Focus on effective law enforcement

Civil society and government agencies need to be in sync

By Nabeel A Khan

Insensitivity, vandalism and oppression in a democracy are the worst scourges. Unfortunately we, the Indians have become used to it. The most vital reason for this is the lack of fine balance between the rights and duties. It is correct that protest is pride of democracy and oppression, restriction is a blot on the form of people’s governance.  Last week, we have seen restriction and oppression by the government as well as protests from the civil society transcending its civilized limitations.

The government should respect its duty of allowing its people- right to protest, while at the same time citizen need to understand their responsibilities and not turn the protest into vandalism and hooliganism.  A wrong cannot be right through a wrong act or means.

The idea is not meant to preach but a gist of an ideal situation which is nothing less than a euphoric thought in the current situation. However, we must congratulate ourselves for the peace and patience we maintained in the majority part of the protest. Emotional issues like this, at many instances, weakens our intelligence and we tend to succumbed to some malicious, conceited and politically motivated forces.

This happens because of a preconceived notion, The moment we take up a cause to the street, we treat government and its agencies, as our enemies, we need to remember that, the system has not been imposed by a third party or foreign land but -we have made it, and we are part of it. So the fight is with us only.  

It is imperative that the core essence of the movement/protest should not only be emotional but a logical. The demand should be under well chocked out plan, precise and efficacious. But, unfortunately our logic and intelligence is most often overpowered by the blow of emotional outburst and we tend to lose the focus.

We most often ask for a new legislation aftermath of any mishap.  This could be the most convenient thing to do for any government in situations where public go berserk. We demanded for new legislation against corruption - the Lokpal bill, Mumbai attack (terror attack) and now for the  brutal rape case in the national capital.

But we should note that it’s not that we don’t have legislation/law or agency to punish/investigate/prevent rape, corruption, and  terrorism. We have well established agencies and law but what we don't have is effective enforcement of the law. Death penalty for rape is being demanded, but what is the guarantee that this will completely prevent the incidence of rape. Rape accused are not being punished the under the existing law then what is the guarantee that they will be convicted or punished under the new law. Experts of legal affair feel that this may further aggravate the situation, as the rapist might kill the victim, to protect himself, however in current situation also there have been many instances, where the victims have been murdered after being raped. The other debate could be – Is India, which is respected as a civilized nation in the world can accommodate death penalty?

Enforce Law
We don’t lack law. What we lack is the implementation, and execution of law. There are lakhs of rape cases pending in the country, but they are just there for years to pass by. And at the end of the day what is the result? We see almost negligible percentage of conviction.  The depressing factor behind this is that when these cases go on for long, the witnesses tend to become cold. Victims also get disappointed and loses hope. At many cases victims/accused/witnesses die but the cases do not closed.

The other major issue is that, the victim is also treated almost like an accused in current scenario. The society has a very cruel treatment towards the victim and she is forced to live with a social stigma. We need to make the judicial procedure more victims' friendly.

The low rate of conviction is one of the main reasons for inciting crime. So the right idea would be to demand for something which could bring immediate change. Something that is easily doable to prevent the crime. And in this case the government should give an assurance about its strategy and road map it is going to embrace for effective and efficient implementation of law.  Even new legislation will not help in reducing or preventing of these crimes until we have foolproof arrangement for implementation.

Since ages we have seen huge numbers of cases  pending due to lack of the size of judicial machinery in the country. Why can’t the government think of expanding it to match the growing population of the country. It may also look for alternatives such as distributing the responsibilities. The panchayati system (Sarpanch) may be made more effective for specific kinds of cases such as civil suits. 


The cops might be putting blame on maintaining VIP security as an excuse for their lack of effectiveness. But the police also seem to have lost their way in terms of understanding its nature of work. We immediately need to coach them of their responsibilities and job profile.

They need to act more than a thug in a look out to fleece bribes. For the cops, their most important job profile currently, is to find -if a chana wala, andawala, or any other small roadside vendors are paying the monthly bribe on time or not. Even the parking guys pay a fixed amount to these cops and a strategic identification sign is made to protect the vehicles parked at unauthorized location/roads. If the actual crime is reported, police will first try to scare those who come with complain, and then ignore and most often will not lodge FIR. They want to remain in the safe heaven and focus on the earning part.

If some pressure comes aftermath of a serious crime then many a time they will nab/arrest an easy pray and implicate them under fabricated charges. The same Delhi Police which is not able to prevent rape, robbery, murder, do not allow a single tempo wala, and petty vendors to run business without paying bribe.

They have become expert in smelling the petty crimes where they can easily fill their pockets. But now its high time they should take serious step towards curbing the real crimes. We urgently need to train the cops and make them understand actual KRA or Job responsibilities.

Be Civilized Society
Be the civilized society and not merely civil society. The civil society very quickly draws a divide between them and the government. Finger is raised against government which is quite valid and natural. But in democracy, how can we totally ignore the fact that the government is formed by us but none.

We make hue and cry - that MPs, MLAs are criminals –but who voted for them. The society also needs to wake up and understand its responsibility; we should not wait to put off the fire till it reaches our house.  Let me confront the bitter truth, we have crores of people shouting slogans after a crime is committed, but why the same society acts as mere spectator when the crime is being committed. No one comes to help the victims leave about intervening. People simply ignore. 'Why should I bother about it, it is not impacting me'. But we should know that we can be the next in place of the victim. We need to be sensitive and nip the crime in its bud stage.  The society need to build an environment where women’s stature and respect is restored as mother, sister and not treated as mere commodity. The women themselves should adopt a zero tolerance against any such advancement. Should never ignore even a small inappropriate move. The society should also collectively take action against the wrong doers so the stigma of doing wrong pinches criminal every minute and not the victim.


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