Monday, August 11, 2014


I tried writing this post with a commentary on the law and order situation in the national capital after sixty years of independence but could not find suitable words or phrases to explain the angst in my mind. I have therefore given up the attempt on posing a commentary and this post only relates the incidents of breakdown that I either witnessed, read or heard about from others. Readers are welcome to post their comments on the post. Maybe you will be able to articulate the pain we all feel better and even explain why this a happens or what we can do to stop this madness.

All the incidents took place last week. One of the incidents was widely reported in the papers and triggered the idea of the post in my head. The others were not reported but left me equally aghast. What is appalling is that we seem to accept this as a part of life in the country and more in the capital and the millennium city adjacent to it. This is a part of the country with perhaps the best infrastructure, high literacy and per capita income.

The first incident was a news report that five young men had brutally stabbed and killed another youth in a Delhi market at 3 pm. I reread the article to confirm that it happened in the national capital with a number of folks watching and not doing anything to help the victim. The victim was chased down by the assailants armed with pistols and knives before they stabbed him almost 15 times and left him to die. 

An act of blatant disregard for the law of the land in the heart of the national capital. I know that Delhi's image has taken a beating post the infamous nirbhaya case widely reported by national and international media. Even in that backdrop this was quite a heinous crime and the fact that it was committed in broad daylight in a busy market makes it even more appalling.

The second incident is not as violent in nature and would even be considered funny but for those who actually suffered the experience. This happened in a very busy commercial district of Gurgaon where a number of large multinational companies have their offices and is supposedly a very good residential locality. As a colleague and I stepped out of the office of a MNC consulting company at noon on a Monday, we found that the traffic had come to a complete standstill on Sohna road. I am used to jams in Gurgaon but in typical situations the traffic inches slowly though painfully. This instance was different, there was no movement at all and on enquiry we were told that some locals had blocked the road completely to protest the theft of 5 buffaloes. My colleague and I looked at each other with comical disbelief. Surely this cannot be the reason for a busy commercial district to come to a halt in one of the most developed parts of the country, we thought.

As we started walking to the end of the road we found cops standing at a corner giving the impression that they were as helpless as ordinary citizens.  I am sure the owner of the stolen cattle was aggrieved but surely the police department in Haryana should be able to inspire enough confidence in themselves for the owner to not resort to such measures.

The person who committed the crime in the third incident actually said that he does not care for the police. My friend was driving to work in Gurgaon and his car scratched past another in the rush hour. The driver of the other came over and punched him in the face and beat up his wife when she got out of the car tried calling the cops.

What explains this kind of disregard for norms of a civilized society? How did we let the situation deteriorate to this level? Why is that we are able to build ourselves great offices and houses but not a functioning society? I neither have an explanation for the above incidents nor any grand solution. I only request all readers to introspect and do everything to stop this madness. We can perhaps start by ensuring that we ourselves will not resort to such acts of disregard for other citizens rights and put our faith in the system, whatever be the provocation.

No comments: