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What a TV actor thinks of the rape, police and 'Nirbhaya'
Actor Abbas Khan of TV character Biji Pandey fame, has released this statement of concern to the press on the role of the police in the 'Nirbhaya' rape case. Women in India may or may not agree with him. In this article, I have also added my thoughts from one of my earlier articles published on merinews on December 24.

WHEN THE Nirbhaya incident occurred it shook me up considerably not because, like me, she is from Uttar Pradesh, and was in a metropolitan city trying to make out a living - but it instilled a deep sense of insecurity in me.

In the entire Nirbhaya incident the police have shown one thing that their training is limited to protecting the interests of the VIPS and those in Government. They were extremely efficient in shutting down India Gate, the Metro and so on but they failed to handle the common man in the crowd. This failure is evident in the relationship between the police and the common man. In fact, there is no relationship. In my hometown Lucknow we have a saying…police walon sey door ki salamati achi na inki dosti achi na inki dushmani achi. Why? After all it has been sixty years since we attained Independence and we still have a police that works on a British mindset.

Sorry, the British police have evolved. If a sixty-year-old man needs breakfast and there is nothing to eat at home he can call the bobby and the cop will bring bread eggs and milk for him and even make him a fried egg. In Europe a scantily clad woman going to cocktail party can call the cops if her car breaks down and they shall escort her to the party venue…and even get her car repaired. Why can’t we do the same in India?

We can’t because the common man is not on the training agenda of the policeman. The common man simply does not exist. So what happened? When someone complained that he has been robbed by a bus full of criminals to the Delhi police, they failed to react in time as there was no burra sahib involved. Had they reacted, the cops would have apprehended the same bus there Nirbhaya was raped and left to die. It would never have happened.

Psychological evaluation plays a major role in providing insights to the nature of a man. Only a man with criminal tendencies will commit rape and that too rape of such a heinous nature. Do we use psychological evaluation as a tool before recruiting policemen or even bus drivers and conductors? Why were home guards not stationed on buses before as Nirbhaya’s case is not the first of its kind? Do we need public outrage to get a reaction from the government every time?

Actually, we are shying away from the real problem - the nature of our democracy is changing both among the corridors of power and the common man. Even the corridors of power are becoming more restricted in the name of or pretense of security. Or should I say excuse. The common folk are becoming more aggressive and expect more from their democracy. So, on one hand we have people who now expect more leaders like Nehru who was easily accessible - on the other hand we have more politicians who want to hide behind guns and not be available to people.

Unfortunately, the very idea of dividing the government into three wings was to have politicians who were available to the masses. Now that this is not happening we have massive protests and lathi charges, and we are still beating around the bush. We need to make serious changes in the way our democracy functions. We need public servants not public masters. After all, we pay their salaries, dammit.

The biggest blunder a government can make is order a lathi charge. All that the government had to do was to order tea and samosas for the protestors. Then announced that Manish Tewari was coming as the representative of the government to take their views in writing and they should submit a memo to him. After the memo, buses without tinted glasses should have been arranged, and they should have been made to travel away from India Gate. After doing this the government should have gone ahead with a time bound programme for police reforms - among other necessary steps.

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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