OPINION

Citizen Safety and Law Enforcement

January 27, 2009
Puja Ahuja

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.

An educator by profession, I teach management in a leading educational institute. I have also worked closely with reputed academic bodies in the field of learning such as the C.B.S.E, N.C.E.R.T and C.I.E.T. Although this takes up quite a bit of my time, it does leave some time to pursue varied interests like reading, writing, playing the guitar and trying out salsa. I strongly believe in 'live and let live'. My close friends, a cup of coffee, humour, movies, music, travel and endless discussions about life keep me away from boredom."
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#1
smallsquirrel
January 27, 2009
01:46 PM

thanks for writing this. I have expressed many of the same concerns you have. these problems are universal, for sure, but never so much at the forefront of my mind as when I lived in India. I will never understand how whole buses full of people sit by while goondas drag a girl off and rape her. Or why people just walk on by when they see a teen harassing a woman. And again, I will say that these issues are not singular to India, but I know so many more Indian women who are victims of harassment and worse than I do American or European women.

Now look at what is happening in Mangalore. These Hindu Talibanis are content thrashing women whom they feel are behaving in an immoral fashion. Who are these jokers? There should be a swift and unfaltering reaction to this group so that they are afraid to show their faces ever again. That is the responsibility of every citizen, everywhere.

One word of advice, do try to steer away from using so many cliches and generalizations. I feel you have something important to say but it got bogged down in the wordy-non-specificness of how you said it.

#2
Sumanth
January 27, 2009
02:27 PM

Once again the story is all about women being victims and men being aggressors.

Three times more Indian men die in murders, suicides and accidents compared to women every year. The society and the streets are 3 times more dangerous for men and male kids.

Very little is explored so far as same gender violence is concerned. Every Indian movie has to show violence against men and children have to clap as some 200 men are being mowed down by hero.

Virtually nothing is done to remove violence from male identity and in stead blame games are played and threats are issued by NCW and WCD.

So far as acid attacks are concerned, 35% of victims are men compared to 65% women.

Nothing will change, if the "Men's World" remains violent. Nothing will change, unless society is forced to stop "emotional castration" of boys at age of 7.

If there are so many issues with men's mindset, then why the hell there is no funding for "Men's Studies" or Masculinity?

Men's studies can not happen from feminist prism.

Everyone wants blame game. No one wants to solve the problems and issues.

Blaming men with sweeping generalisation and social outcry against all men is no solution. Men are as much victims of this situation as women are.


"The police along with the judicial system need to address....."

What will they address? What competency they have to address any issue?

When 1,23,000 women are arrested and jailed without evidence by police and judiciary in last 4 years under one single section of IPC, one has to be reasonable so far as their expectations are concerned.

#3
smallsquirrel
January 27, 2009
02:43 PM

do. not. feed. trolls.

#4
Sumanth
January 27, 2009
03:05 PM

Regarding Hindu Taliban in first comment, I have to set the records straight.

Sri Ram Sena are a bunch of pathological lunatics just like some feudal goons seeking violence and attention in media.

If hooliganism, street violence, moral policing and taking law into their hands are signs of taliban, then let us see who all qualify to be termed as Taliban.


1) Mamita Benerjee dragged a SP MP by collar in Indian parliament. Has not she taken law into her hands and was as violent as Sri Ram Sena in the middle of India Parliament?

She is female Taliban according to the definition applied to "Sri Ram Sena".

2) Both Renuka Choudhury and Uma Bharati are accused of publicly slapping men (we have seen videos), they both are taliban as well.

So, what moral authority Renuka has got? He herself is partly responsible for harassment, arrest of 1,23,000 women with out investigation under one single IPC.

She needs attention, which her father or bf never seemed to have given.

3) Women's organisations attacked arrack sellers and husbands in south India, they are also taliban.

Banning liquor is taken from south Indian feminist text books only.

If liquor is injurious to social life in rural India, then it is equally injurious to social life in urban India as well. One guy being drunk killed 4 people just 3 km from my home in Bangalore.

4) Couple of women's organisations broke furniture in Delhi High court opposing whistle blower justice JD Kapoor's 2003 statement that "Dowry law is misused". A lot of misery would have been averted if these Taliban were arrested and punished severely in 2003 itself.

They are also Taliban.

5) Sri Ram sena called the girls prostitutes.
At 20% of 1,23,000 women were threatened about false cases of "prostitution" in Indian police stations when they were arrested under 498a.

----------
If Sri Ram Sena is Taliban, then Indian Police is also Taliban. Ban Indian Police.
----------

The Sri Ram Sena are just like children in comparison to the violent behaviour shown by Indian Feminists, Indian police and women's organisations.

=========
There is no difference between women's organisations and Sri Ram Sena. Both want to oppose "drinking" by beating up the sellers and customers. Both are Taliban.
=========

1) If a man drinks, he is a drunkard.
If a female drinks, then she is liberal.

2) Drinking in Pub is social service.
Drinking Arrack in village is criminal activity.

3) Arrack sellers have to be attacked.
Pub owners have to be given Ashok Chakra.

Only Urban morons have right to drink and murder people on road.

What a double standard?

=======
Sri Ram Sena has to be banned, because they are Taliban.

Before that ban all other hardened Taliban, who slap men in public, attacked arrack shops, broke furniture in courts, lied and mislead the country.

Ban Renuka, ban Mamita, BAN AIDWA.
BAN Indian police, for calling innocent women prostitutes.

Ban UNICEF. Ban UNIFEM.

If terrorist Taliban Sri Ram Sena and extortinist police and taliban women's organisations are not banned, then people must be allowed to take law into their hands and beat up all these terrorists.

Some 20 women are beaten and molested in Mangalore.

The crimes committed by Indian police and UNIFEM funded feminists on Indian women (also men) are much bigger. Ban them all.

-------

If a male MP dragged a female MP by collar in the parliament, has society reacted in the same casual way?

If a male MP or politician slapped a female in public view, has the society reacted casually?

===========
Crime has no gender.

The social double standards are very clear.
Female criminals get away, where as male criminals are put in jail.

Today, being a female taliban is fashionable. After slapping men, these bitches are giving sermons on civilised behaviour.


#5
Ravi Kulkarni
January 27, 2009
06:18 PM

Dear Sumant,

You are making the same mistake that Guido made in another post. How many men are raped in India every day? How many are molested? You simply can't deny that there is a systematic demeaning of women in India in the public places, often in open view.

All the incidents that you mentioned should be condemned and appropriate actions taken if they are true. But that hardly justifies pulling a rug over a huge elephant in the room.

Regards,

Ravi Kulkarni

#6
commonsense
January 27, 2009
06:29 PM

let me remind everyone of the basic commonsense that SS reminded us of:

SS:

"do. not. feed. trolls."

#7
kerty
January 27, 2009
06:45 PM

Ravi

"there is a systematic demeaning of women in India in the public places, often in open view."

Actually, there is systemic demeaning of lots of things in every domain. India is going thru a cultural war, and all facets of India are undergoing systematic demeaning, and it is led by media and political ideologies. Why so many men and women are losing even elementary social, cultural and moral values and manners? If we turn our men and women into Rakshasa, who are they going to devour first? They would turn to the weak and vulnerable ones of the society. And who is profiting from it? Hydra-headed Political ideologies. Their henchmen step out to vex eloquence about welfare and empowerment of women, poo folks and what not, and continue their cultural war with renewed zeal. This is politics of victimization and exploitation that creates its own circular vicious cycle where vicimization and empowerment become indistinguishable and inseparable.

#8
kerty
January 27, 2009
06:46 PM

Ravi

"there is a systematic demeaning of women in India in the public places, often in open view."

Actually, there is systemic demeaning of lots of things in every domain. India is going thru a cultural war, and all facets of India are undergoing systematic demeaning, and it is led by media and political ideologies. Why so many men and women are losing even elementary social, cultural and moral values and manners? If we turn our men and women into Rakshasa, who are they going to devour first? They would turn to the weak and vulnerable ones of the society. And who is profiting from it? Hydra-headed Political ideologies. Their henchmen step out to vex eloquence about welfare and empowerment of women, poo folks and what not, and continue their cultural war with renewed zeal. This is politics of victimization and exploitation that creates its own circular vicious cycle where victimization and empowerment become indistinguishable and inseparable.

#9
commonsense
January 27, 2009
07:22 PM

SS:

"do. not. feed. trolls."

offer then aloholic drinks instead and watch their standard gibberish turn into fun gibberish. i sent some virtual alchohol to kerty, and the results are evident.

#10
SanjayTheAtheist
January 27, 2009
07:54 PM

So let me draw attention to a few things here that Pooja, SS and Qommonsense prefer not to trouble themselves with.

The video footage of the attack in Mangalore was not taken by bystanders or passers by. It was taken by news camera crews who miraculously happened to be on hand right when the attacks happened. How convenient. Oh, and this has happened right before the elections too, which Congress just happens to need to win very badly.

What I'm saying is that these attacks were arranged, in order to sucker the electorate. Congress is reeling in the polls right now, due to the jihadi attacks on Mumbai. And so what better way to revive the fortunes of the Congress than for some "Hindu Taliban" to magically appear on cue, to drive the voters into the waiting arms of our "sekoolar" protectors.

What a con. And of course there are plenty of con-men and con-women on hand to lubricate this hose-job with their wailing prose.

I can see that following our 123 Nuclear Deal with the US, we're going to be forced to live under Congress rule uninterruptedly for the next couple of decades, with all kinds of stunts conveniently surfacing right before each election, to keep the rulers at the Centre in power.

I find it absolutely implausible that the news camera crew could have fortuitously been on the spot to conveniently capture this footage -- and right before the elections, too.

"What!" you cry, "Dirty tricks during Indian elections? That's impossible! You must be dreaming!"

#11
Sumanth
January 28, 2009
02:07 AM

Ravi Kulkarni,

When did I deny the presence of huge elephant in the room? I am just saying, there are hundred elephants in the room.

You asked, how many men are raped?

Listen, a man who is accused in a false case of rape is raped. A father who is accused of false case of rape by brainwashed daughter and attacked in jail is raped. Every man who is falsely accused is molested mentally by the system.

What do you want to convey?

Just because women are molested and raped, do you want justify the slapping and beating of innocent men in public by Uma Bharati?

In Ideas Mobile adv, a drunk man is slapped by a woman. So, a drunk man is to be beaten in Adv, then what about a drunk woman? Can her husband beat her?

Wake up and see the reality.

Now, 50% of Indian women are violent towards their husbands, children and elders. But, men like you do not have common sense to wake up and see the reality and say "women slapping and beating should be just condemned and no action has to be taken". For you, women must not be questioned at all.

Men like you do not even want any law to punish abusive women who create potential rapists by abusing their male kids.

Screaming in anger at husband and children has become a favorite pass time of 50% of Indian women. This demeaning bahaviour towards men and children by women is some how ignored by talking about rapes and molestation.

Crime is a crime irrespective of gender. There can not be double standards.

According to WHO, 53% of male kids are abused by their Indian mothers. The same children are brainwashed to call their mothers "Goddess" by the same criminal Hindu society.

Have you even bothered and condemned the Indian mothers acting like "Taliban" and brutalising children every other day in the homes?

Or do you just want us to condemn and keep quite?


------
Ban Sri Ram Sena and Hang them all.
I will be happy to see Patriarchal morons go to hell.

Extend the same privilege to entire Congress Party workers, who are responsible for 4000 deaths in 1984.
--------

Finally, why is it wrong to take law into one's hands (even though I want ban on Sri Ram Sena)?

When police have become criminals and extortionists, courts do not give justice, what should people do? Take pair of Cymbals and chant "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna?"

More and more people will take law into their hands, unless police and judiciary are cleaned up right now.

1,23,000 women are arrested and most of them jailed in 4 years by Taliban Manmohan Singh Govt under highly misused law and you are saying,"If it is true...."

Where are you?

Is arrest and jailing of 1,23,000 women without evidence of investigation less shocking than beating and molesting of 20 women drinking beer in a pub?

=========
Why the reactions are different?

Is it just because, we the Indians want to dance to the tunes of Media?
=========

When I gave presentation to 30 judges in Visakhapatnam, on what all shocking things happen in India, the judges said,"It has hit the hammer of our brains".

But, the people like you just do not want to wake up and just say,"let us just condemn......, if it is true".

========
There is not a single elephant, but hundred elephants in the room. Wake up and see whole of them.
=======

Who is the Puppet Manmohan Singh to put unruly criminal taliban Indian Police on innocent Indian people?

If Sri Ram Sena is Taliban, Indian police is also Taliban.

If we do not want Sri Ram Sena, we do not want Indian police as well.

Privatize the security and stop wasting tax payers money on criminal police.


#12
SanjayTheAtheist
January 28, 2009
09:12 AM

As I've said, these sudden attacks which have conveniently arrived just before the elections have been arranged by the Congress Party. The footage was not taken by bystanders or passers by, but by TV NEWS CAMERA CREWS who were very conveniently on hand to record the juicy footage.
And right before the elections, too. What strange "luck" the Congress Party seems to be having. I smell a rat.

The party which opposed TADA and POTA, and which failed to protect law and order during the Mumbai terrorist attacks, is now suddenly projecting itself as the Defender of Law and Order in Mangalore! From Zero to Hero! What
a SCAM.

Rent-a-mobs are not hard to find in India, if you do a little shopping. It seems like whenever the Congress Party is behind in the polls going into an election, we'll be seeing some 'Hindu Taliban' magically surface to scare the voters into the arms of the waiting Congressmen.

Neither Pooja Ahuja, SS, nor Qommonsense might care about the idea of Congress subverting democracy with dirty tricks before the election, since the "Evil Hindoo" game is just too tempting to resist. I for one, don't want to see uninterrupted One-Party rule for decades, like Hosni Mubarak's Egypt, or Musharraf's Pakistan.

I'd really like to know how those news camera crews were so conveniently on hand to capture the event. There's something fishy going on here, and it's more than meets the eye.

#13
SanjayTheAtheist
January 28, 2009
09:24 AM

Here's an interesting eye-witness account:

http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/27/stories/2009012759421000.htm

"One of them stripped a girl and groped her. She was also badly beaten up. We are still trying to trace her," she said. According to her, several girls were targeted similarly. "They were laughing when they were doing all this. It was just fun for them," she said. The attackers then targeted the men who dared come to the rescue of the girls. The narrator herself was slapped a few times.

What tormented her was the reaction of certain sections of the media. "They arrived on the scene even before the attackers did," she said, and added, "there was no nude dancing or prostitution going on there as reported."

---

My, my. Media men on the scene in advance to capture events they knew would happen. And just before an election, too.

Yeah, something's going on here.

#14
Slime_id
January 28, 2009
10:33 AM

The feminist women in our country have no brains. They are asking for more rights, only to be denied. Rather than ask rights for men and women, they choose unilaterally to define what is appropriate though the interests are often not desirable.

Rama Sene is a deliberate way to channelize electoral votes among the conservative voters. Just look like what Ashok Gehlot did in Rajastan, used this opportunity to increase his coffers. He did not ban drinking, but made people pay a heavy price on drinking, on the name of religion?

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/ram-sene-chief-muthalik-rearrested--full-coverage/83884-3.html

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/must-stop-pub-culture-public-affection-of-lovers-raj-cm/83887-3.html

India is made like a open wounds inflcited by Congress and BJP , names differ with Rama and Gehlot.

Gehlot targets Men drinking. Rama Sene targets women drinking. Gehlot targets pub culture, so does Rama Sene. Rama Sene targets voters being in news for the wrong reason. Gehlot tries to win voters being in news by ushering social ethics and good economics. Gehlot goes a step further and asks Men not to hold hand & hand in public.

The morality is regulated anyways, feminists so how is Rama Sene different from sonia Sene? Sonia acivists, NCW block desi daru stalls only to reopen them in election time.

Feminist NGOs are hand in glove with Liquor mafia though their intentions are different. after all this is how elections are won and lost and money from politics made.

#15
Sumanth
January 28, 2009
10:34 AM

The anti-BJP stand taken by biased media, will help BJP in elections. The media spreads lies that no action is taken even when more than 25 are arrested.

It is easy to for any political party to infiltrate into a fringe group, encourage and facilitate attacks on people.

The best way people in India can tackle this problem is by

1) Demanding all pubs to remain open till 3am.

2) Demanding night life (in some specific areas of big cities).

Otherwise, expect the Govts to close pubs at evening 9pm to placate the conservatives. In chennai, they close at 10:30pm now.

#16
Namrata
February 11, 2009
10:17 AM

Hi Sumanth,

I think you should get a life , do some productive work, get your facts in place and then comment.

You will find that once you have done your research properly , you, will have nothing to say.

Cheers

#17
kerty
February 11, 2009
11:41 AM

Namrata

"You will find that once you have done your research properly , you, will have nothing to say."

It is also possible that a person would have a lot to say after he/she has done the research properly. End result of research can be information, facts, revelations, discovery, knowledge and therefore one may have a lot to say and share.

#18
Guido
February 11, 2009
03:51 PM

Ravi #5

"You are making the same mistake that Guido made in another post."

Please explain.

Ciao, Guido

#19
Ravi Kulkarni
February 11, 2009
05:35 PM

Dear Guido,

If you remember we had this debate about how blacks voting en-mass for Obama was racist or not? It is the same logic because in India men are rarely sexually harassed. Any harassment (just as any racism) is bad, but to exaggerate what is happening can only be a red herring.

Regards,

Ravi

#20
kerty
February 11, 2009
06:28 PM

Ravi

"It is the same logic because in India men are rarely sexually harassed. Any harassment (just as any racism) is bad, but to exaggerate what is happening can only be a red herring."

That is because any harassment of women is automatically classified as 'sexual' harassment, while similar harassment of males is not considered harassment or 'sexual' harassment. Therein lies the real red herring.

#21
Guido
February 12, 2009
05:47 AM

Ravi,

My previous argument highlighted 1) the clear evidence and indicators supporting the charge of insidious racism, and 2) double-standards.

The points were never proven false, quite the contrary, and saying otherwise doesn't make it so. It does however reinforce the fact that hard data is often ignored or intentionally misinterpreted to fit ideological paradigms.

You've used a false premise to make a correlation that doesn't exist.

Ciao, Guido

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