|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.