As a travel and photography enthusiast, ever so often I come across places, museums, dams, bridges etc. where photography is forbidden for one reason or another and these days it seems to be happening quite frequently in the name of national security.
As a naïve person, I have never quite understood the relation between a museum (which is open to all and sundry) being photographed and somehow our national security being threatened due to it. And if something so important and secretive is placed in a museum, which can threaten the national security if it is viewed by our enemies, then isn’t it time to question the wisdom of displaying it to public, rather than attempt a band aid approach of banning photography?
I mean on one hand our government and armed forces spend thousands of crores each year in an attempt to raise awareness and promote the rich history, heritage, natural splendors and feats of engineering India has to offer and on the other hand, they seek to stifle those citizens, who attempt to do the same. All in the name of national security, which at least to me, can’t be threatened by a person photographing decommissioned planes at the Air Force Museum.
Fact of the matter is, National Security is of utmost importance to all of us; however a pragmatic approach needs to be taken to ensure that in the name of it, draconian rules aren’t being imposed, which do nothing to protect our nation and its interests, but do end up frustrating and restricting the citizenry in such a way, that it impacts our creative and commercial pursuits.
If anything, photography ought to be encouraged at all museums, in a bid to ensure that the message our museums hope to send, isn’t confined to its concrete walls and limited to a lucky few, who manage to visit them.
What if you take pictures of the air force museum and sell them to our neighbors that way they will know exactly what we have done in the past and since history repeats itself, in the event of a future war we may repeat what we did in the past and you have already sold those secrets being displayed at the museum.
to counter the argument that they can buy a ticket and come here and see it for them selves, there are several challenges there, to list a few
when some one from there applies for a visa, if he writes “Intelligence analyst” or some other military designation we will reject his visa
2) air tickets he will spend some 10thousand rupees on air tickets PLUS airport charges plus taxes
3) museum tickets he is a foreigner, we will charge him 10x of the ticket fee for Indians
4) he stays at a hotel here revenue for India and taxes
5) eats at a restaurant revenue for India and taxes
so assuming his visa is approved by mistake and he comes to India YOU will end up robbing the country of the taxes collected in the form of airport taxes, sales tax, excise, vat, service tax(the one we hate at restaurants), entertainment tax in addition to the loss of revenue to the economy.
DO YOU REALLY THINK THE GOVT IS THAT STUPID?
It takes dozens of exams and years of training to join the administrative services, I am sure they have thought all this and more through. You are being very short sighted by viewing it as only national security, it is not just national security it is also economics, we have to work hard to recover the rupee against the dollar!
I forgot to add, if under occupation on the visa form he writes “Terrorist” we will approve the visa and flag him so we can arrest him at the airport!