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    We Aren’t Fixing It – Part II

    It is unfortunate that I have to write a sequel of it after 7 years. The brutal rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad had got many out on the streets and agitating. It got me out of my slumber as a regular blog writer too. Instant justice was the collective demand. But is it the first time that we are seeing such scenes on Indian roads? Even more alarming question would be – are we seeing it for the last time? Honestly, here, your guess is as good as mine. Priyanka Reddy was definitely not the first case and, in all probability, it won’t be last either. In a stark reminder of the infamous 2012 Delhi rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, Hyderabad case threw us a very pertinent (read horrific) question – are we learning anything from such horrific incidents? Are we going beyond our laughable candle marches and stupid placards? And the answer is even more horrific – we aren’t learning anything. My problem isn’t entirely on our inabilities to learn but a major part on our acute disinterest in learning anything at all. This is both extremely unfortunate and scary.

    During 2012 I too had written in length on the precise reasons why this malice is prevailing and would continue to prevail if we aren’t going to address the root cause of all big-ticket crimes, not just rape and murder. I had prayed back then that India won’t give me another chance to write on the similar lines ever again. How pathetically optimistic I was. To my utter horror we are still convincing ourselves by all means to avoid even acknowledging the root cause, much less addressing it. It’s this collective ostrich playing on serious issues that makes me sick. I am not sure why we are so antagonistic to pointing at the problems within and fixing them. Look at how people were showering rose petals on the Hyderabad police after they gunned done the 4 accused in the case in a police encounter. I really don’t care if that was a real encounter as police claims or a fake one. This post isn’t about the encounter at all. It is about something more serious. The celebration after the encounter isn’t just a mere celebration that justice (if so, we can say) was delivered swiftly and hot. It is infact a slap on our entire criminal justice system. It reflects how people have lost faith in our judiciary of delivering rightful justice in time. We prefer such encounters over thorough judicial process was all that such episodic celebrations implied, and I am not impugning the populace for being so blood thirsty and preferring Kangaroo courts over civilized process of law, and dare any one blame them either.

    Criminology isn’t rocket science; it never was. It is the authorities who fail to acknowledge the same is a bigger problem. Most big criminals don’t become one overnight, and it is true for criminals worldwide, not just India. It is a series of smaller crimes that leads them to commit bigger crimes. 9 out 10 criminals just run out of their lucks before getting apprehended for a bigger crime and when authorities start investigating it throws up many smaller crimes of them in the past that were either ignored by choice or compulsion or went unnoticed that led them to be what they are today. We ignore smaller crimes time and again and that leads to bigger crimes. It happens always and we aren’t short of proofs of this claim. This is precisely what I called as playing Ostrich when it comes to nipping these crimes and criminals in the bud. World is a witness to such lethargic behaviour of the authorities who are still not admissive of this simple logic. In India this goes beyond just being lethargic. It is even more worrisome. No one perhaps explained this worrying characteristic better than the Bihar DGP. We support criminals based on religion, caste, creed. We garland rape accused because they fit our narrative. We look the other way if criminals are part of our political orientation. We basically go moronic when it comes to crime and criminals. And no wonder we were bound to land up in the mess that we are currently finding ourselves in. Only way out is to resurrect ourselves or else we are just buying our time before we agitate again for another heinous case very soon.

    Look at the history of the main accused in the Hyderabad case. He was driving a commercial vehicle without a license for last two years. Really? He was never been caught on our highways? Just before 24 hours he was apprehended by cops for not having proper documents. He somehow hoodwinked the cops and ran away with the vehicle. And I don’t want to believe he was never been hold up prior to the last one. Either he would have ran away like the last time or may have bribed his way out. Ignoring smaller crimes leads to bigger ones – never forget. We are so nonsensical that we were far from learning even after this man was arrested for his last barbaric crime. Media houses like ‘The Quint’ even ran around whitewashing this thug. And what was the most convenient way of whitewashing – play the poor card as if being poor automatically gives you license to carry out crimes. More being that man a serial criminal it was his poverty that was the centre point of ‘Quint’s’ deplorable journalistic adventure. In the entire article they published his crimes were cleverly hidden behind his poverty. What that article tried to achieve is just beyond me. But there is a pattern to it. A nefarious pattern of ignoring crimes in the name of journalism. Remember how Bhuran Wani was more a son of a head master than a hardcore terrorist? This is how we ignore crimes by choice. It is unfortunate for ‘Quint’ and other liberal leaning junks that the mother of the culprit spilled the beans. But the crimes these media houses do time and again is simply unpardonable.  

    What you see in the image? Yes, few palacefuls going on a rampage on Mumbai streets during the Azad Maidan nonsense. They disrespected our war heroes, damaged war memorials, other public properties and even private properties. They even molested passing by women and lady cops. What action been taken against these ruffians? Absolutely nothing; at least nothing that I know. Since the agitators were fitting to the political narrative of the then UPA state Govt of Maharashtra, these criminals were never brought to book. In a strange Ostrich like behaviour the then secular Govt of the state tried its best to look the other way. Horrific even – few able misters of the state even tried to covertly justify these broad daylight criminals. Let’s look the other way because we can’t jeopardise our votes. No wonder the main culprit in a murder in Bhiwandi 2 years later was found out to be one of the main instigators of this Azad Maidan rally. What action been taken against Owaisi who was the chief organizer of this farce? Azad Maidan is just one example. They come out after their Friday prayers and destroy public properties. There are many examples of this behaviour. I can recall (a dozen times at least) they damaging public transport busses after their Friday prayer. Most of the time for the silliest of reasons. And it is most rampant in Delhi. No action was ever taken against them. Absolutely nothing when most of these criminals can be seen clearly on the videos. Against the rule they occupy main roads and do their Namaz disturbing the general commuters every Friday. I once had to wait for an hour and half in Mumbai with a flight to catch just because few people were busy breaking the law while the authorities were busy looking the other way. To my horror even a full blowing Ambulance was stranded three vehicles ahead of me. I pray to God and hope the almighty must have shown his mercy on the poor soul in that ambulance. These appear very small crimes but they aren’t. We fuel the perpetrators to carry out bigger ones the moment we start ignoring them. It is the confidence that we won’t be caught or questioned since we play a vital political role because of our caste, creed or religion is what makes them lawless. Exactly what the Bihar DGP said. Like dust the confidence of committing a crime and getting away with it just piles on leading to hazardous levels.
    Our courts aren’t far behind in ignoring these criminals. A rape accused released on bail burnt the woman he had raped few months back in Unnao. As far as I know rape is a non-bailable offence. How this moron got the bail at the first place? Can we ask the me-lord for a detailed explanation on what made him grant the bail to this criminal that led to the brutal crime? Where is the accountability? Can we even ask why police didn’t give security to the woman when the danger was apparent? We can’t because we are in a habit of ignoring the crimes. A two-bit Padre raped half a dozen nuns and he was granted bail. Now that he is back in his zone, he is intimidating the nuns and used his clout to throw the nuns out of the church. How this Padre with such serious offence and multiple accusers got the bail? What was the logic behind the bail if not for our eagerness to ignore these crimes? Who will be answerable if something serious happens to these nuns? Just because the Padre plays a big role in the political demography his case was watered down considerably in the charge-sheet by the investigating authorities. Worse even, the authorities weren’t extremely eager in opposing his bail.  This is what we have reduced ourselves to officially. Many political figures, big and small, have serious charges like rape and murder against them. Few even are contesting from the jail. These are our so called representatives and we are as clueless as we can on whom we are electing to represent us. We are clueless because the criminal belongs to our caste or religion. A hardcore criminal like Raja Bhaiya was made the law (or was it jail) minister of the state. We ignore all of them and their crimes. We ignore a moron from Azad Maidan, and we ignore a certain Amarmani Tripathi in the same breadth.
    Religion is a very private matter. Even our courts are very vocal about this statement. Why can’t the ones blocking the roads every Friday during busy hours be asked to practice their religion privately? Why they be allowed to break the law every week and that too multiple times? They aren’t just limited to the streets of Mumbai or elsewhere. They do it in moving trains as well. Who gave permission to this moron to block the passage in the train and do his prayers? Should Hindus be allowed to do Hawan and Aarti in a moving train then? The scare in the eyes of this old couple says it all. Who won’t be scared? I would be scared to hell if I see something similar. I was scared inside an aeroplane when few morons got down in the aisle and did their prayer above 35000 feet. And I have a rich history for my fearing and none should blame me. None should blame this aged couple too. These are the precise small crimes that we ignore or worse, even support in the name of secularism that leads to bigger ones. I don’t want any prayer nonsense, neither any Aarti or Hawan or a jackass wearing a skullcap and scaring the hell out of a lot of people in the bogie.  No such nonsense should be allowed in any public place, more so a place like a moving train or over a flight. You ignore people who flash their private parts when the PM is addressing a public rally as they did with Mrs. Indira Gandhi in Kashmir, you give birth to more serious offenses. And trust me getting these minions to book isn’t a tough ask at all. But we won’t act on these morons because we would offend our votebank and much preserved secularism narrative.

    I will run into hundreds of pages if I cite all example of our rotten behaviour when it comes to crimes. And in most of these crimes we will find how our ignorance has led to such crimes. Morons get bail and kill more people. After brutal crime the criminals were given money to rebuild their lives. At times I just get numb looking at such developments. Paid activists come out with their placards for Kathua rape while remain suspiciously silent on Hyderabad case. They rather try to whitewash the main culprit because that fits their political narrative. These paid people are worse than the criminals themselves. Media now is in an overrun in publishing crime against women because that is the hot topic of the week. They aren’t interested for the safety of women. They never were. Such news would automatically stop being published within a fortnight and it would be business as usual. One such activist even poured petrol on her six year old daughter as part of her agitation. When we have such morons who go to any extent for getting paid, let’s be very sure that we aren’t fixing anything.  

    Even the ignorance has percolated to bigger crimes now days. A teacher affiliated to an RSS run school was shot in Bengal three days back. And it is not at all tough to identify the culprit. There are many eyewitnesses of this crime too. Has the Bengal police arrested the man? You would be kidding if you believe the man would have been arrested already. No, he isn’t. He is yet to be arrested because the culprit not only belongs to a favourable political party but also belongs to a particular religion. If you find this bad, then let me tell you what is worse in this case. Anyone asking a genuine question on the disinterest of the Bengal police to act against the culprit gets you blocked by the police tweeter handle. Unbelievable jokers. Police is a Govt agency paid by the tax payers. Who gave them the permission to block random people just because they asked some uncomfortable and genuine questions? How no action hasn’t yet been taken by the Bengal Govt against the police force for such deplorable behaviour? But this is what we are. Just because a political outfit has one of its dunderheads caught in a crime the cops are instructed to look the other way. Or for that matter, muzzle anyone who exposés their political complicities and utter incompetence. How many of you want to bet with me that the said culprit must have had a history of many smaller (may be bigger even) crimes? Take my words, he must have a filthy history and it would only come out once (if at all) he is apprehended.

    Someone asked me on twitter if I support the action of Hyderabad police. Let me clear this question without a shred of doubt – I do support. Delhi gangrape case was so called fast-tracked and we know how fast-tracked it was after 7 years. The culprits are still alive, which should come as a slap (read shame) to our civilized society. We give leniency to these criminals’ time and again, we lose faith in everything that we stood for. Justice should be swift and time bound. Law should protect the innocent, unlike in our case where it most of the times protects the criminals. Even if Jyoti Singh’s murderers were to be hanged now it wouldn’t have the same impact on the budding criminals, had it been done swiftly in a timebound manner. Justice not only should be done but it should appear to be. The second part of this statement is missing big time in India. Be it for caste, creed or religion or plain political buffoonery, it is always we who fail ourselves miserably. This behaviour has to change. We can’t ignore smaller crimes. We can only ignore at our own mercy. A nation and its laws can't be built on the ground of ignorance. It is the hard and brutal enforcement that builds a society, a healthy one.

    Before anything else, even more than the much required police reforms, it is our judges who need a lesson or two on criminal behavior and criminal psychology. Our judges can't just let go hardcore criminals and in turn cheat the victims and our criminal justice system. The repercussions are happening way too often to be ignored. Our judges need to be held accountable for their actions.

    All said and done, I strongly believe, we should answer in the same language as the question been asked. These rapists should know what fear and helplessness is. Infact all big criminals should. Fear should be delivered fresh and hot right at their doorsteps. We can’t install fear of the law by ignoring the law itself. It never would work. And for God’s sake – candle march isn’t justice. It is a cruel joke at the least and stupidity at the best.

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