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Analysis Share This Page
We Hold These as Self-Evident Truth ...
by Dr. Gopal Singh Bookmark and Share
 
  1. That all men (and women) are created equal.
  2. That Delhi Police is corrupt.
  3. That Delhi Police is inept.
  4. That Delhi is the rape capital of the world.
  5. That the entire nation is fed up with the lack of law and order in Delhi.
  6. That the aam aadmi of Delhi feels helpless and has no place to turn to insure his/her safety and security.

The above statements may be dramatic but they resonate the real concern that we all have. It was a little over a year ago when the people of Delhi took to streets in anger and disgust to protest the Nirbhaya rape horror. The press and the media made most out of it to make news and express the national concern. The Delhi Police was rudely awakened from deep slumber and business as usual (escort the VIPs and collect haptas).

The Home Ministry that is responsible for Delhi Police followed the “system”:

  1. Verma commission was appointed.
  2. A new more stringent law against rape offenders was passed.
  3. A fast court was setup. Most of the defendants were found guilty and punished severely. This was supposed to teach the lesson to the new offenders.
  4. The system then went back to its deep slumber and business as usual.
  5. The people who took to streets slowly started forgetting the incident or just plain gave up banging their head against an unresponsive Delhi Police.

Let us look at what has happened since Nirbhaya:

  1. 680 rapes and 653 molestation cases were registered in 2012 (up to and including Nirbhaya).
  2. 1,559 cases of rape and 3,347 cases of molestation were registered in 2013 (after Nirbhaya).

As I write this article and before it reaches to you, some 5 helpless women would have been raped on the streets of Delhi and another 10 molested (that is if the editor of this forum acts post haste to put this article out to you).

What happened here? Something does not compute. We can draw three possible conclusions here. You make your choice(s):

  1. The people of Delhi just went berserk. They just don’t care about the law and the possible death penalty.
  2. Delhi Police is just plain corrupt and inept. It did not enforce the pre-existing laws and does not enforce the new laws. It just simply does not police. Whatever its priorities are they do not include safety and security of the people of Delhi). The criminal elements have very little to fear about.
  3. There is a nexus between Delhi Police and their bosses in the Home Ministry. Whatever it is, it does not bid well for the people of Delhi.

How Does the System Work?

You ask most any politician in our country and they will glibly teach you about how the system in our Constitution works? Whenever the system fails to deliver its responsibility and the suffering people are agitated, you appoint an enquiry or judicial commission. The commission takes its sweet time. Meanwhile the people lose the force of their agitation. The commission typically delivers a lengthy and inconclusive report. If the report is conclusive (such as the Adarsh Commission Report) the leadership simply brushes it aside and the business is back to as usual. This is an ingenious system. It follows the law and yet it renders the victims (the public) helpless. How can you blame the system? It is operating within the lawful guidelines. Isn’t it? The lesson is simple. If it is enacted repeatedly, you learn to shut up and put up.

Now let us get back to Verma Commission Report, something more relevant to the ineptness of Delhi Police. I will list just a few conclusions from the report (I am being careful in not taking things out of context). If the reader is interested in more details please see my article in Boloji.com titled “What We Have Here is a Failure to Govern” written right after Nirbhaya horror case:

  1. The existing laws, if faithfully and efficiently implemented by credible law enforcement agencies, are sufficient to maintain law and order and to protect the safety and dignity of the people, particularly women, and to punish any offenders who commit any crime.
  2. Law enforcement agencies must not become tools at the hands of political masters.
  3. Practically every serious breach of the rule of law can be traced to the failure of performance by the persons responsible for its implementation.
  4. The insensitivity of the police to deal with rape victims is well known. The police are involved in trafficking of children (including female children) and in drug trade.
  5. Reforms are needed in the Representation of People Act, 1951 to deal with criminalization of politics and to ensure true representation of people by elimination of those with criminal antecedents. This is also essential to avoid any conflict in the discharge of their legislative functions.
  6. The recommendations made in this report, unless urgently implemented, will end the exercise conducted by this Committee in futility.

I would like the readers to revisit No. 4 above. Does it remind us of what those “unruly” people of Khirki who are not “civilized” enough to understand the law and the system were shouting about on the top of their lungs? Why can’t they be more calm and objective like most of us and our “leaders”? Do we really understand what these people have been going through for years? Is our empathy properly placed? This is not to condone lawless behavior on the part of any individual (from AAP leadership or others) to find a remedy. There is a bigger point I am trying to make. I understand that we all love our country and we want a rule of law and order. When the law and order breaks down and our people are victimized and rendered helpless, we get upset and vent our anger toward the system. We want the system to work. But we do not offer any tangible advice as to how to make it work? It is painful to swallow but it might be just true that we don’t know how to make it work? We just want it to work. How can a system corrupt in itself, cure itself, by itself? If we want to cure it within the system then go back and refer to the earlier paragraph on How Does the System Work?
Finally, please revisit the point no. 6 of the Verma Commission Report. The former CJI knew the system well enough to make that observation. Virtually none of the recommendations from the commission were adopted and enacted. The report is shelved and will become a fodder for the termites.

I do not know exactly what transpired in the midnight episode between Somnath Bharati and Delhi Police. Slowly the truth will come out. There is a high likelihood that he exceeded the limits and made grave errors. Do not hold your breath on judicial enquiry to reveal you the truth. You are dealing with a highly corrupt and inept system. There is no easy solution. Repeated confrontations over a prolonged period of time will be needed to expose the system before it can be overhauled. These confrontations will be often heated and emotionally charged and yet have to be maintained within the bounds of the law. It will be like walking on the edge of the sword. Aren’t we glad that we do not have to do this job? We can listen to the media, the pundits and the politicians who will glibly criticize every wrong move made by anyone trying to fight it. Yet these pundits and politicians do not have any clear advice on how to solve it? Worse yet, many of them on the sidelines were responsible in creating it. We just have to keep our perspective clear as we face this difficult situation that has been allowed to fester for many decades.

25-Jan-2014
More by :  Dr. Gopal Singh
 
Views: 471
Article Comment The increase in incidence in crime is not primarily related to failure to arrest or prosecute criminals, and then to blame police and legal authorities for inefficiency. Increase in incidence in crime is tackled in measures to reduce the incidence of crime. For example, if there is a spate of burglaries in a certain area, any amount of legal threat against burglars will not reduce the incidence of crime; but a campaign of alerting the public to prevent burglary by, for example, not leaving windows open when out, or of installation of burglar alarms, will bring the incidence of crime down, thus relieving the legal authorities of pressure and enabling efficient prosecution of burglars. In the case of rape cases, the same principle applies: tackle the causes of incidence to the end of avoidance, and thus the reduction of incidents for the authorities to deal with efficiently. I understand that rape is a special case of crime where women can be attacked in what is normally considered a safe place; but then it proves the malaise is in social attitudes to women, which is where the energies must be directed to eradicate the causes of the incidence of the crime of rape, even to methods of avoiding occasions of vulnerability to attack.
rdashby
01/31/2014
Article Comment I do not agree with harsher penalties as effective deterrent either. The problem here is the failure to enforce the existing laws and nexus between the law breakers and Delhi police. When the criminal elements are able to essentially escape punishment (however prescribed within the law), the whole system of law and order breaks down and innocent people are victimized. When corruption is in the roots the sap infects every branch of the system.
drgopalsingh
01/29/2014
Article Comment > 1. 680 rapes and 653 molestation cases were registered in 2012 (up to and including Nirbhaya).
2. 1,559 cases of rape and 3,347 cases of molestation were registered in 2013 (after Nirbhaya). <

The figures indicate a back-lash effect by an element in society that is not considered by you in your list of causes. No wonder then that draconian legislation, including the death penalty, is futile, if it stirs up a feeling of rebellion among males. One perhaps overlooks the effect as akin to a 'declaration of war' on would-be rapists, and that the latter who might otherwise exercise restraint now offend on principle, gaining in boldness as the statistics become overwhelming, making a mockery of legislation. As the rapists are still within the protection of the law as regards being lynched by the public that would save a lot of police and legal time, one must use measures that are sustainable. The way to deal with the problem, given the vulnerability of women in Indian society, is to treat men who assault women as sick, and the sick must be treated with compassion and educated to a respect of women and their rights, which must be the norm in society that, apparently, is flawed in the context of the times.
rdashby
01/29/2014
 
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