Jawed Naqvi on the Pune attacks
The larger point of Naqvi’s article in the Dawn is about how statements made by officials about the attack sound like there has been no security breach because only Indians were killed. He starts with an interesting anecdote about security arrangements at Delhi airport:
CATCHING the once-a-week flight from Delhi to Karachi last Monday, I overheard a riveting exchange between the immigration officer who was handling my Indian passport and a worried man who rushed to speak to him in a hurry, I suspect, after seeing my bearded profile from a distance.
In my banterish way I engaged both of them in a conversation about their source of worry. Upon close inquiry the man who had rushed to the passport desk with doubts about my bona fides turned out to be a religious Muslim from Uttar Pradesh who hadn’t watched TV for decades. His job was to alert the officers about any Kashmiris going to Pakistan, or perhaps anywhere at all.
What or who they were looking for was their business and I didn’t ask beyond a point, but I did glean from the chat that the government of India hires semi-literate and obscurantist Muslims who don’t watch TV for religious reasons, to keep an eye on their fellow brethren who may have given up watching TV because Indian channels usually misrepresent the reality as distinct from what they know it to be.
The incident also gave me useful insights into at least some of the reasons for the poor intelligence and security that haunts the country as it claims its seat in the colosseum where the duel with terror is perennially on.