Citizen Safety and Law Enforcement
It has been decades since our country won its freedom with sacrifices awash in blood and yet I find myself questioning my liberty.
Fear stalks my path, its shadow unseen in the night. Even though I live in a city of over a million inhabitants, when I walk out of the office building to the car park, I’d rather not be alone. Because I know that there are many (I shudder to use the word human for them) who lurk in the dark recesses of unlit streets and parking lots waiting for an opportunity to give the evil in their hearts its coveted feed.
Molestation, rape, robbery, physical assault, acid attacks, hate crimes and a bullet from a crazed man’s gun are threats I face daily in the normal course of living my life. I remember these words from a book I read a long time ago- ‘the evil that men do lives after them’. The profound truth of this statement is evident in the trauma that scars the psyche of someone who has been the victim of a crime.
Why should anyone have to deal with such harsh reality? Do I not, as a citizen of a free country, have the right to go out and earn a living? The right to come home safely after a hard day’s work? The right to feel unafraid?
The Constitution promises to protect me through adequate machinery. So, I ask, where is the timely Law Enforcement Support to which has been awarded the exalted role of the ‘Savior’. In this murky world, the protector and the perpetrator have become one and I feel dismayed with the realization that I can’t trust anyone.
The police along with the judicial system need to address the issue of a citizen’s safety with the earnestness and commitment that this worthy cause truly deserves.
But how do we make this happen? By being there for each other and raising a voice for each other. How many times have we heard of the plight of victims and simply moved on to carry out our tasks for the day because in our lives the line of distinction between resilience and indifference has blurred to the extent that we fail to see any difference?
I remember reading a very touching story some time back. It spoke of an ordinary person, just like you and me, who was returning home after work and heard the cries of a girl in distress. The plea for help came from behind a bush and the man felt unsure of his ability to fight for the victim. He hesitated since he did not know whether the attacker was armed or strong. Being neither himself, the man thought it wiser to just move on. And yet a part of him couldn’t allow this to go on. So he jumped in, trusting God and his Fate to see him through. As he hit the attacker from behind, the girl was let free and he was shocked to see the face of his daughter staring at him with shock and relief.
The answer, my friend, lies with us. We have to make the right happen! I know we have come a long way but there is a lot more that we have to do. I don’t want my freedom compressed in a can of pepper spray. I don’t want to be the caged bird that sings. I want to be free to be myself, under the open sky, in a world where I rightfully have a place.
Who am I? I live in your city and I am the girl next door.
Citizen Safety and Law Enforcement
- » Published on January 27, 2009
- » Type: Opinion
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Author: Puja Ahuja
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