Saturday, August 13, 2016

Parallel Governments: UP shows the way


From today's Times of India
Some villages in Uttar Pradesh have decided to form their own security forces for the protection of their women.  The Bulandshahr gang rapes are still fresh in India’s collective memory.  You can’t even travel on the national highways of the state without the fear of your women being pulled out of your car by bandits and raped. 

The situation is not limited to Uttar Pradesh, however.  There is an increasing sense of insecurity all over the country.  Women are not safe in many parts of the country.  Property is not safe.  Even your money in the bank is not safe. 

On the one hand, there are thieves and criminals gaining the confidence that they can attack people with impunity because the police forces are inefficient.  The police, the politician and the criminal seem to work together supporting one another.  Just to mention a few examples: last year an Additional Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru was suspended for his ties with a lottery kingpin of the underworld. An IGP in Tamil Nadu was suspended for his associations with a cricket betting bookie.  Go to a police station to file an FIR and you will realise that the police are not interested in your case at all.  You will get the impression that they are going out of their way to shield the criminals. 

On the other hand, there are the vigilantes who are nothing but criminals wearing religious garbs.  They take the law into their hands with total impunity and even the blessings of top political leaders.  They make your job impossible in the name of some religious tradition or custom or whatever.

Criminals and vigilantes make your life miserable if not impossible.  What do you do?  Ensure your own security by forming your own security forces as they are doing in UP?

Source: Jairaj's cartoon
We are left wondering why we should have governments and the police forces at all?  Can we leave security to the local panchayats and the voluntary bodies they form?  Can we do away with state governments and police forces and thus save a lot of money which can be used for the welfare of the people?  We may need some sort of a government at the Centre for dealing with foreign affairs. 

I am stating the case in an exaggerated manner.  But the suggestion is worth thinking about.  Why do we need politicians who are only misusing the public exchequer for their own benefits or the benefits of a few people close to them leaving the vast majority of people to languish in poverty, misery and insecurity?  Is it time to change the democratic system in the country to make it really democratic: for the people and by the people?

People are the real strength of a democracy.  Yet why is democracy in India degraded to the rule of the corrupt and the criminal who are actually a minority?  It’s time for the majority to wake up and demand proper democracy or create it.  Maybe, the UP village elders are showing us the way.  Maybe, eventually we won’t need politicians.  We just need our elders and their volunteers.


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13 comments:

  1. Khap panchayat and their atrocities towards women and young generation says something else that we cannot typecast panchayats as wise and unbiased.

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  2. I ditto Pranju..they make their own governments and laws:(

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    Replies
    1. I am aware of the serious implications and limitations of my suggestion. In fact, I implied its impracticality by mentioning that mine was an "exaggerated" view.

      But sooner or later, people are going to react out of frustration. See what the Dalits have done. They have decided to disobey the system. The system will collapse if people choose to disobey. Gandhi's principle of non-cooperation was simply that. He told the people of Motihari not to obey the British police and the latter became totally helpless. See what's happening in Kashmir. Do you think any govt can do anything if all the people f Kashmir defy the curfew and turn up in front of the gun-wielding Indian soldiers?

      If we want to avoid such situations the system has to be regularised.

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    2. Does it not point towards a modified anarchism. In fact, I remember reading somewhere how Gandhi mentioned a poem called mask of anarchy through out the non cooperation movement. Although I have not read that poem. Perhaps anarchism is the solution?

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  3. I feel we are not ripe for democracy. We need a communist dictator with an iron hand (fist, in fact!)

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    Replies
    1. I won't go that far, Amit ji. We need a 'strong' leader. Mr Modi promised to be one. But his strength is lop-sided. It is almost like that of a bully. See how he is behaving vis-a-vis Kashmir. "PoK is ours," he says when the situation in what's with us is totally out of his control. Strength is good. But it should know how to handle people. We are not living in the royal days anymore.

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  4. Well, the problems are obvious but solutions.. Now that is not easy....

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    Replies
    1. Amen to that. Only a genius will be able to handle India now. It has been perverted within a couple of years.

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  5. You have mentioned it well- ultimately people have act out of frustration. It is coming to a threshold. Really it is the time where enough is enough. Even I don't feel safe when I move out of office in the evening.

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    Replies
    1. It is indeed an alarming situation. Even little children are not spared.

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  6. There is no one to count on when Law is broken, humanity is ripped off and evil wins. Everyone is under pressure. Dictatorship has its own advantages and disadvantages. But yes people in India are misusing democracy.

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    Replies
    1. There is no better alternative to democracy, I think. But we have misused it in India, as you too point out. The present day media, particularly the news channels, are doing some good. But corruption has soaked the system so thoroughly that only some revolutionary change will clean it. Perhaps the Dalit movement and other forms of unease in the country will do some good.

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