Thursday, July 30
Wednesday, July 29
We reached in the afternoon and made ourselves comfy for the day and night ahead of us. The hotel was 20 minutes drive from the Niagra falls. Soon our adventure trip began. Parked the car and reached the Niagra Information center. My sister and brother in law were well informed as visited years back. So… the adventure began right with an elevator ride 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge. Then, clad in a souvenir rain poncho and sandals, we went to the wooden walkways to the Hurricane Deck, less than 20 feet from the torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. This walkway is removed every November and reassembled each spring so it won’t be damaged by winter weather. Cave of the Winds was an ultimate experience. Have never faced the pounding waters. It was a almost like facing a 5 degree hurricane as informed We were mere feet away from the thundering waters. It was a rocking experience. The Maid of the mist boat tour of the American and the Canadian falls was thirty minutes ride but a lifetime experience. It was spectacular. The boat took us right down to the base of the falls. It took us so close to the waterfall that we gasped for air, we drenched in the falls water but one thing I dI couldn’t stop capturing the moments which came out quite decent as expected as the boat was rocking throughout in the choppy waters.
Friday, July 24
The National Security Guard (NSG) was set up in 1984 as a Federal Contingency Deployment Force to tackle all facets of terrorism in the country. With the primary role to combat terrorism where the State Police and other Central Police Forces cannot cope up with the situation used for specific situations and in exceptional situations. Additional tasks of VIPs security, Anti hijack duties, Data collection on bomb explosions were entrusted in 1986-87.
What we see are politicians who are not a "national asset” protected by so many security Personnel. It has become fashionable and a status symbol. The more people (security men) surround these people (politicians) the more prestigious they feel.
Politicians moving around with gun-toting security guards took strong exception to what they called “selective” withdrawal of security cover to politicians, the RJD’s Mr. Lalu Prasad, SP’s Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav and JD-U’s Mr. Sharad Yadav today said the UPA government should be held responsible for any possible attacks on their lives after scaling down their security cover ..The parliament could not function properly today because UP Chief Minister Mayawati's party men were enraged....just at the thought of their leader's security being reduced. MPs of Madam Maya's disrupted both the Houses to such an extent that they had to be adjourned twice.
On the other hand National Security Guards (NSG), do not want to guard the VIPs but focus on terror entirely.
The inept governance which continues to linger that lead to tragedies, highlight challenges that India’s internal security apparatus faces. In response to the terror attacks, the government had planned to increase the headcount of the National Security Guard (NSG) and establish centers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. The second item planned involves establishing a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) along the lines of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Based on the “Combating Terrorism” report issued by the Second Administrative Reforms Committee, the FIA has to be established as an agency of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who will be responsible for investigating federal crimes, including organized crime, terrorism, sedition, trafficking in arms and human beings, etc.
Will cutting on the guards do well to the country? NO……Cutting on the security of the politicians will bring no good to the country. We need RAW.. Get RAW. The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), our spy agency, has been spiraling into a bottomless pit for over 10 years. The organization has become a pawn in the hands of the powerful at South Block and is being used against political rivals rather than against enemies of the State.
In fact a separate federation should be created and on the expense of the politicians for their security purpose SO THAT THEY CAN DO POLITICS IN PEACE.
The Internal Security should no longer be a part time job for the Home Minister. We need to learn from America’s lessons post-9/11. India’s 4,700 mile coastline comes within the purview of the Coast Guard, Port Trust, Civil Aviation, Customs and Immigration and Border Security, which report to six different Ministries. The lack of coordination and communication is one of the primary reasons why the Mumbai attacks were so successful. These organizations need to be streamlined and rolled into one Ministry directly reorting to the PMO office. If a lay person like me can understand this mismanagement why can’t those who are being paid for the job?
Can somebody show the money at the right place? India’s law enforcement agencies, including Central Police Force, State Police Forces, NSG, and State Anti Terror Squads (ATS), are poorly funded and headed by corrupt, inexperienced, inapt and gullible officers. Images of Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare trying on helmets and bullet proof vests an hour before he was martyred will continue to haunt India..
We’re not an impoverished country that we were in 1962... Can’t we have decent funds between national defense and internal security? Cutting on politician’s security doesn’t do any good. It’s a wasteful exercise.
Our Anti-Terrorism Law doesn’t provide for special courts to try the accused. No matter how good intelligence gathering is, or intelligence agencies and counter terrorism forces are, if we’re working within the framework of an anemic anti-terrorism law, the whole system still fails. Imagine a kindergarten without a play area?
No matter how well controlled the country is every man, woman and child on the street needs to be security conscious. It is unrealistic to expect high security cover for every school, temple, hospital and mosque in the country. But citizens need to be made aware of what to do and what not to do in the event of an attack. If there is a security incident, they should be made aware of how and to whom to report it. It should be the internal security heads job.
Our politicians should be involved in end-to-end emergency preparedness drills. Ultimately, it is they that authorize action against perpetrators.
Lastly, the media must use their judgment in determining what to show during live coverage’s. I was horrified when one channel (I think it was Times Now) showed NSG commandos gesturing to each other as they prepared their attack routes outside the Taj.
Coming back to the point…Cutting on NSG will do no good to the country.
- The NSG has told the Union
· It cannot protect any more people as it is short of hands
· That affects operational capabilities
· The NSG wants most of the 3000 or so commandos on VIP guard duty to be redeployed in the four new hubs set up after the Mumbai attacks
· This itself could fill as many as half the vacancies
Wednesday, July 22
These incidents are deliberate and absolutely unpardonable.
First they say remove shoes, Mr Kalam! and now they say fly with us, Mr Kalam!
Friday, July 17
Few girls from the dental college in Sagar owned by her protested against the atrocities and mismanagement in front of her husbands official residence in Bhopal . The girls were beaten up and thrashed by the police.
The students alleged that Mrs Sudha Mallaiya running a nursing college denied them of basic facilities. She would often threaten them with rustication. The unexpected allegation was the accusation of running a prostitution racket in the college campus.The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) supported the medical students.
Last year the poor Minister had to reply a question in Vidhansabha for allotting a land to her wife for her NGO Ojaswani.