Monday, 23 May 2016

Police Brutality in India

A guy accused of eve-teasing – "accused" being the keyword here – is beaten with horrifying brutality by none other than those who are charged with maintaining law and order in our society. A poor rickshaw driver is repeatedly slapped by a constable while he pleads to deaf ears for no apparent reason. And these not two isolated cases being hyped out of proportion. Police brutality is as routine in India as communal politics. Goes without saying, this stone-age practice is not something we can be particularly proud of.

Let's for the sake of the argument grant that the guy did engage in eve-teasing as accused. We then may justify the cops' action as a necessary evil. It instills fear and deters other eve-teasers, one might argue. Well, why not just shoot him then? Won't that serve as a far more effective deterrent? Why not just do away with the courts and make justice swifter and more effective right there in the street? Sounds like certain regressive countries that still behead people for apostasy, doesn't it?

Who gives them the authority to play the judge, jury, and executioner, again? because our Constitution certainly doesn't. A civilized society is distinguished by its stand against vigilante justice. We wouldn't accept a band of street urchins doling out their own brand of "justice" without any consequences whatsoever, would we? Why should, then, things be any different if we put those hooligans in a certain uniform? Is the uniform the only difference between a rioting mob and an established police force? They are here to "uphold" the law, not make a mockery of it. No matter how serious the crime, a cop's job is to apprehend and handcuff the person without inflicting so much as a scratch on him. Whether he deserves to be punished and how bad if so is for the courts to figure out. How hard could this possibly be to comprehend?

Can we do something about it? Luckily, we are still a democracy. Luckily, we still have a voice no matter how hard forces are at work against it. Use that voice. Let's say enough of this hooliganism and take our first step toward being a civilized nation. Remember, being a civilized nation is the first step toward being a developed one. Know your rights. Exercise your rights. Question their excesses.

Credits: Times of India

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