Saturday, December 13, 2008

Who took law into their hands? Police or Criminals?

Encounter! It is a familiar word for the people of Telangana and more familiar for the people of Warangal district. The word is so familiar that the irate girls in Warangal screamed that the accused who attacked two young girls, Swapnika and Praneeta by acid and greviously injured, be killed in an ‘encounter’.

Instant justice is what the people were demanding. Instant justice because the people think, would act as deterrent. A similar ‘encounter’ in the month of December last year is still fresh in the memory of the people of Warangal and widely talked about those who were afraid that their young ones might be kidnapped for ransom.

People hailed the actions of the police when they killed three persons accused of kidnapping and killing 11 year old Manisha on Dec 26th last year. The kidnapping spree continued till the Warangal police acted and mowed down the kidnappers. To remind you, there was no single case of kidnapping of children reported after the Warangal encounter. Before Warangal, a five year old boy was kidnapped and killed in Tirupati. Another five year old boy from Hyderabad was kidnapped and abandoned in Khammam district.

I am not surprised at the way people reacted when the accused in the ‘acid attack’ case are killed. I am not surprised at the way Varavara Rao and his fellow human rights activists reacted. But one question that remains difficult to be answered is…Who took law into their hands? Police or Criminals?

When Srilakshmi was killed in Vijayawada, the general opinion expressed was that the culprit Manohar was not sentenced ‘appropriately’ and therefore Lakshmi Sujatha, Ayesha and others. The law could not end the kidnaps. The responsibility was on the civil society to react to the crime of the criminals. The civil society failed. The civil society failed to mount pressure on the governments for proper law’s. The civil society failed to sensitize the politicians and the bureaucrats on the need for a law that protects college going girls and un-married women.

It time to act. Its time enact and Act. Enact and Act that does not give scope for the police to take law into their hands. Enact and Act that instills confidence among the police and the girls that the punishment under its provisions will be deterrent. The Act should send chill down the spine of the criminals that punishment under the law is worse than getting killed in an encounter.

Lets act. Lets stop ‘fake encounters’. Lets stop fake encounters that, by default, get sanction from the public. Lets act for an Act. Andhra Pradesh single women (security and protection) Act, 2009. This is not impossible.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Votes not SMSes can end terror

Funny messages started landing in my mobile and mail inboxs. Funny! Really funny. It looked as if the techno savvy patriots have vowed weed out scrupulous politicians and that it is just an SMS / Mail away.
One text message that I received on 27th evening says "Do not worry about those who have come thru boats... Our forces can easily defeat them. WORRY about those who have come thru votes.... Those are our REAL ENEMIES..." Votes! Whose votes? For me in the first instance it looks like a message sent by a terrorist again. While the forces from across the border were successful in attacking Mumbai, the forces, immediately after the attack have unleashed an attack on the democracy in India through 'text messages'. Pakistan that does not believe in democracy (several coups stand testimony to the fact) wants to create unrest in India and thus harm the strong democratic set up that India has, and therefore the message.

"....those who have come through votes", well, whose votes. Do they mean to say that those all who have participated in the electoral process are terrorists or those supporting the terrorists. Every citizen of India who is above 18 years of age and in mentally sound is eligible to vote. And those who have come through votes should be considered as those elected by the citizens who are mentally sound. We should not be worried about those who come either by boats or votes. Whom we should be really worried is about those who do not vote. It is they who are sending 'incompetent' leaders to the Parliament and the Assemblies. Their absence from voting ensures the victory of bootleggers, smugglers, land mafia, coal mafia, communal and anti-nationals, scrupulous businessmen, tax evaders... and the list goes on.

Telecom companies estimated, a week later that the text message revenue after the attack on Mumbai has fetched them the revenue of more than Rs 2o million. Conservative estimate after converting Rs 20 million into number of text messages puts the number of those who have either sent of forwarded the messages at 40 million (considering the fact that most of the mobile phone operators offer 150-200 free SMs per month and the avg tariff of a text message at 50 paise). Well, how many among these 40 million have voted. I claim, hardly half a million.

It is easy to send or forward a text message. It is easy to send or forward a mail. You can do it at the comfort of an air-conditioned office. You can do it at the push of a button. But it is 'painful' to vote. It is 'painful' because you have to register as a voter. It is 'painful' because you have to stand in a que, often in scorching summers and chilling winters. Its 'painful' because it spoils your 'holiday'. (The same applies to celebrating Independence day and Republic Day)

Why take some much pain. Why think so much and waste time when you can claim yourself to be patriotic and that too just by forwarding a text message or a mail. My dear techno savvy patriots this is not democracy. A strong democracy (like the America... most of them believe) cannot be built by exhibiting your creativity in writing text messages and mails. A strong democracy cannot be possible if you think its painful to vote. A strong democracy can be built only when you think voting is as simple as a Text message. A strong democracy is possible only when you think voting is pleasure.

Dont worry about those who have come through votes... WORRY ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE NOT COME TO VOTE. They could be helping terrorists. They could be helping Pakistan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why blame politicians!

The democracy in India has never been under so much criticism (I call it attack) as it was post 26/11. The democracy is under attack not from the Junta as it was, very frequently, in the neighboring Pakistan. The democracy in India is under attack from its ‘stake holders’, the citizens of the country that boasts of being the world’s largest democracy.

The vanguards of democracy, particularly politicians, are embarrassed by the ‘lipstick sporting’ women as was criticized by senior BJP leader Mukthar Abbas Naquvi. Versace sporting Congress MP Milind Deora says, “I am ashamed to be a politician”. Equally ashamed is another politician and BJP leader Shaina NC, a fashion designer and well known P3 woman.

Why blame politicians? There is every reason for the stake holders to blame politicians. There is every reason to blame politicians for repeatedly jeopardizing the interests of the stake holders and hold the ‘democracy’ to ransom and again all in the name of democracy. Why will citizens not blame politicians, when they are so foolish to stage a rasta roko to protest terrorist attack on Mumbai. Why will the citizens not blame politicians when they take along film makers to the Taj.

But why blame politicians alone? Are they not the breed that take birth with your help? Are they entering the portals of power, the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabhas without your consent. Then why blame politicians!

Why blame politicians when those who blame them do not know what it takes to be a politician. Why blame politicians when the ‘Genext’ thinks the Republic Day and Independence Day mean a holiday and good time to spend in the expensive of the pubs that has bartenders dressed up in khadi sporting Gandhi topi. Why blame politicians when national song for those blaming them reminds of AR Rehman and Subha Mudgal.

Does those blaming the politicians know that holiday on the election day means taking ‘pain’ of going to the police station and voting. Does those blaming the politicians know that they are resorting to an act dangerous than terrorism when they think that its painful to vote.

It is not the time to blame politicians. It is time to change the way you see politicians. It is time the change the way democracy functions. It is time change your mindset. Don’t blame politicians. Try to be responsible, if you think politicians are irresponsible. Try to be democratic if you think politicians are demons.

Jai Hind!