Sunday, 8 March 2009

Elections vs. IPL

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The fact that India today is making the choice between conducting the Indian Premiere League(IPL) and the General Elections, boggles me. And the fact that popular opinion is, that the elections should be postponed (or even cancelled?), scares me further. Even though I’m one of those few Indians who may not be a personal fan of cricket, let me assure you that this write has nothing to do with that. I have nothing against cricket or people who enjoy the game. What I do have a problem with, is when we Indians let our passion take precedence over what should be priority. Is India truly thinking about this choice?
THE ISSUE THUS FAR:
The present Central Government has said that they cannot allow the IPL to be conducted as per the IPL’s plans, as it will clash with the poll dates. This security concern was magnified several times over when the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan was targeted earlier this month. The IPL has submitted 3 revised schedules, but none of them were found to be suitable. Certain State Governments had stated that they can conduct both events with their local police force. But some of the States that had earlier agreed, later pulled out. Basically, a big mess.
The opposition has seized the opportunity to deface the ruling party, with plenty at stake with General Elections just around the corner. The opposition argument is that the Government‘s inability to provide security, is admitting inadequacy. Moreover, cricket fans and opposition alike believe that this admission is grouping us with other volatile neighbours, which is going to detrimentally affect western perception of the region, and of India.
THE ARGUMENTS:
I cant say I agree with the opposition arguments. And here’s why.
>> The Mumbai terrorist attacks, the global financial crisis and now the security inadequacy.. would have been much the same, whoever was in power. This Government is only doing what is best for us. Do you think they are not aware of how much there is to loose in terms of votes, from all the cricket fans across the country who are outraged and pointing fingers? Come on, give them some more credit. They’re not entirely stupid. At least they’re not stupid enough to play around with something as sacred as cricket, and lose out on votes. They are not here to deprive us of our fun.
This Government has its back up against the wall. They could either give in to popular demand, dispatch troops to the matches and jeopardize Election security. Or they could use the security for the Elections but risk losing the elections anyway, because of it. If they choose option 1, and if something goes wrong at the IPL, tables would turn on them, with the country and the international community questioning why the matches were held if there wasn’t enough security. This is hardly a devil and deep sea situation. The right path to take is very clear. And in this tight squeeze, I believe that this Government has worked in the interest of the people, and not in the way that the opposition is claiming it would have handled the situation, which would have only served to manipulate votes in its favour in the bargain. How convenient for Arun Jaitley to criticize the Government. How very very convenient.
>> Isn’t it better to admit that we may be stretching ourselves too thin by conducting both events simultaneously, than pretending that we had it all under control and then suffering an untoward incident?
>> Western perception about this region of Asia and the Middle East, is already skeptical. Its been so, since forever. A lot of them think Africa is a country. So hey, there’s nothing new here. And why… why do we care so much about what they think? Why are we fawning for their accreditation? This is exactly the state India was in with the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ when we were ecstatic because the white man patted us on the back.
And lets not forget: 9/11 happened in the USA. 7/7 happened in the UK. And even after all that, a year or two ago, yet another major plot was foiled in the UK (when fluids were found, that contained potentially explosive substances.)
Anyway no matter what the western perception of India is, they are still going to do business with us. As much as they may want to, they just cannot blot out this subcontinent. Have some faith.
With regards to this fear, that we are being grouped with our unstable neighbours and being painted with the same brush, let me tell you that the stereotypification would be exponentially worse if an attack was actually carried out, or even a plan for it was discovered and foiled. And what happens to ‘morale boosting’ then? When we are hit where it really hurts, we may never recover from it. THAT will be a real psychological depression. If we do fail to prevent an attack, that will be PROOVING we are unsafe, as opposed to now, when people may only be THINKING of us as unsafe, but taking precautions to be safe.
What if some of the foreign players sent us word that they refuse to play in the IPL due to security concerns (Of course they wouldn’t do that since they’re getting rich from this.)? We already know that several teams have refused to go to Pakistan in the recent past. Would that not be a huge and painful slap on our faces, if it happened? I actually wish some of the players had backed out, because I don’t think anything else would work, in rousing this nation from its sin of trivializing of what is important. Security, elections and democracy should be on the main course. IPL should be stomached only if there’s space after all of that.
>> “We must show the terrorists that we are not affected, by conducting the IPL anyway.” Indeed we shouldn’t let terrorism govern our lives and we must live them fully. Of course we should still continue to go to the theatre, drink tea at expensive hotels, go dancing, use the subway, etc.
Something like the IPL is almost sure of being targeted. What makes us think that there isn’t an attack planned for the IPL? This false sense of security that we are feeding ourselves is getting us no where. Its just brimming with potential for a terrorist- thousands of euphoric and dizzy fans, lots of media coverage, and the heart of the people as well. There isn’t anything more they could possibly ask for. But I definitely agree that IPL must go on.
However, this situation that we are in, is not a risk worth taking. Not at the cost of innocent lives. The Government did not say that IPL should be totally scrapped for the next 10 years till we sort out terrorism. The Government has only asked for it to not coincide with the elections. Is that so unreasonable? No, we shouldn’t cripple ourselves and live as a shut-in out of fear. A painting could fall off the wall and kill us anyway. But it doesn’t mean we live recklessly and without caution.
This philosophy that lot of people have, “I’ll live my life to the fullest, I don’t care what people think, I’ll do what I want to do” is one of the reasons we are in a perpetual mess. If you know your cord is frayed, would you still go bungee jumping? Shilpa Shetty when asked to comment said she prefers to be optimistic about terrorism in India. ITS REAL! Theres no ‘sunny side’ to it! Isn’t it about time we stopped living in denial and faced reality?
>> What makes us think we are so invincible? When the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team took place, Imran Khan said that no one expected something so important to this subcontinent, to be targeted. He said that there could be a possible backlash for the terrorists now, since a lot of people who may have supported them, would probably be re thinking their choices. Did the terrorists not know that such a consequence could take place? They are not stupid either. Of course they knew. But they did it anyway, because they don’t care what we think. Terrorism is not new to us. Why do we still behave so na├»ve and nonchalant about it?
>> Its very easy for a cricket crazy person to make all kinds of justifications for IPL to be carried out anyway. They say it is a boost to our morale, and enables us to flaunt our stuff to the western world. I think it was the actor Rahul Bose who said, “We trust our Government and security. We need to have more confidence in ourselves.”
But the security of the country is not the concern of the cricket crazy person. And neither is it the concern of Lalit Modi, Preiti Zinta, Rahul Bose or any of those others. They will have bullet proof cabins to retreat into and will be surrounded by security at all times. Or do you think Lalit Modi actually ‘cares’ for cricket fans, and so the IPL has been created just to feed that emotion? Please be real. IPL is about money and nothing else. Its not about national pride. The Olympic Games is about national pride, because it is all inclusive. The IPL is about a few rich people who came up with a brilliant idea to get richer.
Apart from the loss of innocent lives, that doesn’t seem to be many peoples’ concern, imagine if Shah Rukh Khan was actually shot or even grazed by a bullet! Do you remember when the actor Rajkumar was kidnapped by Veerappan some years back? There were riots on the streets because he was worshipped. And I mean literally prayed to. This is a country where cricket and film stars are a religion. And conducting the IPL along with the Elections, has everything to do with the above.
>> Its common knowledge that the General Elections in India happen every five years. We knew it was going to happen in 2009. This is probably one of the most established characteristics of our country. IPL however has only been around since 2008. And if anybody is to be blamed, it is the organizers of the IPL because they should have known better than to schedule it for the same month as the once-in-five-years spectacle of polling.
>> Terrorism can happen anywhere, at any time. It could happen at the World Cup in 2011. But I’ll bet the UK isn’t conducting their Elections on the same days. And if they are, they will still probably have sufficient resources to do so. Remember they’ve had troops in Afghanistan for the last eight years or so, since 2001. There is no dearth of men to be sent to die on the front lines, in these ‘western and more capable’ countries. But there is a dearth of similar men, here.
TO CONCLUDE
For me, the issue is much larger than the smooth conduction of a cricket match. Its more than the fact that there are thousands of disappointed fans. For me, this raises a much larger question of, if our head is really screwed on our shoulders or not. Are we thinking in the interest of our country. Are we really capable of putting entertainment and sport ahead of security. We are the largest and one of the most successful democracies in the world. Are we really ready to give up on all that and compromise, because we want to watch a cricket match. Are we that stupid.

41 comments:

kicking.and.screaming said...

ignore the formatting.

ISB Rockers said...

The Mumbai terrorist attacks, the global financial crisis and now the security inadequacy.. would have been much the same, whoever was in power. This Government is only doing what is best for us. Do you think they are not aware of how much there is to loose in terms of votes, from all the cricket fans across the country who are outraged and pointing fingers? Come on, give them some more credit. They’re not entirely stupid. At least they’re not stupid enough to play around with something as sacred as cricket, and lose out on votes. They are not here to deprive us of our fun.

Yeah the are quite smart.... they dont want to lose out on the vote bank. Do you think anyone will bother to sit in the sun and listen to their crap if the IPL goes on? Who will go and dance in the political processions? The lower middle class would just stick glued to their set.

ISB Rockers said...

This Government has its back up against the wall. They could either give in to popular demand, dispatch troops to the matches and jeopardize Election security. Or they could use the security for the Elections but risk losing the elections anyway, because of it. If they choose option 1, and if something goes wrong at the IPL, tables would turn on them, with the country and the international community questioning why the matches were held if there wasn’t enough security. This is hardly a devil and deep sea situation. The right path to take is very clear. And in this tight squeeze, I believe that this Government has worked in the interest of the people, and not in the way that the opposition is claiming it would have handled the situation, which would have only served to manipulate votes in its favour in the bargain. How convenient for Arun Jaitley to criticize the Government. How very very convenient.......

Can you tell me any other nation where life comes to a standstill due to elections? It is the governments fault that they do not have enough security in the country. The amount of forces available are clearly inadequate and the intelligence sucks. How else do you think that Pakistan can conduct terror attacks in India and get away with it time and again? This government is weak. If America had been attacked like Mumbai was, then Pakistan would have been completely isolated.

ISB Rockers said...

> Isn’t it better to admit that we may be stretching ourselves too thin by conducting both events simultaneously, than pretending that we had it all under control and then suffering an untoward incident?

Can this government guarantee that it will be able to hold the commonwealth games if it gets re-elected? If it cannot protect the common people when there is no great event taking place......( There have been uncountable terror strikes almost everyday during November last year.... remember Surat, Ahmedabad, Bombay, Delhi?)surely it cannot protect the extra 3 million that will visit Delhi for Commonwealth....

ISB Rockers said...

Western perception about this region of Asia and the Middle East, is already skeptical. Its been so, since forever. A lot of them think Africa is a country. So hey, there’s nothing new here. And why… why do we care so much about what they think? Why are we fawning for their accreditation? This is exactly the state India was in with the movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ when we were ecstatic because the white man patted us on the back.

Did the EPL stop after the London Bombings? Did the American Superbowl stop after the 9/11 attacks? Did the Spanish League stop after bombings in Madrid? Why should IPL be any different?

ISB Rockers said...

What if some of the foreign players sent us word that they refuse to play in the IPL due to security concerns (Of course they wouldn’t do that since they’re getting rich from this.)? We already know that several teams have refused to go to Pakistan in the recent past. Would that not be a huge and painful slap on our faces, if it happened? I actually wish some of the players had backed out, because I don’t think anything else would work, in rousing this nation from its sin of trivializing of what is important. Security, elections and democracy should be on the main course. IPL should be stomached only if there’s space after all of that.

Well I dont think that any team would refuse as England had continued with their series in India even after Mumbai attacks.... that reminds me why didnt the government care about security at that time?

ISB Rockers said...

Something like the IPL is almost sure of being targeted. What makes us think that there isn’t an attack planned for the IPL? This false sense of security that we are feeding ourselves is getting us no where. Its just brimming with potential for a terrorist- thousands of euphoric and dizzy fans, lots of media coverage, and the heart of the people as well. There isn’t anything more they could possibly ask for. But I definitely agree that IPL must go on

So whose mistake is it if the attack succeeds?

kicking.and.screaming said...

Thank you for picking apart my write. I do appreciate it. No sarcasm intended.

Now I would've been very sad if I didn't have a reply to you, not because you would have argued me out, but because a faith like yours I have met before, and its destructive.

Enough patronizing :). I shall reply now, numbering them respectively,

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ COMMENT 1

What you are suggesting then is that the Govt intentionally put obstacles in the path of the IPL so that it could conduct its campaigns?

People have the choice to not 'listen to their crap' even if there's no IPL. And a lot of us educated lower middle class folks prefer to 'stay home and do something better anyway.' So the IPL is in no way a reason for not attending an election rally. And I dont believe that Govt factored it while making their views on it.

However, by April when the elections here are due to begin, AND the IPL was scheduled to take place, all campaigning is suspended. So where is the question of having to sit in the sun and listen to crap?

And finally, if the present Congress Govt is disallowing the IPL in the hopes that people would attend their rallies, then im sure they are also aware that this is beneficial to all other parties too. Thus, allowing the IPL and not allowing the IPL would have nulled each other with respect to its effect on polls.

This point you raised isn't accurate, i'm afraid. I believe the Govt when it says that not allowing the IPL is really about security, nothing else.
AND as I said, " they’re not stupid enough to play around with something as sacred as cricket, and lose out on votes. "

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ COMMENT 2

Yes I can tell you of several nations when life comes to a standstill. In fact, I can give you an entire continent: Africa. I think the first time Congo had an election was in 2006, since its independence in the 60's. And now look at what's happening in Zimbabwe. What about Pakistan? Life does indeed come to a standstill in a lot of the world with elections. India is relatively a very successful democracy. I cant accept what youre saying.

And you are beside the point as well. Who in the Govt is asking for life to come to a standstill for elections? Let me pose a question to you: Can you tell me any other nation where life (and civility and political infrastructure)comes to a standstill due to a sport?

The amount of forces available are clearly inadequate
Is it the Govts fault that people like you and me do not voulnteer to serve the country? Where is the Govt supposed to produce forces from?

and the intelligence sucks.
Agreed. But I hear we're getting a spy satellite now.

This government is weak.
If this Govt is weak, would another be stronger? I know where you're coming from, and I know you don't have much faith in any of the 3 options we have this year.
So if it's not 'this', it has to be 'that'. And if you dont like 'that', it can't be 'none'.
So how do you propose we get 'better politicians' in the stand, if like the army, they won't volunteer?

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ COMMENT 3

I dont believe this Govt can give guarantees. Even if they do, an attack could happen anyway. I dont think any other Govt will be able to give the kind of guarantee we want either.

I quote myself to further remind you: “ lets not forget: 9/11 happened in the USA. 7/7 happened in the UK. ”

In this scenario that we are in, where we clearly don’t have extreme intelligence, nor do we have vast armed forces, I think the Govt has done the safest thing it could: it admitted to the above, and said that due to them, IPL will have to be simply rescheduled. NOT cancelled. It takes a strong man to admit weakness.

We know ourselves that our Govt doesn’t have intelligence or forces. Yet we are hankering for the IPL. This tells the world, that we are a people who prefer to have the Govt give in to our tantrum and witness people die, than sacrifice pleasure to save lives.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ COMMENT 4

None of these events did. But why don’t we understand, that the present Govt is not stopping the IPL permanently, only asking for it to be postponed! I don’t think that’s unreasonable at all. I think its us who are being unreasonable.

Again I quote myself, “But I’ll bet the UK isn’t conducting their Elections on the same days. And if they are, they will still probably have sufficient resources to do so.” And they have sufficient resources because sufficient people voluntarily sign up.

THIS is why IPL is different and should be conducted differently. And we in India need to stop wishing we were 'as good as' XYZ country, because we are not/may never be (in certain respects).

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ COMMENT 5

Because we didnt have elections at the time?

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ COMMENT 6

The Govt's. But read reply to comment 2.

and it would be our fault for insisting the Govt allows IPL, at this point in time, irrespective of anything.

ISB Rockers said...

Which dates were released first? The IPL or the election dates? Please do not compare Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Congo to India..... in recent times life at Pakistan is always at a stand still be it elections or not. In Zimbabwe I doubt there are anythings remaining after Mugabe's reign to come to a stand still. The same applies for Congo (Due to the fight between Nkunda and the government has ruined the country) But nothing as such has happened in India. If the government cannot protect about a 50 international cricketers, how does it guarantee to protect 3.5 million foreign tourists that they expect during the commonwealth games? What about the World Cup 2011? You want me to tell you about countries where life comes to a standstill due to sports? Well the list includes Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and many more........ Have the EPL matches ever been postponed due to elections?

Do you know that at the height of terrorism we still had independence day celebrations right in Srinagar? Why did the government allow the English players to play even when the country had not recovered from the Mumbai attacks? I believe the team just returned within a week of the bombings. I am just sick of the excuses given by the government. If the Indian police is armed with weapons used in world war II and if the forces are dwindling its, whose fault is it? Do you think that after this incident the Commonwealth or World Cup organisers will have confidence to have games in India? Even if they do, do you think that any foreigner will trust the country's security?

Trust me it's not about IPL at all. This situation clearly exhibits India's poor security facilities. Since the dawn of time we have many leaders and celebrities that have been assassinated. Rajeev Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Gulshan Kumar and so many more. If the government cant protect these people, then how can it protect the common man?

Getting satellites into space does not help improving security. Otherwise America and UK would never had been attacked. But changing the crappy manual World War II rifles, providing proper training to the forces and hiring more forces does. As reports say the government needs some 100,000 personnel. Don't you think that it is funny that in a country with a population of 1 billion plus we do not even have 200,000 personnel? Tomorrow god forbid if a war breaks out from where are we going to get the forces needed?

India dreams of becoming a member of the UN security council when every month it is struck by a terror attack. The IPL was just a medium to expose the weakness of our country. Even when there is no election people are being killed. So if elections are there and 100,000 forces are occupied then who will protect my family back in India? I dont care wether the IPL happens or not because I know that its organisers are not as corrupt and irresponsible as the government. I ask you can the government now guarantee that as the IPL has been shifted to RSA there will not be a single case of ballot rigging, violence near the polling booth or a single bomb blast or Fidayeen attack like the one in Mumbai? If not then I am afraid there is not much difference between the state of people in Somalia and India.

kicking.and.screaming said...

Thank you ISB for the points you raised.

However, you have contradicted and repeated yourself several times.

I have reorganized and grouped the various points in your last comment, and reply below.

kicking.and.screaming said...

>> Which dates were released first? The IPL or the election dates?
I quote myself: “ Its common knowledge that the General Elections in India happen every five years. We knew it was going to happen in 2009. IPL however has only been around since 2008. “

>> Please do not compare Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Congo to India..... / But nothing as such has happened in India.
I have drawn no comparision b/w the countries. You asked for countries where elections can stop life, and I gave you examples.
And by your sentence , “But nothing as such has happened in India.”, you have affirmed what I have been saying and contradicted your earlier statements.

>> If the government cannot protect about a 50 international cricketers, how does it guarantee to protect 3.5 million foreign tourists that they expect during the commonwealth games? / Have the EPL matches ever been postponed due to elections? / What about the World Cup 2011? / Why did the government allow the English players to play even when the country had not recovered from the Mumbai attacks?
Please read my reply to COMMENT 3 AND 4

>> Do you know that at the height of terrorism we still had independence day celebrations right in Srinagar? / Trust me it's not about IPL at all.
Please read my reply to COMMENT 1

>> If the Indian police is armed with weapons used in world war II and if the forces are dwindling its, whose fault is it?
This country does not have the privilege of having a simple economics. It has to allocate money for various sectors. If you want to use a moral argument, then how much can you expect the country to pull out and invest in defense when there are millions starving and dyeing?

>> Do you think that after this incident the Commonwealth or World Cup organisers will have confidence to have games in India? Even if they do, do you think that any foreigner will trust the country's security?
Do you not think the confidence in out country would be much less if an attack is carried out?
I quote myself : “ If we do fail to prevent an attack, that will be PROOVING we are unsafe, as opposed to now, when people may only be THINKING of us as unsafe, but taking precautions to be safe. “

>>This situation clearly exhibits India's poor security facilities. Since the dawn of time we have many leaders and celebrities that have been assassinated. Rajeev Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Gulshan Kumar and so many more. If the government cant protect these people, then how can it protect the common man?

Getting satellites into space does not help improving security. Otherwise America and UK would never had been attacked.


Kennedy and Lincoln were assassinated too.
I quote myself: “ And lets not forget: 9/11 happened in the USA. 7/7 happened in the UK. And even after all that, a year or two ago, yet another major plot was foiled in the UK (when fluids were found, that contained potentially explosive substances.)”
Hence, “ we in India need to stop wishing we were 'as good as' XYZ country, because we are not/may never be (in certain respects). ”

>> Getting satellites into space does not help improving security . / If the Indian police is armed with weapons used in world war II and if the forces are dwindling its, whose fault is it? / But changing the crappy manual World War II rifles, providing proper training to the forces and hiring more forces does.
2 kinds of attacks we see today. The faceless bombs that go off that only intelligence can detect and man cannot prevent. And the newer trend of unmasked terrorists, for which both intelligence and men are required.
You said that getting satellites doesn’t help. But in both these types of modern terrorism, we see that intelligence is of greatest vitality in preventing casualty.
And even the most sophisticated weaponry and the biggest forces cannot prevent an anonymous suicide bomber or a bomb left on a train.
So greater intelligence, and not bigger forces, is what we need.

>> Don't you think that it is funny that in a country with a population of 1 billion plus we do not even have 200,000 personnel?
It is also funny that in a country with a population of 1 billion plus we do not even have a football team to send to the World Cup and only win a maximum of 5 medals at the Olympics, if we’re lucky. So yes, there are a lot of funny things in India.
Please read my reply to COMMENT 2

>> Tomorrow god forbid if a war breaks out from where are we going to get the forces needed?
The only wars we are probably going to have are with Pakistan(and I don't support it, let me make it clear.) And our government is not going to engage in a war it knows it has no chance on. If it comes to that, the country will not go to war and bleat for international help against the oppressors. Or we will go to war but foreign aid in the form of troops will come.
There is no war on our horizon. Lets not bring it up. We may keep talking about a war with Pakistan, but its not going to happen, because the worst has passed and its been 4 months since 26/11.

>>India dreams of becoming a member of the UN security council when every month it is struck by a terror attack.
The Security Council’s moral credibility is highly debatable today, im sure you'll agree. I don’t believe it will be an achievement for India if we get in, since it is horribly biased and opaque in its dealings anyway. The Security Council acted condemnably with regards to the recent Gaza Offensive.

>> if elections are there and 100,000 forces are occupied then who will protect my family back in India?
So, neither do you want the elections, nor do you want the IPL, because both endanger the safety of our loved ones? And yet you will complain about the present government, while not allowing for a change of government? You contradict yourself several times.

>>I dont care wether the IPL happens or not because I know that its organisers are not as corrupt and irresponsible as the government.
Please substantiate.

>> I ask you can the government now guarantee that as the IPL has been shifted to RSA there will not be a single case of ballot rigging, violence near the polling booth or a single bomb blast or Fidayeen attack like the one in Mumbai?
Please read my reply to COMMENT 3

>> If not then I am afraid there is not much difference between the state of people in Somalia and India.
Please allow me to quote you: “Please do not compare Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Congo to India..... / But nothing as such has happened in India. ” You contradict yourself.

ISB Rockers said...

Its common knowledge that the General Elections in India happen every five years. We knew it was going to happen in 2009. IPL however has only been around since 2008

That still does not make any sense.If the question was really about India's security then the government would have asked the authorities to postpone the IPL then and there. But they did not!!! Why so??
Yes we all know general elections are held every 5 years in India and so do the politicians that IPL is supposed to happen around this time of the year.I presume you are aware that the BCCI had said that IPL will take place from April 10th this year even when the first IPL was not over.

ISB Rockers said...

I have drawn no comparision b/w the countries. You asked for countries where elections can stop life, and I gave you examples.
And by your sentence , “But nothing as such has happened in India.”, you have affirmed what I have been saying and contradicted your earlier statements.


I have clearly stated that why we should not take examples of these countries. All of them have suffered from dictatorship and genocide. I doubt wether there is any kind of daily life in this country which can come to a stand still. I presume you know that Sri-Lanka has been waging a constant war against the LTTE since 3 decades but it still had the world cup in 1990's without any mishap. If Sri-Lanka, being militarily backward, without much technology (and without any "spy satellites") can protect everyone why not India? I preume you know that Sri-Lanka is at a greater threat than India constantly....

ISB Rockers said...

This country does not have the privilege of having a simple economics. It has to allocate money for various sectors. If you want to use a moral argument, then how much can you expect the country to pull out and invest in defense when there are millions starving and dyeing?

It is a well known fact that our country has already wasted millions of dollars every year since its creation on military in order to strengthen it's territorial integrity......but on the other hand, it totally neglects the matter of internal security. We are armed with "Brahmos" (the so called supersonic missile, which I doubt will be of much use) which cost about a million dollar each. We have the stupid aging F-16's (which have been sold by USA in order to get rid of their ageing fleet in a beneficial way) which come at about millions of dollars a piece. The list goes on and on and on. So tell me can the government not spend just about RS 500 per police officer and make them some nice automatic rifles? (I know that it costs much less to make a rifle)

ISB Rockers said...

Do you not think the confidence in out country would be much less if an attack is carried out?
I quote myself : “ If we do fail to prevent an attack, that will be PROOVING we are unsafe, as opposed to now, when people may only be THINKING of us as unsafe, but taking precautions to be safe. “


Ok so you mean to say we should stop the Commonwealth and the World Cup and block all tourism until an answer is found to the threat of LeT? Well if yes then trust me that day will never come in our life time.....

ISB Rockers said...

Kennedy and Lincoln were assassinated too.
I quote myself: “ And lets not forget: 9/11 happened in the USA. 7/7 happened in the UK. And even after all that, a year or two ago, yet another major plot was foiled in the UK (when fluids were found, that contained potentially explosive substances.)”
Hence, “ we in India need to stop wishing we were 'as good as' XYZ country, because we are not/may never be (in certain respects).


The attack in London was not stopped due to any modern technology or something. Do you know that the scanning machines installed at airports cannot distinguish between chemicals? Yes Lincoln and Kennedy were indeed assassinated. But the point to be seen is not that "Since assassinations occured there, they can happen every where" (Your statement suggests so....)

You ever wondered that why USA was never struck again after 9/11? Because they tightened their security. Do you know why the London attacks(liquid bomb) did not happen again? Because strict measures were taken to prevent them. Do you notice any change in the attitude of the government after the bombay attacks? After the Jaipur attacks? At least I don't find any difference.

ISB Rockers said...

2 kinds of attacks we see today. The faceless bombs that go off that only intelligence can detect and man cannot prevent. And the newer trend of unmasked terrorists, for which both intelligence and men are required.
You said that getting satellites doesn’t help. But in both these types of modern terrorism, we see that intelligence is of greatest vitality in preventing casualty.
And even the most sophisticated weaponry and the biggest forces cannot prevent an anonymous suicide bomber or a bomb left on a train.
So greater intelligence, and not bigger forces, is what we need.


I beg to differ. It's not intelligence that stops faceless bombs, it's strict measures,training and vigilance that does. Did you hear the interviews of the police officers that tried to stop the terrorists in Mumbai? They clearly stated that they had not fired a single shot for about 30 years.....If these men were armed with automatic guns then the terrorists would have been gunned down long back. Moreover it was evident that the terrorists had more training than security forces as finally we had to call in the Marcos to deal with them (First time this has ever happened). You say that satellites can stop terror activities, but I ask you what use is a machine if the people who are using it are incompetent and do not have any training?

ISB Rockers said...

It is also funny that in a country with a population of 1 billion plus we do not even have a football team to send to the World Cup and only win a maximum of 5 medals at the Olympics, if we’re lucky. So yes, there are a lot of funny things in India.

That is totally irrelevant. And since you have quoted that you agree that the Indian government is weak as it can neither protect it's people nor can it promote sports.

ISB Rockers said...

The only wars we are probably going to have are with Pakistan(and I don't support it, let me make it clear.) And our government is not going to engage in a war it knows it has no chance on. If it comes to that, the country will not go to war and bleat for international help against the oppressors. Or we will go to war but foreign aid in the form of troops will come.
There is no war on our horizon. Lets not bring it up. We may keep talking about a war with Pakistan, but its not going to happen, because the worst has passed and its been 4 months since 26/11.


That is the whole problem isnt it. We spen billions on buying F-16 jets, developing Brahmos, trying to buy Arrow missiles and radar systems from Israel and we still beg the USA to protect us.

ISB Rockers said...

The Security Council’s moral credibility is highly debatable today, im sure you'll agree. I don’t believe it will be an achievement for India if we get in, since it is horribly biased and opaque in its dealings anyway. The Security Council acted condemnably with regards to the recent Gaza Offensive.


That again is irrelevant. The point is that you need to meet certain conditions in order to be a member of the security council and if you cannot protect your people then how can you protect the world?

ISB Rockers said...

So, neither do you want the elections, nor do you want the IPL, because both endanger the safety of our loved ones? And yet you will complain about the present government, while not allowing for a change of government? You contradict yourself several times.


It is quite funny to see how you select only half of my statement and make it seem that I am wrong. Bravo!!
Anyways I shall clarify once again.... the government said that they cannot have IPL as they do not have security forces for it. Fine the IPL is cancelled. Now I ask you can Mr. Manmaohan Singh give in writing that not even a single voter will be harmed?

ISB Rockers said...

Zimbabwe and Congo to India..... / But nothing as such has happened in India. ” You contradict yourself.

Again you give only half of the statement........
The point is that [b]IF[/b] the government cannot protect us during elections then there will not be any difference in the way elections are carried out in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Somalia etc etc why do you forget the big [b] IF[/b]

kicking.and.screaming said...

Phew. This is good. Some of the points you raised this time, I may not have satisfactory replies to. Anyway, this time I'll reply based on the time stamps, but later.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 10:43PM

Even if the IPL was planned for April 10th 2009, in 2008, if the Government has to hold its elections on April 10th, it will. The Government is on a schedule too. I did hear Modi say that if IPL wasn’t conducted this season, it couldn’t be conducted this year at all since other matches were already in the pipeline. I cant speak for the government, but I think I can safely say that they have important things that have to go according to an order and they cant be pushed around either.

Don’t you think the opposition is itching to get into power? Its all very fine for them to criticize the Govt. They would have conveniently done so if the Govt had postponed the elections and held the IPL now, or even if the Govt had held both together.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 10:48 pm

Exactly. And India in that regard, has been a relatively successful democracy.

And yes I am aware of the issues you mentioned. I don’t believe terrorism or the fear of it, should stop life. But I believe in taking precautions.

This issue of the elections and the IPL has only been further magnified because of what happened to the Sri Lankan team earlier this year. I am certainly grateful to the Govt for being concerned about my safety, in this specific atmosphere that we are in.

We can draw lot of comparisons, but only the truth will speak for itself.

I would like to answer you with points that you have yourself raised.
Your question: “ If Sri-Lanka, being militarily backward, without much technology (and without any "spy satellites") can protect everyone why not India? ”
Also you: “We are armed with "Brahmos" (the so called supersonic missile, which I doubt will be of much use) which cost about a million dollar each. We have the stupid aging F-16's (which have been sold by USA in order to get rid of their ageing fleet in a beneficial way) which come at about millions of dollars a piece. The list goes on and on and on. ”

This of course raises more questions, of why the Govt hasnt been more smart in its utilisation of resources, which are being answered below.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 10:57:00 PM

The points you raised are very valid. These are mistakes committed by generations past, of Indian leaders. The Indian leaders of today can’t be held responsible for it, but they can be asked why they didn’t do anything more.

When this country was carved out of the subcontinent, territorial integrity was our biggest concern.
The kind of terrorism we are seeing today is a phenomenon of the last 2O years or so. So internal security is a much newer concern of the Govt. [ More in @ 11:05PM ]

I don’t have the necessary information to answer you, so I would like to ask you instead, has this Govt done nothing to increase security? Are you completely dissatisfied with what the present Govt has done? What more did you want to see from them, realistically, keeping in mind the several other issues that they have dealt with

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 10:59:00 PM

I have already answered before.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 11:05:00 PM

You are right, that is what I was suggesting. But only because we are constantly setting ourselves up against other countries, saying if they can do it why aren’t we.. I would like to see an India that is as tall and strong, but the reality is different. Anything in India, even the process of dealing with the new phenonmenon of the breakdown of internal security, when all we had to deal with before was territorial security, is going to take time. Lots and lots of time. In the mean time, people will die, graves will fill.. I know that. And I am not content knowing it.

So in a way, I was trying to give some consolation that we are not as bad as we make ourselves out to be.

USA and India have much in common with regards to our history. We were both colonized and went through huge struggles to get where we are. They had the Civil Rights movement too, which wasn’t so long ago. And we had our own process of rebuilding to undertake after the British left us.

How they managed to get so far in such a short time, has always been a question to me.

Then again, we have gotten much farther than our other colonized cousins.

Why was USA never struck after 9/11? Of course its because they tightened their security. But its also because they waged two wars to scare off any other potential threats. And the UK was a faithful ally. Do you think India can do that? Do you think we should, even if we can?

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 11:55:00 PM

It is not irrelevant. I was making the point that indeed we have the 2nd largest population in the world, but there are a lot of things we cant do as well as countries with a much smaller human power.
My reply to your COMMENT 2 is comprehensive.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 12:04:00 AM

Id like to combine 2 things you said to answer this. “ I ask you what use is a machine if in a country with a population of 1 billion plus we do not even have 200,000 personnel?
I already answered this in COMMENT 2.
I think we are agreeing on something here.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 12:05:00 AM

Not irrelevant. What’s the advantage of getting into the Security Council today if we don’t have a veto? I hardly think India should be pushing for it, and i hardly think we should be 'dreaming' of it. It doesn’t benefit us. It has always been and will always be the monopoly of the big 5.

I feel disappointed to say this because I've always been a fan of the UN. But its true in today’s world.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 12:08:00 AM

I have not manipulated your words. Please re-read, and perhaps it will bring some clarity. Perhaps after you reply to @ 10:57am this issue will be sorted out.

kicking.and.screaming said...

@ 12:11:00 AM

I’ve answered this question in @ 10:48am.

What do you suggest then? Please answer @ 10:57am.

kicking.and.screaming said...

SO!
I think we've covered every aspect of this issue that needs to be covered.
How about closing remarks, after you reply?

ISB Rockers said...

Are you completely dissatisfied with what the present Govt has done? What more did you want to see from them, realistically, keeping in mind the several other issues that they have dealt with

I shall not say that the government has not done anything to improve security but I shall say that it has done a lot in order to promote it. For starters Shivraj Patil, the former home minister of the country was highly incapable. Do you remember his comments after Mumbai attacks?......"Bare shehron mein yeh sab hota rehta hai????" WTF???

Secondly the scrapping of POTA was a big mistake. POTA had struck fear among the hearts of those who assisted terrorists.
The number of terror attacks has clearly increased since the last elections.

We have leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav heading the Railways!!! I know that he may have got the railways back on track and stuff, but since I am from Bihar, I know that he has made the state a living hell over there.