Attention! Is this the Police?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Attention! Is this the Police?

Last evening I went to pick up some things for home from the department store. Visits to that store isn’t exactly something I look forward to. Considering the place is a little dusty, and the staff is slow and clueless. And for some inexplicable reason, they keep shifting some sections around every other time.

Anyway, while parking outside, I noticed two police constables standing beside a car nearby. I assumed they must be waiting on a senior officer who might be in one of the neighboring buildings.

I picked up the things on the list, and had just gotten into my car, when I saw a woman and her 6-7 year-old son get out of the store with a few shopping bags on them. They headed straight for the car where the two cops were still waiting.

And then, the hard-to-believe happened. The woman and the boy handed the bags to the two cops, who then loaded them into the trunk of the car. It took me a few moments to process what I’d just seen.

As I type this, India is being taken to the dumps or worse. By corrupt politicians, obsolete laws from another era, and more corruption. The dismal safety conditions that citizens have to put up with, speaks poorly of a weak system. And unappreciated and over-worked enforcement bodies, a large section of which, is deployed for political (politician plus family) security. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I had to see the pits of it, with officers of the law being made to load vegetables and other grocery into someone’s car.

Whether the car belonged to a politician or a senior police officer, I really don’t know. But either way, let’s look at it from the point of either of the two officers, who were perhaps in their late 30s/ early 40s. Young and driven, they obviously would have joined the force to protect and serve India, not to serve the public servants [politicians]. Then why was the job description of these officers changed, and by whom?

Look at it from the point of view of such officers. They obviously didn’t sign up for such a role. And how many weeks or months, do you think will pass, before all the dreams, aspirations and enthusiasm they joined the force with, leaves them?

Let’s look at it from the point of view of the woman with the kid. If appearances are anything to go by, she came across as well-educated. Why then, did she not see the terrible crime in playing along with something like this, if it wasn’t her idea of course. Whether the reason was a driver on leave, urgent need for home supplies, or whatever, was not reason enough to divert an officer of the law for such absurd and petty tasks. It’s a crime.!

Imagine the little boy now. What impression, and how much respect for the police will he grow up with, when there he was, handing over bags of grocery to two of the departments officers.

There are departmental pressures, hierarchy, work pressures, and all that. And above that, there’s the conscience of the officers and the police department. Then, above that, there’s also right, and wrong. While unscrupulous

Heads up Mr. Satyapal Singh [Commissioner], the average Indian has little respect for politicians. It’s up to you to help us retain our respect and faith in our police force.

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A Sense of Security

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Scene 1: [http://ow.ly/gjkW7]

manmohan singh to sushil kumar shinde: “ensure sense of security in Delhi”

sushil kumar shinde: [nonchalantly] ok

Life goes on as usual.

Public: what about other cities, towns, and the country; genius?

Scene 2: [http://ow.ly/gjkxc]

manmohan singh to sushil kumar shinde: [long silence] sushil kumar shinde to public: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit

You’re not scared about your daughters, they probably have way too much security. The common citizen is trusting, not stupid.

Do any of you have the guts to divert all the security personnel that are deployed to protecting you and all the other politicians and their families, towards protecting the people you were brought into power to serve? How else do you plan to make India safe? By a delayed public announcement like today’s?

And it is not only about buses [yes it was in this incident, but hasn’t been in innumerable others]. What about streets? What about dark alleys, what about homes? Your GPS devices on buses wont do. Try figuring out ‘how to make the country safer for women’, while you’re not doing anything important.

You guys just do not seem to be getting the point. Yet.!

Here are my suggestions:

1 – First, the six culprits need to be punished. Now. In Public. Make it an insanely painful death for them. Keep relaying it at regular intervals, on several TV channels, for at least a month. Let it sink in.

2 – You need to put together a team of ‘specialists’ who will understand  mindsets, identify vulnerable areas and scenarios, figure out solutions, and work on a detailed list of steps on how to make the country safe, and will then even implement them.

And if you get serious about it, not only will you ensure a “sense” of security in Delhi, but you will help make the country a safer place to live in.

To Adopt or Not to Adopt

Reading Time: 2 minutes

State Home Minister R R Patil came up with a brainwave idea to curb crimes against the elderly in the city. His idea is, that every policeman must ‘adopt’ (take responsibility) of a senior citizen.

What do some people have for breakfast?

Policemen in our city, and across the country are underpaid, overworked, and hardly find time to even spend with their own family. And looking at the scale of religious celebrations that go on here, one can only admire the effort and great job the policemen are doing at keeping normal functioning smooth and minimizing chaos.

And yet, our great Ministers feel that despite doing so much, the cops still need to add the responsibility of ‘adopting an elderly’ to their To-do list?

I would understand something like, having teams of social workers go to each elderly persons’ home and providing them direct contact details of a cop at the nearest police station. I could understand impressing upon elderly and their families the need for things like friend circles,  so that each one can check up on the other regularly. Or politicians could even have good ideas or suggestions created into the form of small skits and screen them on tv, showing how the elderly can be kept safe and protected.

If adoption is his solution to it, I got a better idea. Why don’t ministers adopt entire cities of the elderly. I mean, after all the scams that have robbed the country, it would still be but a tiny outgo from their overflowing treasuries towards adopting even cities as a whole. Thought about that?

If politicians cannot meet their responsibilities, let them at least ‘adopt’ part of those responsibilities.

Some shameful facts:

  • Around 1800 FIRs (First Information Reports) have been withdrawn by the state police over the last 6 years on orders from the home ministry.
  • At a Press Conference in the aftermath of the Nov. 2008 attack at Mumbai, R R Patil had commented “It is not like that. In big cities like this, small incidents do happen. It’s not a total failure.”

The reason I raked up that old 2008 comment is, because on those fateful days, a lot more than lives were lost in Bombay. A spirit was attacked. To many politicians, Bombay is perhaps only an ATM for them. But to its residents, it is a lot more. So for a responsible minister to have attempted to underplay the result of such an attack at a press conference; words to describe it should have been chosen more wisely.

Anyway, back to the topic. If politicians adopting cities or the elderly makes you choke on your late morning tea, I got a simpler idea. How about all politicians (public servants, supposedly) re-assign all their security (bodyguards, etc.) towards adopting or checking on the elderly in their respective cities. Are you brave enough to do that, sir?

 

 

 

Cartoons Against Cartoons

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A 27-year-old Amit Katarnaware does not seem to have a problem with corrupt politicians and bureaucrats eating the nation alive, drinking the nation dry. But he does have a problem with a few cartoons that just attempt to depict the sorry state those corrupt people in power have brought this nation to.

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How convenient is that? Amit, if you have so much love for your nation and so much enthusiasm and energy to oppose anyone who attempts to compromise on the respect due to it, why don’t you just go and take the corrupt bloodsuckers in power to task instead? In case it did not strike you, the characters in those cartoons are the ones to blame, not the one who created the awareness messages, genius.!

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And of course the guilty would react the way they do, allowing Aseem Trivedi to face the heat. It’s a natural reaction to guilt.

But seriously, if an educated man cannot differentiate between the real culprits and someone expressing the sad but true state of affairs, India still has a long way to go before corruption will cease to exist.

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To put it simply so that you (Amit) can understand, once corruption ends in our country, everything from the Constitution to the  Ashoka Pillar to national pride to even our faith and belief in our elected “public servants”, everything will automatically be restored to original glory.

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Click here for more Cartoons Against Corruption.