Friday, December 19, 2008

You are pathetic, Mr Tata

Tukaram Ombale was an unarmed sub inspector belonging to the much maligned Mumbai police. He was the first to have the presence of mind to push a barricade into the middle of the road to stop the car carrying some of the Mumbai terrorists. As a result of his action Mumbai police now have a prize 'live' catch Mohammed Ajmal Kasab who seems to be singing like a lark, but Ombale lost his life when the terrorists opened fire and he got seven bullets in his stomach.

I could go on -- there were unarmed or inadequately armed policemen at CST who still tried to take on the militants and their AK-47s with their WWII vintage Enfield 303 rifles. The ATS lost 3 senior officers, the NSG lost one, numerous civilians, and not just those who were guests in the Taj lost their lives. Perhaps these policemen were foolhardy, perhaps even foolish, but they had no thought of saving their own lives in a desperate situation. Inspector Jadhav, another brave policeman who actually managed to survive...as I said I could go on.

What does Mr Tata do? He commiserates with his guests at the hotel (of course since they bring the moolah in), not a word of appreciation for the NSG, for the pathetically armed Mumbai police or any of the brave individuals who gave their lives. He criticises poor intelligence, poor security, he objects to having to go through the State Government to get the Navy commandos (what does he expect -- that they should be under his direct command?). Of course there was poor intelligence, very poor coordination and a very poorly armed police force. These things have now been discussed ad nauseum though I still must say that intelligence can rarely be so perfect as to pinpoint where exactly an attack would take place and it's impossible to protect all public places. (Note however that the Taj was indeed warned and they even introduced extra security measures for a few days which was withdrawn by the management because their high class guests found it irksome and intrusive).

Mr Tata has no thought for any of these people who did their best in the worst possible circumstances. All he can worry about is the loss his business has suffered and how it's all the fault of the Government. Not a word of consolation for the families, not a penny offered to the families who have lost their only bread winner (it's doubtful they would take it at this point). Ombale's salary probably would not even pay for Mr. Tata's shoe shining expenses. Years of just watching the Sensex go up and down clearly destroys the brain and drives everything out of it other than thoughts about the bottom line.

And Mr. Tata is one of our most distinguished Corporate Czars. God help us from all the others, in that case.

Tailpiece:

After three days, Mr Tata now says his statement should not be seen as a “lack of appreciation for the various agencies that fought the terrorists’’ during the carnage of 26/11. Well, thank you, Mr. Tata, I am sure we are all deeply grateful...

1 comment:

AMOK said...

It is important to salute heroes like Ombale. Thank you, Dr. Basu. While they work within a system that can be improved, their individual contributions are outstanding. It is the duty of Mr. Tata and others to see that the system is improved through constructive engagement and not harsh words alone.