Recently, just as I was about to step out of a mall I saw a black bag lying near the main entrance and for a split second my alarm bells went off till the mall's security guard came and picked the bag up. It obviously belonged to him. I wanted to go up to him and give him an earful. He had no business leaving that bag unattended. There could have been a bomb in it and I had been willing to give no more than five more minutes before I notified the mall guards about it.
My friends found the episode funny and had laughed at my over active imagination. But I got to say -'I told you so' when a blast happened outside the building that houses the British consulate in New York.
One cannot be too careful as far as terrorists are concerned. We cannot afford to let our guard down and here I am not talking about racial profiling which not only offends the targeted community but is a waste of time as no terrorist worth his salt is going to move around looking like he feels at home in Tora Bora. Take a look at the sexy, innocuous Habib Marwan ("24").
Instead we should keep our eyes and ears open and listen to our instincts. While many feel that ever since 9/11 our rights have been infringed upon if not curtailed, I would still like to believe in the policy - better safe than sorry.
Certain precautions should be taken in places which tend to be over-crowded like malls, railway stations and theaters. In countries like India, Israel, and Japan, the public takes these precautions for granted, and does not raise the spectre of Nazi-ism everytime the government does anything overt for public security
Bags of the customers should be checked before they enter into a theater or board a train and if that annoys some people... Tough luck. I'd rather have my brand new, skimpy Victoria's Secret undies being pulled out of their bag than have a grenade planted under my theater or train seat.
Secondly, theaters, malls, subways and railway stations should have security manning the corridors and trains should have armed security guards in them.
Too expensive for the government? Since when has protecting its citizens been something the government can take as lightly as it has been doing nowadays? When it comes to gathering votes, they are like desperate pups in heat, but once in power they seem to treat the voters like used, damp tissues.