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Every few days, newspaper frontpages announce the Sensex’s march past another milestone, 10000, 15000, 20000 and so on. You have photos of brokers jumping for joy and quotes from experts. Business channel hosts are all smiles and it feels like it’s already Diwali. Media portrays the event as a big win for India.
Why the markets surge when nothing seems to have changed or why they crash suddenly is beyond the understanding of every expert, let alone a layman like me. There’s always some exotic reason put forward, like change in interest rates in Timbuktoo. However the fact is that no one knows. If the experts knew, wouldn’t they be making millions and then relaxing on a private island rather than giving tips on TV all day?
Security today is big business in Indian cities. It’s perhaps the profession that has undergone the most change over the past decade. Not just shopping malls and multiplexes but even small shops, restaurants and housing societies today have an abundance of security staff. A housing society might not have proper water supply but it will have a team of uniform clad and baton brandishing security staff. Makes one wonder if it’s a need of the times or if we are just getting increasingly paranoid.
Security guards in most cases seem to serve more to boost egos than to serve any real security function. Private security men have become a modern day city nuisance. Not only do they often abuse whatever authority they enjoy but they also regularly go beyond the limits of their allocated domain. Has anybody ever seen a security personnel busy performing security related work? Parking management or just opening doors ends up being their primary activity. They naturally get bored and therefore seem to entertain themselves by making people like me perform crazy car maneuvers before they let me secure a parking space…
(Cont…Click the scanned article image on the left). Published as part of my column for the Maharashtra Herald that’s published on alternate Saturdays. )