As we walked past the 10th anniversary of the devastating events of 9/11, I look at the last decade of how Americans have played a major role with their anti-terrorism campaign across the globe. Looking back at these 10 years, I see a reflection of what the world has faced, mainly man made horrific situations. But what has India learnt from 9/11 and the American policies?
The events of 9/11 in the United States not only brought mass destruction to lives and public property, but it brought along a fear of a beginning of an immense wave of terrorism. A fear to which the entire nation stood up to as one. Even though the Bush administration was and still is strongly being criticized by the rest of the world for their actions, but it did bring a sense of comfort and security to the citizens of the country. The citizens made sure not to let 9/11 go out of the public memory. People became more vigilant to guard their own society.
In February 2011, a Saudi engineering student in Dallas ordered large quantity of concentrated phenol. The chemical company triggered FBI about it. Few days later the courier company reported the same to the local police on the massive order. The FBI traced his emails, phone calls, daily routine and found out that he was planing to build and detonate bombs inside the United States. He was arrested.
Another such incident happend in the UK. A phd student of Nottingham University was arrested as he downloaded “The Al-Queda Training Manual” for drafting his phd proposal. He was held in police custody for a week and then released without any charges. The police said that the arrest was necessary and proportionate.
The US and the UK have learnt a lot from its own devastating events and have taken measures to build an internal structure. But India has just emerged from its own sense of helpless rage, why hasnt things changed in India? Where does India lack its security?
The situations in India are very different to the UK and the US. India is a porous state situated in a volatile region. It is not geographically isolated as the US and the UK. After 26/11 the Govt of India had a golden opportunity to set things in the right place, but the events which have followed till the blast on the Delhi High Court on September 8 have shown that the Government has been numb on these core issues. We havent We have moved way past the red mark where we should have changed the entire security structure. Its time we revive our security mesures and link them with our society. At the moment the entire policing system is in a disarray.
The policing structure of the entire nation has to be changed and then integrated amongst the sections of the society. It is not just the superstructures that are important, it is that these structures when integrated with the lower level of police and co-ordinated with each other on a daily basis. While intelligence co-ordination remains a challenge as each government, from the central to the state handles information and people in its own way. India’s another problem has been low capacity levels, for instance even if we look at it statistically, India’s military to population ratio is 1:855. Similar adverse statistics prevail for the police force making India one of the most under policed states in the world with an all India average of 125/100000 against the recommended UN figure of 222. Shortage of law enforcement representatives obviously leads to retreat of the state and the space vacated is taken over by anti state elements.
Lets not forget that even the people who have to be vigilant in the society. People have to check and identify these key elements who may create such issues in the society in the near future.
The entire policing system has to be integrated with anti-terror squads who can communicate with higher levels of intelligence. The state police is neither trained or equipped for a terror attack and by the time you get to work, it already caused alot of causalities. By integrating these systems you can find the root cause and prevent these activities.