Good Sense Prevail At Last!!

Dear Friends,

While the cell phone industry has grown at a tremndous pace, in India, thanks to the short sighted policy of the government, its growth was hindered in Assam, and the North east on the pretext that it is a security threat. As a result the Reliance mobile, was able to squander huge monopoly profits. It is evident from the fact that while, cell phone charges have crashed almost all over India, in Guwahati they continue to be very high.

All this is now set to change. "Notwithstanding the stiff opposition from the Army, the Government of India has decided to lift ban on expansion of mobile telephone network and WLL services of the BSNL in the insurgency-hit north-eastern region. Union Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Sri Pramod Mahajan who was here to dedicate the Computer Information Centre (CIC) set up at Software Technology Park of India (STPI) to the people of NE region, informed that the Cabinet Committee on Security had decided to waive ban on mobile phone network and WLL service expansion in the region in order to facilitate the people of this backward region to reap the benefit of telephone revolution that has taken place in the country."


(Assam Tribune, Aug.18,2002).

Thank you Mr. Mahahajan for this wonderful independence day announcement.

At a time when internet is freely available and all the insurgent groups are freely using sophisticated communication devices, harrassing the general public by not letting them enjoy the benefits of telecom revolution is downright criminal. Some months back the Centre had banned STD connection in Jammu And Kashmir, to fight terrorism. It did not help. It doesn't take a genius to foresee that such ad hoc measures, only create dissatisfaction among the locales without serving any purpose.

In fact the army should equip itself with sophisticated bugging devices, which are easily available, to monitor the calls of the terrorsits. Let us not forget that the first clue that the police got about the suspects, behind the December 13th, terrorist atttack Parliament House, was by checking the sim cards of the cell phones that the terrorists use. So let us be practical in our approach towards fighting terrorism. Technology does not hinder law enforcement. Rather it is an essential instrument of safeguarding law and order in the society.

In the name of security, let us not let the common people suffer, whose security, ironically, we are struggling to preserve.

Northeast India has a great potential for growth and the recent steps taken by Mr.Mahajan are in right direction.

N.B. I am pasting the links for the news item, published in The Assamtribune and The Sentinel with this article.