Friday, December 21, 2012

India's Capital : Why is It Full of People With Malice Towards One and All ?

It was the veteran journalist of India, Khushwant Singh, who popularized this phrase, with malice towards one and all, through his featured column having this title. He was very daring indeed to openly write about controversial topics brazenly and fearlessly. Pseudo puritans could never agree with him and had it been any one else quite likely such a writer would have ended up languishing in the jail. But fortunately he had the right kind of connections and aristocratic links that gave him the required protective cover.

I have been a reader of his featured columns, though not a regular one. Through his witty, humorous writing, he used to present the various kinds of hypocrisy that an underdeveloped society like that of India can have.

One of the universal truth that he used to tell his readers is the dangers that can be in societies like India, Pakistan and such other countries where suppressive puritanical laws and rules are forced upon the citizens.

He was against all kinds of suppression, especially the freedom of expression. He was against those puritanical laws that made  people ( at least a good majority) more pre-occupied with those which the laws wanted to eradicate.

I think he had a point there. The more our state governments enforced prohibition laws and rules, the more was the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Same is the case with other such laws and rules.

Governments which try to control the basic instincts of people are making things worse by forcing at least some of the brazen types in the society to resort to illegal activities with a vengeance.

That does not mean that we should not have stricter laws.

There is a need for having practical and reasonable laws which are strictly implementable. Impractical laws would make the society move towards illegality.

Added to the impractical nature of the laws, if  the laws of the country also provide loopholes for some of the law breakers to go least affected, the lower sections of the society are likely to develop the mental nature that equates to what is known as the state of 'malice towards one and all' !

When you have so many of such people in the society who roam around unnoticed, but keeping a grudge to all around with no apparent reason, it is a dangerous situation. They are much worse than hungry wild beasts waiting to pounce upon their preys at the most opportunistic and safe moment !

The recent incident that took place in Delhi that made the normal citizens of India shocked and ashamed caused me to write this.

The number of people , who are moving around with malice towards one and all, seems to be on the rise in India. Capital Delhi especially seems to harbour more such people.

Any one who have visited Delhi from outside without the watch and care of some others would have clearly sensed the deep rooted arrogance and malice that prevails in general in the Delhi atmosphere. I have a feeling that such a culture originates from the remnants of  centuries of violent history that this city has. 

Law enforcement is not an easy task in Delhi. Every other man or woman in Delhi is a VIP. And they all have lateral and vertical connections ! How do you expect the poor policeman to be impartial and effective ?

Some years ago, the family of one of my friends had a harrowing experience in Delhi and I was a witness to that. It happened in H.Nizamuddin railway station. The family was waiting on the platform to board the south bound train. From no where a thief came and snatched away the hand baggage that the lady of the group was holding and ran away to the other side. Everyone including the two policemen on duty on the platform witnessed it. Some ran after the thief, including the policemen. That's all. The bag and the thief became invisible in no time. The bag contained the reservation tickets and the money. More than the money, they were worried about the reservation. To make a duplicate reserved ticket the rule stated that you needed the copy of the police FIR. (First Information Report) We thought that the process would be easy as there was a police out post there on the platform and the policemen were themselves witness to the incident. To our horror, we found the in-charge officer rude and unwilling to help. He was not prepared to make an FIR. He was open to explain the reason to us. This police station was maintained as a crime-free one and they did not want to have a black spot on their reputation by recording a silly FIR ! It was amply clear to us that the policemen knew the thief. But that was not for helping the victim, any way ! 

A number of influential people in Delhi are so powerful that they do not need any policemen for their security. Some other Delhiites need the men and women in uniform to be with them always as a mark of display of their power and position. Then the police bosses want the remaining uniformed men and women at their disposal as their domestic and office helps ! India can never become developed like the developed nations as far as policing is concerned. Do we have any solution ?

In my humble opinion, we need to address the root causes of our maladies with regard to our laws , law enforcements and administration of justice. Instead of beating around the bush and making amendments over amendments over the century old British legacy, our law makers should rise to modern era realities to make simple, practical but effective laws, enforcement systems  and legal administrative systems that bring confidence to the law abiding citizens while being effective deterrence to law breakers.

At least the system should not make the fence sitters to develop malice in their minds and move around in the society as potential criminals of the highest order.

Like what we see in Delhi !

Let me earnestly hope the Indian law makers rise above party politics and hear the voices of the citizens to work out and implement effective law enforcement systems that are not draconian to generate general malice to one and all !  


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