When you come to India, you immediately notice is all he security. You are first welcomed at the airport by an Army Soldier with assault rifle. To enter our gated and barb-wired walled community, you must pass a check point with no less than 6 security guards who pop the trunk and look beneath the engine. When you go to the Office or Mall, same routine. The hotels even have the fancy vertical bars, big enough which to stop a tank, which disappear into the ground to let you proceed once you pass security. Any place worthwhile is surrounded by barb wire walls or at least broken glass embedded on the top. So, why all the security ?
|Security likes cameras about as much as Sean Penn. Here is a rare photo in their natural habitat. Nolan nicknamed the guy in blue 'The General".|
While the US had 9/11, India had 26/11. This is the November 26th ‘invasion’ of Mumbai where a group of terrorists based in Pakistan shot up key Western parts of the city, killed 175 people and injured another 300+. Of course, we knew about this before coming. But no one mentioned that Bangalore has also had it’s fair share of bombings. Last Spring, a terrorist who was upset with the local police, set off 8 bombs at bus stops across the city within the span of 45 minutes. Luckily no one as hurt because he wanted to avoid rush hour traffic and nobody was at the stops when they went off. He hit the local cricket stadium a couple months later as a follow up before being caught. A few other organized terror groups exist, but not much action in Bangalore.
As an aside, be thankful of US police. They are alomst all honest, community minded, trustworthy and helpful (if you’re older than 25). Here the police play both Cop and a Mobster. Not much law enforcement happens without a little something for the police. Bribes are expected. There is even a website called http://ipaidabribe.com/ to anonymously report and record bribes. The police top the charts.
So you can understand the need for security, particularly private paid security. But we eventually realized these guards are just for show. What looks impressive is in reality much different.
A friend, after passing his office security checkpoint, joked with the security guard that the bomb was really in his back pack. Everyone had a laugh. Try that one with Homeland Security next time you fly.
When we first hired our maid, she didn’t get her security gate pass until weeks afterward. We told her to just walk through security, keep her head down and don’t make eye contact. No problem. It worked everyday for 2 weeks. Did they use Hogan’s Heroes as a training film ?
Metal detectors are common at the mall, hospital and health club. I set off the metal detector every time. The only guy who moves is the one who turns off the annoying alarm. I don’t even slow down anymore. It would be cheaper to buy a door frame and paint it black.
We don’t worry. Statistically speaking, we are much more likely to be hurt by the crazy traffic than by a crazy terrorist.