Lessons not learnt from 26/11

We are novices at handling terror or intelligence or diplomacy. Just look at the faux pas of Republic Day Chief Guest invitation. We missed the build-up across the border before Kargil. Our agencies and politicians never learn. They are so focussed on fighting each other. Some even join our Nation’s enemies.

Look at “Aadhaar” which, I call, “Sham ID” because it is not an ID card. Yet, almost all people, including Supreme Court refer to it as "Aadhaar card". It is a letter acknowledging enrollment and assigning an allegedly unique number. The letter tells the recipient to cut a portion of it and use it.

The letter also informs the recipient that it is not proof of citizenship. It can’t differentiate between citizens and non-citizens. Still, RBI, banks encourage its use as KYC.

EC would like to link it to names in voter lists. Does not EC know that resident non-citizens should not be in our voter lists? Worse, the de-duplication process to assign the ostensibly unique number is done by foreign private companies. Does EC want foreign entities to control enrolment into our voter lists. I had written to EC explaining this but did not receive any reply.

Even our Armed Force personnel are asked to enrol in Sham ID, 'Aadhaar'. As per UIDAI’s contracts with Biometric Solution Providers (foreign entities), all data is not only provided to them but they are also authorised to do whatever they wish to with the data. No one realises that the deployment and movement of our Defence Forces would be known minute-by-minute to external agencies.

Our PM uses an iPhone given to him by Apple’s Tim Cooke!

Back to tackling 26/11 type situations. Our police need helicopters and drones. Is anyone in government even contemplating provision of these?

As for intelligence, we are so gullible that despite Snowden, most Indian government departments have Facebook pages and Twitter handles.

To prevent another 26/11, our intelligence agencies need to be more intelligent – use their brains. We did not even insist on interrogating David Headley in India. He was certainly not a DEA agent turned rogue. That’s what they would have us believe. No need for watch lists. He was travelling between US, Pakistan and India. Even an idiot cop at the immigration counter could have smelt a rat.

Below is an article from "Outlook" Magazine datelined 15-11-2018