THIS refers to Prashant Bakshi’s write-up on cyber-terrorism (October 15), which poses a serious threat in a connected world. To defend itself form attacks over the internet, India must formulate an information systems security plan.
The omission of an expert on information technology from the reconstituted National Security Advisory Council is unfortunate. The recent attacks of the "Resume" and "I love you" viruses have demonstrated that a single cyber-terrorist armed with nothing more than a personal computer and an internet connection can hold several countries to ransom simultaneously.
India’s economic infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attacks since we have not formulated a nationwide information systems security plan while our airports, railways, electrical and telecom networks stock exchanges, banking systems, etc. are computerised and networked. Further, most end users do not have enough knowledge about computer security techniques to portect themselves.
Many terrorist groups targeting India are cycber-savvy. According to a recent report Osama bin Laden’s Egyptian followers are in a position to immediately cripple information systems infrastructures of his declared enemy states of Russia and India without being detected by the USA.
In addition this, India should also establish a centre to develop offensive capabilities to hostile groups. In other words, India must be prepared to defend itself against any attacks in cyber space.
Keeping a diary
Apropos of "How beneficial can dairy writing be?" by Mohinder Singh (October 15), an American writer has described it as a process "whereby you can vent your psyche on paper". The word "diary" is derived form the Latin world dairies meaning daily allowanced whether of food or money.
Queen Victoria kept her diary for 68 years. On her accession she wrote, "I shall do my utmost to fulfill my duty towards my country". Her grandson, George V, Another diary addict, gave a detailed account of his life in his diary which he faithfully maintained for 56 years.
Perhaps the most intriguing diary was of Samuel Pepys (1660-1669) written for nine years and not deciphered for 122 years. The diary of Annie Frank wherein she addresses herself as "Dear Kitty" makes poignant reading.
This refers to the letter by Brij Mohan Sharma in response to B.K. Sharma’s write up, "Campaign against smoking". In Haryana there was prohibition on alcohol, but still it was easily available. Probition gave birth to alcohol mafias. There are laws against corruption, but still corruption is rampant in our country. In the same way, anti-smoking laws will only lead to a worsening of the present situation. If cigarettes are banned it will give rise to cigarette mafias. The only solution is bringing awareness among the people and not making laws alone.
VIVEK SINGH MAR GIRAN
Apropos of Dharmendra Rataul’s write-up "Ways to beat boredom" (October 22), boredom is an emotion responsible for affecting health, the heart, the glands and sometimes the whole nervous system. It devours man’s energy and renders life miserable. Boredom lies in our mind and therefore it can be lessened if we control our thought process. It is a pastime of the idle mind. One who does not like to work, gets bored.
Boredom is only a pecularity of the weak and the defeated. The remedy is to accept boredom as part of life and learn to handle it by redirecting one’s energy into productive channels. This is easier if we make a list of tangible things that bore us. When there are down on paper, we realise many of them are vague, indefinite and futile. Since boredom is a cause of fatigue, we should schedule our day, fill it with activities, take interest in people and avoid obessive loneliness.