B. N. Mehrish


State Control of Films

This day in 1957

Between Ourselves

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

Dr. Sardul Singh Minhas

Editorial in Freedom First December 2013

R. Subramanian

Leader and the Law

M. B. Damania

In Case You Have Not Heard This One

Nelson Mendela


A Sad Story of Corruption in the Armed Forces

Jug Suraiya

Constitutional Method of Demonstration


Aam Admi Party


A Man Who Cared for the Poor


C. N. R. Rao Conferred Bharat Ratna


What is Freedom ?


Marshal Zhukov on Alexander’s Failed Invasion of India

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