More Than Angry

Three Judges were brutally assaulted in Delhi by motorbike riders yesterday. One Judge is admitted in the ICU. Another Judge had similar unpleasant experience a few days ago. A constable was crushed under the wheels of a mini truck when he was trying to stop it as a wireless message asked the policemen in the area to intercept the vehicle. A woman was abducted even as scores of people watched it near a bus stop. Another girl was simply gunned down near her college in the morning while she was walking on an over-bridge to reach her college. Rapes in moving cars and assaults on the road have become so common that people don’t even read the press coverage on the incident. Not that Delhi alone undergoes this experience. The shooting of a policeman of the Delhi Police in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh 4 days ago is also allegedly a case of road rage. There is hardly any city or village where such incidents don’t occur. In the India 60 years ago, such exercise of might over right was the result of a feudal system. That it is happening in democratic India, is a matter of concern. Why is it happening?

The press and the media are asking these questions. But they forget that they, more than anybody else, have contributed to bring the situation to such a pathetic pass. They call it road rage or lack of security for women. They perhaps think that men are safe or boys are safe. Classmates are turning violent, attacking each other with knives or firearms. Even teachers are being attacked. A lady teacher was murdered in the school by a student in Tamil Nadu but nothing happened. Teachers on invigilation duty during exams become the target of violence of students they did not allow to cheat in the examinations. Doctors are regularly attacked, officials harassed and injured, public spirited people beaten or bumped off. The reign of terror is fully established in India by acts of ghastly violence indulged in openly only to frighten everyone. This serves as a deterrent to others from coming in their way. This is the biggest achievement (?) of the Indian democratic Republic, which celebrated the 60 years of the Parliament on May 12, 2012.

It is primarily because the Rule of Law that was supposed to substitute the dictum might is right to right is might has failed totally. The politician, who is the centre of all power of the Law being the Executive, has failed to act according to the oath of office taken by him or her. In a nutshell corruption has ruined the rule of law. Added to it is the destruction of the social infrastructures that held social relations in a defined territory. The authority of the elders has almost diminished from family, neighbourhood and society. What used to be a relationship till about 40 years ago, has now become an unwelcome interference. If the elders find children, adolescents and the youth indulging in objectionable behaviour, they ignore it. They have learnt from experience not to interfere. Earlier they wouldn’t have minded even spanking them if the situation so demanded. The parents of the spanked children would not only have thanked them for doing their social duty but also made the children appreciate the good gesture. Today it can be big trouble.

Neighbourly feelings gone, people have adopted a totally no interference attitude. Now it is termed as “apathy” when crime happens in broad daylight and nobody comes to the rescue of the victim. The TV channels make every such incident into big business by repeating it in detail for days, debating and asking the question why people don’t come forward to help the victim. What is the value of chivalry, bravery, sacrifice or public service? Does anybody value it in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangluru or anywhere else? The non interfering acquire the halo of being sagacious while the chivalrous remain a confirmed fool. That is the reason why people don’t rush to help the victim. They have learnt from experience the weakness of idealism in Indian life and the strength of the practical or pragmatism.

The so called road rage or anger without any provocation is not due to any medical condition like high blood pressure or depression or uncontrolled anger. It is born out of a false sense of power, a sense that makes the perpetrator so arrogant that he or she thinks that the law can do no harm to him or her. The brats of the corrupt and powerful get away with assaults on the law very easily. Each success makes them believe yet more strongly in their own impunity, invincibility and power. That makes them repeat these acts with regularity. The weakness of political leadership in the country and the wane of probity has created a situation in the country where the average citizen feels insecure and the centres of power feel above the law.This accounts for the incidents of violence and crime in the country. Otherwise it should not take more than 24 hours to set things right and restore law and order. For this, we don’t want another Emergency, but establishment of the Rule of Law!

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