Quotations for consideration:
- “It's the price of leadership to do the thing you believe has to be done at the time it must be done" - Lyndon B. Johnson.
- “II you're too afraid to mess up...you're too afraid to do better"- Anon
- “Most people thinkof leadership as a position and therefore don't see themselves as leaders"- Stephen R. Covey .
- Terrorists bound on Suicide missions, supported by Foreign States, can strike anywhere in a Democratic Country, where freedom of movement is granted to everyone. This is more so when they are trained and supported by Foreign States from which we can have little or no Intelligence warnings.
- Attacks on soft & especially prominent unprotected targets are easy for the Terrorists
- Managing to prolong the operation ensures even greater Media coverage and allows for greater damage to be caused. (See “Terrorists & Media” in www.ideaz4india.com)
- Repetitive coverage of an 'on-going' operation escalates terror and the impact of the Operation.
- We may not have been able to prevent the attack as the bits of Intelligence were lost in the noise and mass of other data, but we certainly could have been ready to react faster and more effectively.
The 26/11/2008 Terrorist strike in MUMBAI, covered extensively by the Media, especially the ongoing operation, was showing 59 hours of mindless carnage by human animals who had no value for human life, of visions of smoke and flames from buildings that stand for what Mumbai is. The Victoria Terminus (VT) now known as the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), the Taj, the Oberoi, and also other locations that had their own special image and status, the Leopold Cafè, the CAMA Hospital and the Nariman/Chabad House.
What are the things that stand out during these 59 hours? The heroism, the discipline, the willingness to even sacrifice one’s own life for others, shown by so many of those involved and the empathy, resolve and steadfastness of those who watched and wanted to do whatever they could to help.
But, also what stood out and what we all need to note and resolve to avoid in the event of any such crisis in future – was the lack of any sort of leadership, the lack of coordiation of efforts, the lack of Someone from some Authority standing up and saying that -
“till someone else more competent comes along, I am the one who will be coordinating and directing whatever needs to be done now and I will answer for my decisions later, if the need arises.”
Crisis management demands that there must be a Leader to manage the crisis from the earliest moment and unfortunately at this time of crisis, that is who we did not have.
The one person who should have been there as such a leader, the head of the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), unfortunately got carried