Saturday, December 29, 2012

Whither Goes, my country......

...... yes, it is a question each one of us must ask, ask our selves, ask our police, ask our law makers, ask our establishment. The worst fears of conscientious people of the country came true this morning as the Delhi rape victim breathed her last in Singapore. I am ashamed to think that some among us have resorted to this most heinous and barbaric act. I am not able to collect my calm as I attempt to say a prayer for her should to rest in peace. My mind is not ready to believe that her soul can have peace. How can it have? Knowing us, we'll talk about it, blog, make her trend in twitter and facebook, express outrage for the next few days and then resume our lives like nothing is wrong at all. Oh, my country, why is your memory so poor? Do you know how many scars are there on your conscience?

All the sisters of my country must be told not to venture out alone and at unearthly hours.  They must anticipate that there are shameless men inebriated by desire, intoxicated with lust, bereft of values - so much so that the parents who gave them life will regret for having done so - are lurking everywhere. And our police cannot do anything about it. The most amusing thing about the police when I've visited them in the past in connection with various issues in our neighborhood is their unnecessary zeal to broker peace and deliver justice. I realize, that is where the out-of-court-settlements start. Does someone tell them what exactly their duty is when they join service? Shouldn't they duly register complaints, raise FIRs and follow up honestly? No, that's not what they do. On many occasions I've see that it takes a humongous amount of persistence or political pressure or connection with higher-ups for the FIR to be registered. Understandably once the FIR is raised the police will have to act on it and 'close' the case as soon as possible. If there is no FIR though, they can freely lecture us about how to be careful, how to secure our home and blah. In other words raising an FIR is extra work. I'm glad that FIRs work. Someone I know of recovered every gm of the fifty odd grams of gold jewelry that was burgled from their home, three months after they succeeded in lodging an FIR, thanks to the political connections they have. I just couldn't help marveling at the ability of the police. While I've seen this indifference sometimes I've also noted with admiration the work of Indian police in cracking down and catching the guilty. A case in point is the way Ajmal Kasab was nabbed in the aftermath of 26/11. The whole point of this digression on the way police behaves is that they should do justice to their abilities in the service of common man and not just in high profile cases.  My experience with traffic police also suggests that they behave either as onlookers or as fine collectors. They rarely regulate traffic. I've never seen a traffic cop come and guide me with parking. I've only seen them with tickets, ready to be pasted on your car or key that into the blackberry. In my opinion this is against the spirit for which the police force was constituted. We teach policeman as being a community helper to our young kids. Are we getting help? It is high time to sensitize the police ranks about the need to be of service to people. This has to be a strategic step. FIRs should be registered automatically, justice should be delivered expeditiously.

There indeed has to be a multi-pronged approach to reduce crime in the society. Making police more sensitive to the needs of common man and be of service to them is the most necessary first step. Making tougher laws and implementing those honestly and in a reasonable time frame is the next step. And the more enduring approach that will pay dividends over time is to bring in value based education that I wrote about in my previous post . While we need to be thinking ahead in shaping our younger generations to have better hearts and values, we have to urgently plug the holes of lack of credibility that we are developing as a country in providing the citizens with a safe and just environment.

We should also go ahead and observe a national day of shame every year or even every month if that helps us fight amnesia and be reminded of the goriness that our weaker sections are subjected to. The more enduring the shame is, more is the likelihood that we'll do something about it. Unless we do that something which will make life better for our women who are indeed the custodians of the home and the country, we will keep expressing outrage periodically and will be so shamed one day that we'll lose the zest for living in such a society. Unless we do that something the soul of the young medico will not rest in peace. Nor should our minds rest in peace.

Like Vivekananda famously said

उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान् निबोधत 

Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached.

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Love to blog. Every time I turn joyous or in extreme pain, I blog. Huge believer of 'charity begins at home'.