Work has been like a debut game of Age of Empires – exhausting but addictive. In the meanwhile, I have also let memory, language skills (or what remained of them) and social existence go to the proverbial dogs. A culmination of the above has translated to a meagre blogging presence.
Events of the last week, though, have been shocking enough to distract me momentarily towards the news feeds. Distracted enough to be reading tweeter feeds, multiple news websites and blog posts all day through. Distracted enough for the wife to feel I am hopelessly addicted to the Internet.
The audacity of the 26/11 terror attacks betrayed the one deep malaise that exists in our system that has often gone unnoticed. In fact, the deeper and more dangerous malaise is the deep wedge that keeps widening, a new ghetto at a time, is the deep-rooted mistrust that no longer rests with a few right-wing nuts. It is widespread and open. A tremendous amount of statemanship and political will is required to extract this wedge.
The unnoticed flaw, though, that I notice is the inability of our police force to think, recon or act in time. Almost all of us have spewn curses at the “annoying and money-swallowing” cop one time or the other. I myself have a few incidents with cops that figure on the top of ugly-incidents list. I have cursed the cops to no end and absolutely loathed their existence. I have always wondered at the reasons behind absolute corruptability and bankrupt morality of the policemen in our country. To my mind, it was beyond comprehension, that anyone could lead such a life just for the sake of a few extra rupees. The Indian police also swallows gobs of criticism from the mainstream media for failing so despicably in doing their job. It is rare to find any article that praises the police, even more so during terror attacks. The 26/11 incident(s) becoming another entry in that roster of media and societal criticism of the police force.
But, just to put things in perspective, here’s a very readable piece with the required insight. It turns out our government, and in turn, us have isolated the internal security system for a step-motherly treatment. The politicians in power want to employ the force as their own fiefdom and we think of them as good-for-nothing, corrupt entities. I also received a mail on an alumni group from an IPS officer. I’ll just quote a few of the relevant sections:
“As for connectivity amongst police stations, while police stations (PS) have radio communication sets (RT sets), in some States the PS do not have an extra battery to keep the sets working – this means that they switch open their RT sets every two hours to check if there is any event of any consequence! !! This is when even the poor in our country can afford mobile sets!!! We still have weapons that are outdated. We have no centralized database to check on identity of person detained. This implies that if I detain a suspicious person in Delhi and he says that he belongs to some village Begumangalam in district Nalgonda in AP, I have no way to immediately verify his identity – unlike the US where a centralized databank will let you check his antecedents in a matter of few seconds. While there is about 1 policeman for every 300 people in US, in India we have one policeman for every 1000 people – and mind you the cop of US is supported with technology, communication and cyber connectivity and vehicles, which increases his capabilities manifolds. Cases take decades to get conviction, unlike the US where it is disposed off in months time. What will a criminal be afraid of, if he is not punished? Police leaders are hardly kept in their places of postings for a significant time so that they can improve situations – I, for example, have been transferred 27 times in 9 years of active policing in UP!!! Political insulation from professional work does not exist.”
Maybe time for me to go easy on the curses.