Tech Bin Laden



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
tools.

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.

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