Post Mumbai - do we need an Emergency?

We did not need an Emergency in 1977. That was a drastic move by a power-hungry Indira Gandhi who wanted all Opposition to be silenced.

Now, the reasons are the breakdown of the whole system. This incident should remind us that North, South, East, West are all trouble areas.

The ruling alliance at the Centre is anyway not going to win the next elections, so it can declare a state of emergency and concentrate on beefing up security.

Right now every state is running its own show as it pleases. We need to be cohesive.

Muzzle the media for a while; this will make the terrorists feel helpless. If their bosses don’t see the success of the job being done, and it does not reach the international media, then it would be like conducting an orchestra within the confines of a sound-proof room.

Get all the Forces – the Army, Navy, Airforce – to work out a joint combing strategy.

Since most of our leaders get Z- plus security and are generally safe, get these same security people to train the rest.

The Opposition parties must be taken into confidence and a fixed date for elections announced together with the Emergency.

Every housing society or office complex must be made responsible for its own security that will be answerable to the local police chowkie; more chowkies are needed.

Citizen’s groups that have been talking big over their canap├ęs should be asked to volunteer in the Territorial Army where they can get trained and then help out to patrol the cities.

Airports, sea routes, train stations should be high-security zones. (For example, travel to Sri Lanka and they check you at least a kilometre away from the airport, then twice or thrice inside and again before you board the aircraft.)

Pending civil cases in the courts must be expedited; criminal cases followed up; long-term undertrials given priority.

All public religious meetings/prayers must be stopped. Festivals that are celebrated in the street will have to be restricted. Places of worship should be instructed to take care of their own security and those of the worshippers. In the event of failure, the people in charge of the mosque, temple, church will be held culpable.

If some of us are considered irresponsible only because we ask questions, then let us go the whole hog.

I know there are many loopholes in this post and it is not even ethical. But at least it is suggesting something pro-active.

The Constitution does not allow it, but had it been possible one would propose that Narendra Modi be installed as acting Prime Minister – or give it some other name. Let us see how he manages. After all, when we shop for anything expensive we are given the option of trying it out and purchasing it on approval and then given a warranty.

It is time to treat our leaders as commodities. The age of ‘public servants’ acting like our masters is over.


  1. FV:

    I know that all this can be misused and this is one of my worst fears. Let us not become another Israel, a security state.

    There are some very valid points here, which can be built upon and implemented without imposing an emergency.

  2. Hello Pune, Ms. Versey,

    I think Emergency (not unlike U.S. "martial law") might be preferable to building upon and implementing some of Ms. Versey's valid points you note. At least with Emergency there is some sense of a terminus and that public servants are pro-actively working towards that end.

    On the other hand, there's this here being implemented in the U.S., which some have argued appears to be an end-run around the Posse Comitatus Act:


    Perhaps outlining the difference between "pro-active" and "pre-emptive," and highlighting an open-ended scenario that would be most attractive, it seems to me, to beleaguered public servants who've suddenly found themselves out of their depth -- so to speak.


  3. PS:

    I did say I was aware of the loopholes in my suggestion, but one can get started on some do-able points.

    We can never become Israel...we just don't have that kind of discipline, not that I like that.

    - - -


    I don't need to emphasise that my suggestion was out-of-the-box and not based on any expertise. Thanks for sharing your views and the link.

    You mention differentiating between pre-emptive and pro-active. It is a valid point, but in the current scenario one has to leap before looking since we do not know what to look for, which is what pre-empting is about.

    I am personally against the idea of referring to it as martial law because we are looking at sevral options that include non-military activism.

  4. I understand the seriousness and enormity of the aituation.. but is over reaction really necessary?
    I know, we have to begin somewhere.. why not voluntarily at the individual level instead of an imposition?

  5. Atul:

    The problem is we all live in individual cocoons already. My suggestion is not over-reaction, just pushing the envelope.


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