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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A nation outraged!

Another rape in the metropolis and a ghastly one at that and the police is once again on the mat. The outrage over the incident poured onto the streets and the media and rightly so. The masses at large feel outraged and cheated, outraged over the sheer beastly nature of the incident and cheated over their right to a free and safe movement within the confines of the capital of the nation, right that needs to be guaranteed by the state meant to provide proper governance.

The Delhi police, one of the finest police forces in the nation is once again in the firing line. Perhaps they have been in the firing line so often, that by now they would have realized that the heat would melt away in a few days, anyway with the election results round the corner. The moot question however remains is whether the police could have prevented what happened and whether they are to be blamed to the extent they are actually being.

While watching the debate on Times Now yesterday, I could not help but commiserate over the plight of the young joint commissioner of police who obviously like all bureaucrats with little real authority over his domain had to respond to uncomfortable charges. I could visualize his request for additional force and police control vans doing the rounds of the great Indian bureaucratic system that does not fully authorize those accountable. I was also aghast at the attitude of some of the participants who were not in favour of capital punishment that indeed may prove to be the biggest deterrent for such crimes against humanity. Perhaps physical castration may be the best bet.

I often wonder how one sector of the massive governance machinery excel in isolation when the efficiency of the entire tantra is below par. When shall all of us who are a part of the tantra start appreciating that authority and accountability have to be in matched sets for delivery to be possible. Unfortunately empowerment and systemic improvements remain a utopian dream as much in the police as in the rest of the system.

Is it not unfortunate that merely beating around the bush is what keeps most of us in the sarkari tantra occupied? In the absence of adequate empowerment, quick decision making processes and complex contractual mechanisms topped up by a fair sprinkling of mistrust inherent in the governance machinery, we are indeed getting a taste of our own medicine!

Nation building requires the toil of generations and unfortunately we never toiled. The society is indeed at the receiving end of what it deserves.