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Creating a criminal mind-set: Crime and criminals
We can't say for certain that we have got an acceptable definition of crime as yet in our society. In general parlance, a criminal is one who is associated with crime or tends to perform criminal activities. This is an analysis of crime and criminality.
A VAGUE picture of a man associated with murder, misappropriating public funds or creating nuisance to the overall intregrity to the nation haunts our mind whenever wet talk about a criminal. Such an abiding picture, layered for long in our subconscious mind, has created problems whenever we venture to find out an all-embracing definition of crime and the criminal.
On the other hand, many people seem to turn into moral police in their talk owing to their ignorance about the subtle as well as extended aspects of what crime, in fact, stands for. They react in a way as if they have not done anything criminal in their lives. Many of them turn into transient experts on TV shows only to lament that the society is derailing.
There can be a probable end to this vulnerability if we can delve deep into the subtle and extended meaning of the word 'crime'. It is indubitabley true that crime as a word is loaded with, at the first stage, with the picture of a confirmed criminal - anybody who happens to misappropriate public funds and tends to conspire against the govermental machinery. But the real picture speaks of a different story all together. To be more precise, anybody who downplays the responsibilities entrusted on him by the government and prefers to be busy in otherwise 'necessary matters' to his service, for which he is monthly paid by the government, is called a criminal.
Examples will make the scenario more concrete than ever. A person may have certain capabilities worth the name. He serves as a physician but he may also have a literary vein, which very often leads him to literary meetings, clubs etc. Dabbling in literature is an excellent habit and pastime too (It is one of the faculties that helps a man to distinguish himself from a beast. And as such dabbling in literature is a 'necessary matter'). In this case what we should look into is if the physician is absent from his duty during his regular schedule of works. He must be called a criminal if he attends the literary meeting (though a necessary matter) during his office hours and ignores his responsibilites he should have for his patients.
However good he may be as a person, he should be strictly punished under the section of law. In the same way, one should be very vocal against the growing trend of corruption. From such a view point, it falls under the ambit of 'essential matter' in a democratic country. But a lecturer, in such context, may be epithetised a criminal if he attends the compaign against corruption even during his office hours, undermines the responsibilities set upon him to uplift the intellectual level of the students.
In spite of the 'essential matter' he is involved in, he may be called a criminal. Our social life is rife with many such examples. It seems the social set-up today is so patterned only to stress on the personal capabilities to do the 'essential matter' rather than performing the concerned duty in the truest sense of the term. So a teacher easily gets interested in compaign against corruption, a journalist does not use his time for study and to investigate, but seems to get  engaged in activities that best befit a broker or a contractor.In reality, this process has so surreptiously become a part of our thinking that we fail to decipher how much harm we are incurring to the society in the name of doing good.
It can be better termed as the process of criminalization. Who will undertake the initiative now to punish these criminals? Yes,some instances are there in which the criminals are punished. But the measure as well as the degree of punishment is not satisfactory enough to stop this process for good. So, one should not hope for a pan-remedial measure to check the outflow of black money in a country like India where criminalization is but a normal way of life.
In brief, black money refers to the money that carries a dubious source as production or ramps of a package that goes beyond the legitimate earning of a man. It is observed that a good number of people from India do have their black money deposited in numerous banks outside the country. Certain social organizations are talking about the fact that the government should undertake strict measures to bring back that money home. Will the government listen to this demand or outcry of the people? Who will be the saviour in a criminalized society ? Every thief has his his day here.
It will be contextual to mention that the government of India formed a committee in June 2011 under the chairmanship of M C Joshi, former chief of CBDT, to investigate and deliver recommendations about the menace of black money. The committee submitted its 60 pages paper of recommendation on 30th January 2012 where it is said that a) creating black money is a crime and the criminals under this category should be imprisoned from three to ten years on the basis of the nature of the crime, b) the income tax department as well as the financial intelligence unit should be made aware of all the money coming to and going out of the country, c) a national level income tax law should be framed so as to avoid contradictory rulings in persuit of the criminals, d) there should be social audit of all the social departments from the district level upwards and e)there should be a threshold limit to all global monetary transactions and the law enforcing agencies should be made aware of them.
Apart from recommendations, the committee has made certain astronomical allegations too. One of the most sensitive allegations is that two political parties spend 15,000 cores and 10,000 cores of rupee respectively in the name of annual election expenses whereas their annual earnings are shown as 500 cores and 300 cores.
Moreover, the committee suggests amnesty as a probable step, of course lenient, to the criminals so as to bring back black money deposited in the foreign banks. The political parties indirectly referred to by the committee are none but the congress and the BJP. The indiscrepancy in their annual income and expenses go in to making it clear that a certain process of criminalization is going on in them. Why did the Centre form the committee? The committee was formed by the centre only to assuage the feelings of the common people, not to cut the roots of black money. Secondly, New Delhi seems to have a concrete picture of the poeple having black money deposited in the foreign banks. Otherwise, it would not have taken initiative to form a committee merely to suggest on the topic. Thirdly, India is always known for its slow process of legislation for which we can not expect an all embracing law, useful to check black money, to be enacted very soon.
And finally, amnesty is a means applicabe only after the recognition of the criminals. The suggestion for amnesty may point out a completely different picture. India has always been very strict against the suppliers of drugs. Now it is the right time for her to take similar measures against the transferers of black money.
I happened to read an amusing story the other day. It said that India occupies the top positon in the list of tourists visiting Switzerland annually. The amazing fact about the story is that certain people are there in the list who have been perennial visitors for a pretty long period of time. Do they have other motives rather than touring? It is a question one should take very seriously. An investigation about their movement is sure to unearth stories related to the tranfer of black money to that country. Now, who will take the pain to investigate them? The answer is 'India will certainly not!'
Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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