Monday, January 05, 2009

terror strikes again at democracy

Over populated democracies with poor governance are soft targets for terrorism. Potential perpetrators consider India to be a soft target because it combines a mature democracy with poor infrastructure and extreme corruption to provide the obvious result of "poor governance". The paradox of what is called "heightened security" has no logic. This has to be a permanent feature for countries like ours.  The word "Heightened" indicates that there can be a perceptive or reactive based variability which is someones choice.

Creating & collating Intelligence, Data scouring from society based on their cooperation must become the focus and much before the final use of physical checking and army type policing. This must be the chronological order for any comprehensive security system design. We are no longer fighting armies, just a small group of individuals who are focused on disruption and terror.

Architects who design hotels and public places have a major role to play. They must think with their clients when new structures  are built or are being renovated to insure that "design" plays a role in sustainable security management. Sandbags and physical checking go against the concepts of a "hospitality industry" and YET these have to be there. Design and aesthetics can change this and hence have a major role to play to provide security MINUS the fear to customers.

Even after decades of sustained terror attacks we in India have not opted to use our own citizens as the only source of information when just a handful are planning terror or crime, in this oceanic population and chaotic slum environment devoid of infrastructure. The real change can be described as a need to "enlarge our democracy" and this means we cannot believe that "individual rights" will or have helped us create a secure and mature democratic society. We must not ape the western logic and their interpretations of democracy, because that model of maintaining democracy is based on such a high cost per capita infrastructure and not some intangible perceptive issue of rights. It costs a fortune to protect democracy, and just a piece of paper to claim its presence. The developed World has a different societal and governance infrastructure and it can never be the same; nor should we try. We need innovative solutions that are different and based on global learning and the economic costs already incurred or lost. 

Today we live in a Non Linear era where "a minority" (the word minority is being referred to in terms of SMALL NUMBERS and not community) wield a greater power over the majority. This is not only in societal lifestyle but also in politics as we see coalitions all over the world. This does not imply that small numbers are stronger; they are more "focused on strategies that create fear or economic disruption". The majority within populations in most democracies are split 50:50 resulting in equal divergent forces that neutralize each other. The SMALLER fringe groups who represent, create or depend on fringe opinion and special interest have thus a greater ability to influence policy and hence effect the implementation of common  law for the majority. We now see that the majority have been forced to change their lifestyle because of a tiny number. Is this the result we expect from a democracy? There is nothing wrong with democracy, just our interpretation that gives the wrong result.

This requires us to study the intentions of the original democratic charter and agree that its focus on "individual rights" was specifically intended to eliminate slavery with the hope that a trickle down effect will result in a FREE SOCIETY. In the early years of democracy, it was the Individual and minorities that needed protection from societal exploitation (slavery and discrimination) Hence the implementation of democracy needed to focus on "protecting the individual's rights'. TODAY we are in a non linear world the an individual in society needs protection (even in a democratic country) only from THE GOVERNMENT and its MACHINERY and not necessarily society !  Every citizen needs to be protected from the easy to misuse might of the Government and its agencies. To that extent individual rights are required; but only for one who has become a democratic citizen in mind and culture. Democracy is now been interpreted as a geographical occurence.
It is a paradox that in this non linear era that within civil society; created by the same democratic principles that have served society so well!! NOW Individuals who have access to more resources and greater economic power are in a position to hold society at ransom. A handful who use economic clout, fear or terror as their tools are able to threaten an entire society and make them change their lifestyle. The economic havoc that can be created by very few can cost huge losses to an entire society. This is not sustainable for India and the principles of democracy are gradually being eroded.

It is now time that we started to take into account the Non Linear "changes in our society" aggravated by liberal democratic interpretations.
  • The directional solution is not to change the Laws and charter objectives of Democracy but to enlarge the scope of democracy so that it can always PROTECT THE MAJORITY. How does one start ?? We must first agree that:
  • An individual must accept and recognize first that he/she is a small but inclusive part of a larger society. IF he or she is an alien/total outsider; then democratic laws cannot apply to them immediately, because "democracy lies only between the TWO EARS of a person and means nothing to an individual who does not have any upbringing in a democratic society. Our greatest error in interpreting democratic laws is the erroneous belief that it is a "geographical right" and NOT a societal one. ANY person who may not understand or belong to a democratic society is deemed to have equal rights based on "geographical presence". This is a very serious error and just one of interpretation. it should be clear that is unfair to 'those who have lived in a democratic society"
  • However ONCE it is established that the individual is a citizen who is a part of a "constituent of a larger existing unit" then it also must follow that it is the "society that must have greater rights than that individual".
  • An individual must SECEDE his or her individual rights in FAVOUR of the "next larger unit". This does not apply to right to live and exist, but should apply before the individual is given a citizenship. Our new interpretation should be logic based and we should agree that an individual cannot be separated from the society in which he or she lives permanently as citizen. He or She is "just a constituent and all in society are to be considered to be an equal partner". His or Her rights should not supersede their own society if they threaten the stability of the larger unit.
  • Without this progressive logic (even society has to give up its right for the country and so on). Without this logic we will never be able to solve issues pertaining to the environment, sharing of natural resources etc because ALL are and can be threatened by individuals, small groups who control economic resources and special interest who use "undemocratic means" to prevent the majority from voicing their opinion. EVERY INDIVIDUAL can aspire to have individual rights. EQUALITY with the majority YES, BUT only as an INDIVIDUAL NO! THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IS DEPENDANT ON THIS SMALL CHANGE NEEDED TO PROTECT SOCIETY FROM INDIVIDUAL EVIL AS WE HAVE A REVERSED SITUATION IN THIS NON LINEAR ERA.
UP-third eye

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Old Democratic views will hinder ability to fight terrorism.

Lord John Stevens, the former head of Londons Metropolitan Police who takes the lead to counter terrorism is quoted saying that the Human Rights "industry" has a stranglehold on Britain!!

He is absolutely right; and while one must in no way deny that Human Rights activism has been responsible for helping millions attain freedom through their lobby and pressure on tyrants, their approach and logic was relevant "perhaps a decade ago!"

We now live in a Non Linear Era where society faces challenges and problems that are "not defined by history".

History has no record, and therefore we have never assumed that an ordinary Individual can create havoc for society! The focus of Human Rights organizations and their mandate THUS thus must shift from protecting the "individual to protecting the larger SOCIAL UNIT of which an individual is just a small constituent". In this Non linear era there is now the propensity for A SINGLE individual or just a HANDFUL to create social and economic havoc to the majority in society at large, with global repercussions. One suicide bomber can globally affect oil prices, tourist traffic and alter the trends of all stock markets!! THIS ability has empowered and emboldened the terrorists organizations WHO seem confident of their ability to terrorise the innocent and create impact through economic turmoil. Their confidence stems from their belief that our democractic interpretation that protects the "individual over society" is theONE WEAK LINK that they can always exploit!!

THEIR relentless NEW approach must make us change our OLD approach which is now redundant as it is no longer able to PROTECT society. Surely Democracy has matured beyond our narrow definition where "protecting individual rights still remains as OUR ONLY method of evaluation to check the maturity and health of a democracy".

A simple and valued erstwhile LAW like "probable cause" seems to have vanished! It is no longer relevant!! I have not read of many protests from Human rights activists when cars and personal bags are being checked at airports and even Rock shows ??!! BECAUSE they know it is the correct thing to do!! It helps protect the majority from crackpot individuals & fringe groups!!

Lets pray that there are a FEW Human rights groups who will note that their real mandate and objective was and is infact to protect HUMANITY not just HUMANS! (If one can call potential terrorists human)

They must agree with Lord Stevens and SUPPORT the UK governments move to deport "those who can jeopardize the safety of the majority". THIS MUST BE VIEWED AS AN ENLARGEMENT OF DEMOCRACY AND NOT A CURTAILMENT NOR AN INFRINGEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS!!

nonlinear solutions