internal security

WHY WE NEED A LINDBERGH MOMENT

There is a poignant scene in Clint Eastwood’s ‘J Edgar’, where Leonardo di Caprio, playing the young FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, turns up at the aviator Charles Lindbergh’s house to investigate the kidnapping of his baby son, only to be told by a clearly inept but resentful sheriff that the local cops are more […..]

OF ISLANDS AND POLICEMEN

In December 2009, soon after completing his first year as Home Minister, P Chidambaram gave an important speech to Intelligence Bureau officials where he proposed radical changes to India’s internal security structures and identified the key weaknesses as he saw them. As he put it, the first big problem was that “the police stations in […..]

COLOUR THE OLIVE GREEN INTO KHAKHI

Can there be anything more symptomatic of the current malaise in the police than the caustic retort by the Chattisgarh police DG that his forces can’t “teach the CRPF how to walk”? Coming in the wake of yet another massacre of CRPF jawans in Bastar, the comment is not only in poor taste, it also […..]

Tiptoeing Through Landmines

In 1967, three months before Naxalbari first burst upon the collective consciousness of India, the London Times published a series of articles painting the picture of a general “deep sense of defeat”, and fraying of the Indian nation so acute that only the army could be an alternative source of civil authority and social order […..]

You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war’

What is the connection between a long forgotten US naval battleship that was blown up in the Havana Harbour in 1898 and the state of the post-Mumbai television discourse? Actually, quite a lot. When the USS Maine inexplicably blew up at the height of tensions between Washington and the then Spanish colony of Cuba, the […..]

Eyes on terror

Just after the attack on Gandhinagar’s Akshardham temple six years ago, a senior general with the NSG told me quite candidly that live television coverage of the attack proved to be a blessing in disguise, allowing him to coordinate the rescue attempts better while sitting on his desk in Delhi. The NSG commandoes could not […..]