Monday, September 12, 2011

Some interesting links

                                         Picture courtesy:

Some interesting links from the web, twitter and my own newspaper, The Telegraph.

Our Science reporter GS Mudur writes about a mathematical analysis of terror facing India and its response
Game theory-based analysis of terrorism. From The Telegraph, Calcutta

A poignant 9/11 story from New York Times on The Telegraph's international page today
The quiet boy who grew up fast and focused after losing his father to 9/11

The Telegraph's Roving Editor Sankarshan Thakur writes from Kashmir
20-year battle for son who was taken away

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Inside NYPD's counter terrorism unit

The 9/11 tenth anniversary coverage has been exhaustive in the American press. I came across this interesting blog by a Reuters photographer trying to show how the NYPD has adapted and modernised itself since 9/11 to combat all forms of terror attacks. I thought it was especially relevant in the context of the Delhi and Mumbai bombings where Indian authorities appear to be reacting to the attacks rather than pre-empting them.

New York put Vietnam War veteran Raymond Kelly at the helm of NYPD three months after 9/11 for a second tenure as the commissioner and his present tenure is uninterrupted for the past 10 years.Can you compare that with how police officers are appointed in India and how short their tenures are? Kelly  has gradually built a powerful anti terrorism unit. It was he who expressed concern about the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, and took steps to combat this kind of attack at multiple locations. I was stunned to read that NYPD has stationed its officers in 11 other foreign cities. I hope they have one in Pakistan.

There are many things Indian police can learn from NYPD. Just look at their Press Relations page. In today's 24 X 7 media age, the right dissemination of information is also crucial especially during emergencies like terror attacks. Wrong information can get magnified rapidly and lead to a dangerous situation. As an example, I can cite rumours on Nov 28 when the 26/11 siege was still on, and a malicious rumour spread that armed gunmen are roaming around in the city killing people. For nearly an hour, the police made no attempt to deny this information and the rumour kept circulating, leading to panic. I remember a friend of mine ran back to his government office, and the office doors were shut as the rumour said that a gunman was  roaming free at CST in broad daylight.

That NYPD has a crack terror unit does not mean that their ordinary crimes are way down. I looked at their crime statistics.

James Nachtwey on 9/11 coverage

                                                     The front page of New York Times
                                                     picture courtesy:

This is a must read interview for all those who read this blog. James Nachtwey narrates the story of how he landed in New York the night before 9/11 and almost got killed when the North Tower collapsed on him. As a photo journalist, he must have faced these moments a number of time, but what unfolded on 9/11 was so shocking and unbelievable.

I find it incredible that Nachtwey shot 28 film rolls that day, and did not look at the unpublished pictures in 27 of those rolls for 10 years! The photos from the remaining one roll were used by Time Magazine soon after 9/11. Read on

Also see the 1971 picture that Nachtwey shot of the Twin Towers. It has an eerie resemblance to 9/11

Monday, September 05, 2011

A context to Anna Hazare agitation

Picture courtesy:

The Economist has put out this nugget of data that perhaps forms a context to understanding
Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement, its impact, and the government's response or the lack of it. The great middle class is rising rapidly especially in Asia.

But middle classes are not angry enough. Can they bring in change more basic than the candle light angst?