Thursday, December 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Ailing law-enforcing system

YOU must have come across persons saying that in certain countries a woman laden with kilos of gold ornaments can go about places all alone, without the fear of being robbed off or teased by roadside Romeos. ‘‘How come?’’, you tend to shot back in sheer disbelief. The stringent laws, the strong law-enforcing machinery and the stronger law-dispensing judicial system might be his instant reply to your one-line poser.

But, all is not well with the law-enforcing machinery in this subcontinent. The situation seems to have reached its nadir, with the police top brass playing the cupid and attempting to blaze the modesty of unsuspecting innocent girls, younger enough to be their grand-daughters.

The scenario is certainly more disturbing at the lower level where thanedars and havaldars rule the roost. Women flok, suspected to be involved even in trivial cases, are called up to police stations, where they fall prey to the amorous overtures of a drunken man in khakhi, the so-called saviour of the law. They even go to the extent of misbehaving and molesting them in full public view. Examples of such a classic Indian immorality are a dime a dozen.

In the infamous Ruchika-Rathore molestation case, the unrelenting Anand couple had to wage a long-drawn battle with the super cop following the death of the victim. But how many of the Anands can lock horns with such a high-profile police officer? What to speak of initiating action against the erring officer, not even an FIR was lodged against him for 10 long years. In such a paradoxical situation where should one go to seek justice?


Even as the pulse-pounding Ruchika-Rathore episode has not been erased from our memory, yet another case of alleged modesty blaze involving a super cop of the rank of ADGP of Punjab cadre, targeting a teenaged girl, working as domestic help for them, has sent shock waves across the country.

The disconcerting incident has sounded a virtual wake-up call for serious introspection and revamp of the entire police set-up. Besides earning global ignominy, the immoral acts by the police top brass have put a question mark on the entire law-enforcing machinery.


Patch-up in Himachal

I read with interest the editorial ‘‘Patch-up in HP for now!’’ (Dec. 6), highlighting the recent 10-day-long political drama — as also its fallout — enacted in the state with no-holds-barred by some dissident BJP legislators. Well, I liked the editorial for its objective — albeit pungent — tone and tenor.

Whereas the dissident legislators seem to have won the ‘‘first round’’ vis-a-vis the internecine factional fight, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and the ruling BJP have emerged out of the ugly show" badly bruised and considerably weakened, as the editorial rightly points out.

The factional fight has proved ‘‘fatal’’ for Mr Mohinder Singh and Mr Onkar Thakur — the controversial PWD Minister and the Officer on Special Duty in the Chief Minister’s office respectively.

The most surprising part of the story is that the dissidents dared wash the dirty party linen in public and vociferously criticise even the party General Secretary in charge of party affairs in the state, Mr Narendra Modi without the least compunction, throwing party discipline to the winds.

The fact that the Central party leaders viewed the sordid drama like mute spectators is equally intriguing. One wonders whether the dissidents played the mindless game with the tacit approval/blessings of someone close to the party high command.

It is to be seen whether Mr Dhumal and Mr Modi would pocket the humiliation or fight back in a bid to justify their position and retain their public image/credibility. As it is, the ‘‘truce’’ seems shaky/temporary; the two sides seem to have smoked the ‘‘peace pipe’’ virtually to hoodwink the gullible masses. The ‘‘letter bomb’’ has helped complicate the matter.

Ambota (Una)

In the name of ‘‘Swadeshi’’

This is with reference to the Prime Minister's statement (Dec. 18) that with a view to eliminating the threat to the market from ‘‘cheap’’ Chinese goods we must adopt a ‘‘swadeshi’’ attitude.

Is it not hypocritical to suggest the common Indians to buy an Indian cell for Rs 8 instead of a Chinese one available for Rs 2 in the name of ‘‘swadeshi’’.



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