What Emboldens Criminals and the Dregs of Society

3 Min
<strong>What Emboldens Criminals and the Dregs of Society</strong>

Tushar Pandit

A noticeable feature of most reports of all manner of crimes and violence by self-proclaimed defenders of religion and persons linked to the ruling party is the impunity with which they go about carrying their unlawful business. No fear of the law and if the police goes through the motions of registering a complaint, these men and women walk and talk with a swagger that seems like they are sure that the law cannot bring them any harm. They can be called the tribe of unclassified privileged citizenry who are known as ‘non-state actors’.

Also noticed is a category of ‘smart non-state actors’ who generally come across no hurdle as they swindle businessmen, MLAs and that kind of people till their run of good fortune ends. We have had quite a few cases of men claiming to be officers in the ‘PMO’ or some such high office and robbing victims by promising the moon due their position in the ‘PMO’.

That these high flying swindlers manage to remain below the radar for years while impersonating as important officials is a serious matter. But it is even more worrying that the office (PMO) where they claim to be posted gets no wind of their activities. Had there been only a single instance of this kind it might be overlooked but when it is repeated it smacks of poor surveillance and security.     

There is probably no mystery behind the immunity some people seem to enjoy. Most recently it became evident after reports emerged of a man urinating on the head of a tribal man in a Madhya Pradesh town. A widely circulated video of the incident also showed that the man was arrested and walked into a police station.

So, why did some men and women behave as though they had done no wrong and, what is more, how do they look certain that police cannot take any action against them. The police, certainly in smaller towns in the country, know all too well that men and women who have the ears of the people in power are not to be trifled with.  

Media reports suggested that the urinating man was a representative of a MLA by virtue of which he was considered quite powerful. The state chief minister quickly moved into action to do not just damage control but derive some political mileage from the incident which is needed badly by the ruling party as it has to fight the string anti-incumbency wave in an election year. The chief minister rushed to the victim’s house with a camera crew in tow to duly film him washing his feet as if to atone for the sin committed by a saffron-linked man.   

The ruling party believed that after the chief minister’s atonement it stood to gain advantage from the ghastly, inhuman case of urinating on the head of a tribal. The ruling party may be assuming too much, especially when just a few days later another report of torture of another tribal in the state appeared in the media. Madhya Pradesh has perhaps the country’s largest population of tribal communities. They count at the time of elections.

But the point of interest is not the voting preferences of the tribal community but how do people act in most unbelievably atrocious manner and take law in their hands without any fear of the consequences?

The answer undoubtedly lies in the fact that freedom and immunity to those who are part of the ruling dispensation, directly or indirectly, has been built into a system where only expression of disagreement with the rulers is to be punished—and as harshly as possible.

Indians are expected to believe that democracy and respect for values it represents is in the DNA of all the citizens. Yet hardly a day passes when we do not hear of arbitrary detentions and critics being hailed or terrorized or punished in many ways.

It couldn’t get more stark and brazen when the central investigating agencies have failed to find a single offender if some political standing belonging to the ruling party in the last nine years. It is indeed very odd that persons named as the ‘most corrupt’ or even those accused of serious crimes become clean and pure the moment they embrace the saffron party. If they are already part of the ruling clique there is no question of their being called tainted.

The undeserving get their power from their proximity to the centre of power. They feel more emboldened when the centre of power doggedly observes silence over their many criminal and sinful acts. The powerful aid and reward the faithful with their studied silence and then they proceed to benefit with their extraordinary skill of coating bad things with white colour.   (SAT)