Monday, December 01, 2008

A lot has been said...

but this is one aspect of the bungled-up System which just hit me the hardest.

J Dey @ Midday reports: Every single bullet went through the jackets

Slain encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar had 59 encounter killings to his credit. He was always in the line of fire, yet, he never wore a bulletproof jacket. It was no different when he was mowed down in Wednesday's terror attacks.

But it wasn't the absence of a bulletproof (BP) vest that killed him. Officers close to him believe, he would have died even if he had worn the vest as they provide no defence against AK-56 and AK-47 gun fire the weapons used by the militants in Mumbai's terror attacks.

"In 2004, samples of these vests were sent for a trial at the firing range of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF). They were fitted on dummies, [as is the practice] and sprayed with AK-47 bullets and bullets from self-loading rifles (SLR). Every single bullet went through the jackets even though the rounds were fired from a distance," a senior police official revealed, on condition of anonymity.

So, did a terrorist kill Hemant Karkare... Or was it his own countrymen??

In football it's called an 'own goal'.
In war, it is called TREASON.

A few other thought provoking articles and blogs:

Anyone remember 'Lead India'?
- by Piyul Mukherjee

Reflections on the night of terror - by Rama Bijapurkar (who had a lucky escape from the Trident)

Surprised? by Arun Shourie (He also brought up the same points in a discussion on TV during those 59 hours and it was one of the most fact-based and concrete discussions I have ever seen on the medium!)

As for my own 'original' thoughts, I am not having too many of them right now. There are a lot of people bringing up the right issues and initiatives. The time has come for us to figure out how, and what, we can start doing.

I'll end with an observation Karan Johar made on his blog :

The most common thing I hear from people is, “I want to do something, but what can I do?” The answer to this question has resulted in candlelight vigils and sms’s to wear black clothes or light a candle in our windows to show support and solidarity. It’s all very well and good because it is therapeutic. Our natural instincts veer us towards acting out – or at least towards being more active...

But this is the really beautiful part, a sentiment I echo completely. He writes:

A few days ago the problems plaguing us were issues concerning estranged relationships with family members, that fight you had with your sister or that impending break up with your lover. Our focus has now shifted to something so much bigger than us... The hypocrisy unnerves me. We have issues with political figures, but how are we at home with our parents?

We can’t fix anything on the outside until we fix our equations on the inside.

The universe has given us a body of relationships that we have a right to live up to – and we have no business expending our energies on vocalizing disdain towards the system or typing out petitions for change until we create peace in our individual worlds. Only then can we have peace on the streets. Only then can we truly be fit to fight.



  1. Timely article.And agree with every word in M johars blog.Saddest happening apart frm all the lives lost, is the no-names frm bollywood and page3 trying to associate themselves to the tragedy.
    Sample this:
    Koena mitra: I joined 6 facebook groups to show support.
    Maninnee de: I had planned a surprise party this Sat at Taj. All ruined now :(
    These flakes hve never ever visited a polling booth all their life, neither have they done any sort of community service(like literacy/environmental issues...simple things really). And now they hang around the magnificient Taj holding candles and making inane statements like "learn from the west on how to combat terror"
    Of course,our celeb-obsessed media covered all this with glee. Thank god there are the likes of Mr Bacchan,Shoba De,A khan,Karan Johar who show genuine concern and empathy and dispense some constructive ideas, rather than mere ranting and raving at the political system

  2. The candlelight vigils are no less hollow than Koena Mitra's show of support.

    I had gone to a candle light vigil yesterday. Many seemed excited about taking good pictures.

    Its like showing the patriotism by vandalizing private properties after BCCI's team loses a match due to an umpiring error.

    Truthful, rational discussions which are more grounded to reality would help everyone.

    On those lines, I found of this article very interesting.

    I hope it provokes some thought in the right direction.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. so you think americans (or israelis) have a tremendous "equation" from inside? And is it THIS equation that has prevented another 9/11 despite being on the top of the hitlist?

    I think we are unnecessarily overdramitising a serious issue. It all boils down to leadership. Not the lack of intelligence (US intelligence DID inform us twice about a possible attack on luxury hotels through sea route). A strong leadership would put in place a system where homeland security for every major city would be a separate entity. Its sole priority would be to take preventive measures based on intelligence info. Currently, the system is random, period. Too much of brownian motion. Fishermen union informs the police, ATS chief informs the hotels, US intelligence passes info to India. But nothing gets done. Things are not streamlined. That's where leadership comes in.

    Terms like 'internal equation' and such sound nice and heavy.. but they wouldnt solve the problem of the day.

  5. really this post is good and ask for introspection

  6. Good reading. Also read
    Keep up the good work

  7. Also read
    for a different view...

  8. Increasingly, a kind of therapeutic introspection seems to be the national mood, goaded on by electronic media; Surely a good idea to do some soul searching on what we could do to improve our country. But self improvement cannot be a substitute for good governance. How can it possibly be wrong to expect our government to do its duty and be held accountable if it fails to do so? Aren't we accountable to our employers in our jobs? Failing to confront the problem without regard to political correctness is the need of the hour. Jehadi terrorism and the even more grave issue of our state and central governments (especially congress led) failing to act against it fearing supposed electoral backlash from muslim voters are the gravest of threats our nation faces. Please dont dub me a hindu fanatic or a right-winger just yet; Please hear me out. My world-view is devoid of any consideration to people's belief/regions/beliefs etc, I stand for total and absolute equality of all humans of all regions, beliefs, and persuasions etc. I feel deeply shameful and angry when i hear of muslims being refused apartments in mumbai. I am disgusted to my very core when I see bias and bigotry against muslims and anybody else. Unlike what our politicians may believe, most muslims hate jehadi groups as much as the rest of us and would be happy to see our government act against them. [copied from my blog]

  9. for once, i like Karan Johar.

  10. the treason u have mentioned is happening for the past 60 yrs

  11. The Karan Johar sentiment is the stupidest thing I have EVER heard. So if I have problems "on the inside" means I have no right to cary out my "outside" duties?

    Maybe I am misinterpreting what he is saying, but it sounds to me he is promoting and encouraging complacency, and an apathetic attitude towards government. This is not how a democracy is run.

    It seems to me Karan Johar has become so much of a "world citizen", that he can't justify taking steps to help things in your "country". By his logic, all those brave policemen who lost their lives should have instead run home first and made sure that their wives or husbands, and kids had eaten dinner, and were asleep by bed time before they went around doing their jobs.

  12. As they say, history repeats itself, so that we learn from it. If we don’t, it repeats again, and again until the lessons are learnt. And, every time it repeats, its cost to the society increases.

    So, having seen and gone through all this, let’s not forget it as another bad incident, let’s not let the terrorism become a part of life. Rather, let’s bring the nation’s best minds to a forum, let’s talk, debate, discuss and find a way out together, and above all, let’s stay united. Surely, there is anger, frustration and shock. However, it needs to be channeled into positive thoughts and action. We need to rise above the divides of religion and region to tackle and overcome this evil.....Read more.

  13. Anonymous2:18 PM

    The fact is that the bullet proof vests did not stop bullets were because they were outdated. They were good enough for rifle -fire or revolvers , but the police did not expect to be faced with heavy artillery since only the military ( and militants ) use AK-47 . However there is a dearth of vests , bullets and arms in the Mumbai police force .Also the cops were shot from very close range and not from a distance .

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