Strategic Foresight Group recently held and interactive session on linkages between global and local issues. The session was attended by Mr D. Sivanandan, Commissioner of the Mumbai Police, as well as other police senior officers. In addition, Mr. Kumar Ketkar, Editor-in-Chief of Loksatta and, renowned Marathi film actor Mr. Atul Kulkarni were also present and spoke of the challenges confronting India at the local level and the measures required to address some of these problems.
Commissioner Sivanandan spoke of the prevailing security environment in Mumbai and the work of the Mumbai Police. He talked of the challenges confronting the country and the operational preparedness of security forces.
Mr. Ketkar spoke of public perception at the global and local level, and how it cannot be used as an indicator of future developments. He talked of incidents in India’s history where public perception has not been indicative of the true nature of events, citing post World War I as an example of where people initially supported Nazi Germany for its anti-communist stance, but later changed their perception. He said that public opinion is fickle and can rapidly undergo a sea-change, and should thus not be used as a means to accurately gauge prevailing circumstances.
Mr. Kulkarni spoke of the need to change the way education is received in India. He said that it should not be a matter of rote learning, and that children should enjoy their education, with a view of obtaining a well-rounded understanding of subjects and events. In addition, he talked of the need to preserve the environment, and how people in India’s urban centres should invest in nature and do their part to protect the country’s resources for future generations. Furthermore, there was an urgent need for greater political awareness, and that the public should take the time to know their candidates and political parties in an effort to make well-informed decisions.
Rohit Honawar, Research Analyst at SFG made a presentation on the regional security environment and challenges to the future. He talked of how growing socio-economic divides are giving rise to a more fragile and volatile situation. Mr. Honawar also made a more in-depth presentation for the Commissioner of Mumbai Police and other top level police officials the following day at the training facilities of the state police.