The Kaizen Blog

Attempts to continually improve in all walks of life

Security Checks in India

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After recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, security has been intensified at all public places. Or o it would seem. Here is my recent experience. You decide whether this kind of security checks are useful.

Security Checking

Security Checking

I had to visit one of my relatives in a nearby hospital. Not surprisingly, I was stopped near the entrance for security check. Good, I thought, things are improving. The security person wanted to check the storage space of my two wheeler. So I opened it up. I had a bag full of vegetables and grocery in there.  I took it out, and handed it over to my spouse, so that security can check the storage space for potential threats. He had a quick glance, and allowed to me go. He never checked the bag with vegetables which I handed to my spouse, in front of him !!

But I am not at all surprised. In my previous workplace, we had bomb scare couple of years ago, and they too started checking every vehicle that enters the parking. They check of the ID card of every employee working on the premises,ask the car owners to open both boot as well as bonnet (to see if anything is hidden there. More about that little later)

All well, except they don’t stop the vendors who carry large cans of drinking water, and food items, in their smallish 3-wheelers/trucks. When asked, one of the security person answered : But they come here several times a day. We can’t check them every time.

Another incidence quoted by fellow employee :

For the weekend, I need to travel outstation, so I carried my suitcase along with me to office. I’ll directly leave from here, and be back on Monday. So this morning, security guard, as usual, asked me to open the boot of my car. He looked at the suitcase, closed the boot, and asked me to go

Here is my hypothesis about these pseudo security checks :

Here in India, most of the so-called security personnel employed at places like housing societies, office complex, malls etc. are blue collar workers, with low education. Typically they take up this job because they couldn’t get any other job. They do not have any weapon/batton to protect themselves, let alone stop a real threat. When all is well, they have to stop white collared so called educated people. These educated folks, take their security check as offense, as if someone is personally accusing of them of carrying weapon. Not just someone, but someone who barely completed his/her matriculation, is asking me to open my personal belongings.  I don’t understand why they take offense, when they very well know that it is for their and everyone else’s good after all. These people tolerate, and gladly co-operate at the airports for such security checks, but not at places like malls.

So the security person is in awkward position.  S/he has to do security check on everyone who walks in (that is his/her job) at the same time he doesn’t want to anger these educated people as well. So s/he ends up doing what I call tick-mark security check. Makes both of them happy (at least till the real threat any way)

What do you think should be done to improve the security checks, to make them real effective, without causing harassment/delays for common man ? Please leave you responses in comments below.

Photo by Cha già José

Update: See related post here


Written by Mandar Vaze

December 7, 2008 at 6:32 am

Posted in Miscellaneous

Tagged with ,

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