Sunday, December 7, 2008


By, Krishna Hari Pushkar,
It is a multifarious term. The meaning of security is today based on various circumstances and contexts. Conventionally, security is meant similar as safety or protection. Scholar claims, it is a situation of being protected against danger, losses or any types of attacks. Accordingly, this paper begins with the fundamental discussions of the meaning and definition of security, which includes the several aspect and understandings. Afterward, it presents the meaning of security with essential explanations under three generations with its descriptive categories. Finally, the paper comes up with a summarized picture of Nepalese security apparatus. Lastly, it concludes with some concrete answers that what is the meaning of security today. Now the meaning of security is largely shifted and modified. Experts consider, “Generally the meaning of security is a kind of a state where people or institution or authority or groups feel full secured or feel albescence of any threaten or vulnerability from somewhere or someone in his /her life, liberty, property or activity, it could be in physical, psychological, emotional, social or economical forms.”
The term security is connected with the rule of law, freedoms, rights, peace or something that secures equally. Likewise, the meaning of security includes prevention, response and pre-emptive attacks. In broader term, today security means protection and prevention from physical, psychological, emotional, financials, environmental, economical, technological, & developmental damages and loss. It also includes the needy rights and privileges issues of the individuals, organizations, nations, regions or the particular groups that are supposed to be protected and prevented from any potential danger or onslaught.
In my observation, the meaning of security today may be offered technically under three generations: (a) First Generation: the people who are fighting for survival, living under the poverty line, struggling with hand to mouth problem and remained dependent on State & its welfare privileges are kept under this generation. The people mean today, the security is the prime duties and responsibility of government, so the protection and prevention from impending threat on their lives, liberty and properties may consider as security. Generally, they believe, the police and administration, insurances and social security mechanism are only the major source and actors of such security. These people are very traditional and do not well enough aware even about their rights, systems, rules, regulations and broader scope of security. There are huge mass of such people, specially in developing and least developed countries, (b) Second Generation: the people mean, “The security is the international & constitutional arrangements, which are enforced by the rule of law, it guards for justice, and protects and prevents from possible threats and vulnerabilities.” Further, this generation expects more than the first generation. They wish to enjoy all possible fundamental and human rights without having any disruptions or hindrances accordance with the laws of respective nation and international practices. And (c) Third Generation: the people mean that security is a kind of mental feeling, happiness and physical assurances for prevention, protection, and guard against all possible threats and vulnerability concerning the physical, economical, health, social, food, technological, cultural, industrial, ecological, rights and other issues that are important to the people, organization or particular nations.
Accordingly, the security may be classified as technological, physical, political and psychological categories. The technological category includes the areas of IT, network, machines or the domains that are related to the filed of technology and scientific development. The physical category includes the areas of business and commerce, insurance, products, food, money, health, tourism, water, home, goods, infrastructures, etc. The political category includes internal and external security, public security, immigration and migration, homeland etc. Finally, the psychological security includes mental attitude and feeling or satisfaction that assures people to live and conduct activities in fear-free manner.
The meaning of security reflects into practice when it is enforced by State through various mechanisms by introducing specific acts, rules, and regulations, orders, etc. Normally, every State has particular mechanisms for security. In Nepal, we maintain and enforce security through public and private authorities. However, the number and scope of private security company is comparatively very low in Nepal.
Further, Nepal is divided into seventy five districts and it has governmental security wings throughout the all districts and its regions. There are Civil Security Authority (Home Ministry and its direct wings), Nepal Police, Nepal Arm Police Force, National Investigation Department (Intelligence) & Department of Immigration etc are mainly active powers that are working for internal security.
The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Education Ministry, Cultural Ministry, Ministry of Local Development, Local Governments etc, are accountable for social security. Similarly, the courts are responsible for judicial security and justices. Moreover, the external security (defense) is solely assigned for Nepal Army. Respectively, the technological security is under the responsibilities of Ministry of Science and Technology and its various institutions. However, there are no direct governmental authorities in Nepal that deals with the financial and commercials securities. Though, Ministry of Finance, FNCCI, Nepal Rastra Bank, and few insurances companies are partially working on it with the help of police and general administration too.
The understanding of security is today being drastically changed even In Nepal, since Maoists joined comprehensive peace process in 2006 after decade long bloodshed Guerrilla warfare. Before, people was just talking about physical protection or seeking for survival only, though they are now asking for all types of possible security, which are discussed above. Hence, the meaning of security is based on perception, attitude, context and need. The developed world e.g. US, Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada etc. are adopting and practicing advance meaning of security, at the same time the country like Iraq, Nepal, Afghanistan, Liberia, Somalia, Rwanda, etc are not being even capable to enforce the basic meaning of security as mentioned in first generation section.
The security is a matter of high importance and interconnected issues for everyone. The globally integrated meaning and efforts for security are essential today since all human beings are equal as per norms of UN Universal Declaration of Human-Rights 1948, otherwise it is difficult to achieve sustainable peace, and to prevent and protect from the poverty, terrorism, threat, crime, attack, discrimination, abuse of rights and more.
Hence, the developed nations must help developing countries to improve and enforce the better meaning and practice of efficient and effective security system to cope with their emerging challenges. I observe there are immense gap among various people about the meaning and understanding of security. The meaning of security today is different and depends on the situation, nature of need and the level of people and their culture. However, there are some common characters in all types of meaning today that security is a legitimated legalized system or a kind of arrangement for protection, prevention, assurances, and preparedness against possible attacks, threats, damages and injury.

(Author is a Peace and Conflict Management Professional and Currently Associated with Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Nepal)

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