Tech Bin Laden

DQW Bureau
17 May 2011


Last one week I have spent traveling

throughout the United States from coast to coast. And what has been

the most discussed topic here in this country during this period? I

don't think even if all of you are in India, you need to guess it.

Yes, the American annihilation of Osama Bin Laden has sort of led to

a mass frenzy among the common people here. Most apt way to describe

it would be how India behaved during the World Cup semis and finals.

The same strains of jingoism (with all TV channels exploiting the raw

emotions of 9/11 victim's families especially in New York), the

sudden turnaround in Obama's popularity (remember Dhoni), people from

every walk of life (the cabbie, the hotel bellboy to the top

corporate honcho) showing delight to the same extent-there are

several parallels in India.

My introduction to this news was

however strange-I had got into a flight from Delhi late Sunday

evening when nothing had happened. After flying nearly 25 hours with

a half-an hour transit in between, I had no scope to hear anything

about it-thankfully, no announcements were made in the plane. So

when I come out of the airport in San Francisco and board the cab,

the driver asks me "Have you heard the news?" I am

narrating the US saga post-Osama killing to bring home the further

pervasiveness of technology. Later, I heard that in many other

flights there was a public announcement made-the moment the news

came in via mobile, messaging or tweets, all various forms of

technology. Maybe since my flight originated from India and

considering the geo-political sensitivity (in other words, all Asians

are terrorists sentiment) the news was skipped. Since the technology

was available and it was liberally used.

In fact, the whole assassination

campaign hinged on optimal use of technology. And I am not talking of

the inadvertent live tweeting of the action by a bystander, but

serious tracking (via GPS, satellite etc) done all these months to

hunt the planet's most wanted man. Technology usage had even gone to

a macabre extent when supposedly Obama has seen the live video of the

action and subsequent killing. Now, imagine this video soon coming to

YouTube-technology would have achieved the ultimate of making

reality show out of terrorism into your bedroom. Even the quick

burial in the sea was tech-driven-after all, the radars and other

modes of detection were effectively blocked to keep the site a

secret. And last but not the least, the mass frenzy in the US

currently witnessed it being driven to a large extent by

technology-tweets, streaming, blogs and other interactive Web 3.0


Ironically, who lost out owing to no

technology? Surely, Osama, as supposedly his house in Abbottabad had

no TV or Internet and this prevented him from getting a sniff of the

attack. So, for all our channel partners who are still hesitant to

adopt the latest technology in their daily lives and businesses, the

moral of the story should be Obama Vs Osama-whom would you like to

emulate. The answer in today's light should be a no-brainer.