Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nirbhaya Gone : What Next


Mortal remains of Nirbhaya returned to India in the early morning and body cremated under tight security. As more and more news emerge of theo unspeakable and unimaginable brutality the six beasts subjected to Nirbhaya, it is imperative that this must never be allowed to be forgotten. More I read, more I shudder what the hapless girl must have gone through for nearly an hour. Her intestines pulled out, her abdomen punched brutally and the beasts enjoyed when she screamed and bled. 

Ram Singh and associates are psychopaths. They do not have any remorse. They were reasonably certain that they will get away. So confident he was, he brought the bus to the place it was parked. He cooked and ate chicken after the incident. He washed the bus to remove traces of evidence. Another key monster is reportedly underage. Many claiming he may get away by serving three years. If this person is unleashed in society knowingly, then it will be inexcusable. Someone so brutal deserved death or lockingup for rest of his life. This person no human and does not deserve the same humane treatment. There are many more such beasts lurking in dark alleys waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims. Unless or governance, our policing and delivery of justice improves we are in for trouble.

To add insult to injury, it came out in news paper that police could trace the bus rapidly from their hafta diary. This means the bus was plying illegally and police knew it as they used to get a portion of the income. That is why bus could go through several check posts without any problem. Yet we heard Delhi Police commissioner and Indian Home Secretary patted each other on their back how police had acted so speedily. How much brazen can one really be? Police commissioner, a political appointee, knows he will be protected as long as his godfathers are happy. To hell with common public!




Since our police force is used to protect VIPs and criminals masquerading as politician, they have no time for us, the common people. Criminals, like Ram Singh and others, know this and they are certain nothing will happen to them as long as they pay police. Police is ill equipped, ill trained, disinterested and over burdened to protect those who do not need protection. Judiciary overworked. In small towns, lower judiciary in cahoots with rich and powerful. Many a time only the letter of the law is read, spirit is ignored. Judges seldom apply mind, when they do high profile lawyers eat them out on technicality. Economic liberalisation has opened opportunity. However, our governance remained to the state of pre independence era. There is and there will be discrimination, there will be anger at perceived inequality and insult. However, if law enforcement is effective, justice is meted out speedily, then many crimes will not happen. If police had intercepted the bus at one of their checkposts, then today may be Nirbhaya will be with her family. I hope government brings about appropriate change in governance so that other Nirbhayas do not have to suffer like this.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Nirbahaya, No More


The girl, some called Nirbhaya, some called Damini, who was raped brutally in a moving bus in Delhi, passed away. Her intestines ripped, raped despite and left to die by the street. She battled for seven days with death. Finally death won. She was snatched away. Brutes won. Death won. My eyes welling up. A feeling of emptiness surrounds me. India's Amanat, our Nirbhaya is no more. She left us for a better world. May god give her peace in her death.

Let her death not go in vain. First, all the brutes irrespective of their age must be given exemplary punishment. Change criminal law if needed. I think death penalty will be too easy. Let the brutes be given multiple life sentences and throw away the keys. One of the key accused is believed to be a juvenile. Let not technicalities not come in between delivery of justice. If he slips out, he will commit such acts again.

Second, support other Nirbhaya's that suffer everyday by our insensitive politicised police force and lackadaisical criminal justice system. Bring any massive change in academic curriculum and society on gender sensitisation. Give autonomy to police. At least, free police from the clutches of politicians. Thus, officers can act without fear or favour. Destiny and career of officers should not be controlled by politicians. An independent police force alone can act against criminals.

Lastly, bring succor to the family of Nirbhaya. She was their life. Let not scatter away two more lives with Nirbhaya's passing away.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

India, Women and Sexual Violence


Every once in a while, incidences catch people by such force that we are stirred out of our slumber. The brutal rape of a 23 year paramedical student in Delhi on the night of 16th Dec, 2012 was one such incidence. Rapes happen in Delhi at regular frequency. There is usual noise and debate. Then things die down, and life goes as usual. Those in charge of administering city, forget about the incident as another statistics. However, the event of 16th Dec, 2012 has shaken common people into action. Many have comeout in protest. Parliament has taken unanimous decision to stringent punishment. Police has acted with alacrity and arrested most of the criminals. Let us hope these people are convicted and given exemplary punishment.

This incidence stands out purely from other rapes because of extreme brutality. A boy and girl were enticed into a bus on the pretext of plying on  a route that will drop them home. Once on the bus, there were five men, who apparently were drinking and out to make easy money, started to pass lewd comment at the couple. When the boy protested, he was beaten with iron rod. Girl wanted to protect to protect the boy, was brutally beaten, raped, iron rod inserted into her private part. Finally the girl and the boy were dumped on the road, stripped naked, presumed dead. Girl is fighting in a hospital, her intestine removed, her blood infected, even morphine is unable to suppress her pain. Even police are shocked at the extent of brutality. Some suggested, these people were actually sadist and psychopath.

There is outrage in the city and in the country. There is demand for exemplary punishment. Usually criminals get 7 - 10 years. Since there is delay in justice, many serve the punishment as undertrial and get out soon after the verdict is pronounced. One demand is give more than one life sentence without parole. Criminals like these should not see freedom till their last breath. There is demand for chemical castration. Many argued that by removing testosterone, it may be possible to remove aggression and libido. Finally, there is demand for capital punishment. Although, many argue that capital punishment may lead to rapist actually killing the victim. Many argued that encouraging killing of rapist may brutalise our society. Question remains is our society any humane now? If you have animals roaming in the guise of humans, people who have no empathy for another human being, do they have right to live?  We need to exterminate a rabid dog. Is this person/s any better than a wild animal that needs to be treated in a humane manner? It is important to remember that these criminals went about their job very casually after beating and raping two people to near death. Do they really have any remorse? 

There is also the angle of policing and police attitude. The bus in which rape happened, was not suppose to be plying on that night. Because it is not a public transport. It went through five police check points. Yet no one batted an eyelid. May be it is not fair to blame police for such an out of the box incidence. Yet attitude of police towards women that complain of rape or molestation is very derogatroy and demeaning. Several officers have been caught on camera describing victims of rape are of loose moral standing and deserve the treatment they get. 

Rapes do happen in more developed countries, that are better policed. However, we hardly hear such ghastly and brutal assault from other megalopolis like New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo.  I think difference is speedy trial, efficient conviction and stringent punishment all these lead to a fear of law. This fear is missing in India. That is why criminals in Delhi could rape in a moving bus, drive around busy street and come to work next day unconcerned of anything happening to them. 

Finally, why such brutality? Police and psychiatrists believe the attacker/s was a psychopath. As such these people have little empathy. Combined with alcohol and pornography might have aggravated the situation. Especially porn that present women as a commodity, make rapists treat women as an item to be used for sexual gratification only. There is also an attitude in the society where boys are preferred over girls. I do not know how much that attitude is relevant in this case, because I think a few depraved and drunk men went about the act without any anticipation of the consequence.

As a person with two daughters rapidly growing up, I am concerned. Unless society wakes up, changes attitude and alters law we are in for trouble. India is going through cataclysmic changes. People from different strata are waking up and demanding rights. Old values are breaking new ones are being formed. Many people, whom we treated so poorly, are coming up. Their values system may be very different. Under this circumstance, unless our adminstrators use modern methodology for policing, for administering justice such events are likely to happen again.






Thursday, December 6, 2012

Politicians in Sports Bodies



In many countries, a great sports person usually occupies the post of a sports administrator. Argument being, a sports person can understand how another sports person feels or needs before, during and after a competition. Accordingly environment, training program and facilities are created. For some strange reason, most sports bodies are occupied by politicians as administrators. Look at Board of Cricket Control (BCCI), Indian Hockey Federation, Indian Football Association, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and numerous other sport bodies at centre and state levels. Many or all such bodies have constitution made in such a way that a common sports lover either cannot participate or even if they become member they will not have much chance of winning an election without active support of politicians. As such there should be nothing wrong with this. Because that is how an election process works, where several people support a person to occupy a post. However, in India we hardly see a nonpolitician win a major administrative post, exception being Anil Kumble and Sreenath winning Bangalore Cricket Association post.

Recently, Indian Olympic Association got derecognised by International Olympic Committee (IOC). Although exact reason remains unclear, it appears that IOA association was being run by a group of people almost like personal fiefdom. Firstly, IOA chief Mr. Suresh Kalmadi spent time in jail for mismanagement and misappropriation of funds during common wealth games. His aide Mr. Lalit Bhanot also had the same fate. Indian government wanted to clean up IOA administration. However, IOA claimed they follow IOC charter and are not liable to listen to government of India. On the other hand, IOA charter declares that all administrators should be clean ethically and legally. However, IOA officials conveniently forgot the ethics component of IOC charter and considered the legal aspect. Indian courts ordered IOA to conduct elections under supervision of an observer. However, IOC rejected such election dubbing it as interference. At the end of the day, IOA got Mr. Lalit Bhanot elected unopposed as secretary and Mr. Abhay Chautala was likely to be its next president. Meanwhile, IOC derecognised IOA. Apart from an acute embarrassment, this event also puts Indian athletes at a serious disadvantage. Because, India will not be able to participate in Olympic events.

I am not opposed to having politicians in the IOA or any other sports bodies. It is perfectly alright if politicians, by virtue of their contacts in government, can bring funds for their chosen sports. It is also good, if as administrators politicians bring good sports coaches and consultants from India and abroad to train our sportsmen, built high quality infrastructure, scout for talents etc. These people should also create a constitution that allows other sports enthusiasts to participate in election and help the sports in India. 

Despite controlling sports for such a long time, what is the status of India in sports arena? We send the biggest sports contingent, yet get lowerst number of medals, if at all. Barring BCCI, that generates revenue, that has a clear contract with players, and runs independently of government of India, most other sports federations are in a mess.Indian Hockey is mired in political game played by administrators. Sports authority of India is plagued by rampant corruption, doping charges, nepotism, including sexual harrassment of female athletes.At this time, our politiicans seem to have made a monopoly of sports adminsitration. Many, barring BCCI, have not done much that is visible for Indian sports. Most stay in their post all their lives and never allow any fresh blood to come. Many have obvious criminal background but never contemplate resigning or not contesting election.on ethical ground. What can we expect from the likes of Mr. Bhanot, Mr. Chautala as top administrators of IOA? On top of this, we also have Mr. R. K. Anand, a top lawyer, who was caught influencing a key witness in a car accident case (BMW hit and run case involving Sanjiv Nanda). I think this is the right oppurtunity to dissolve IOA, rewrite its contitutution in line with IOC charter and bring good people that care about Indian sports.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com
The reported suspension of Indian Olympics Association (IOA) by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) has been