Archive for January, 2013

Petty Powerless Citizen

Petty Powerless Citizens (PPC)
Written by – A PPC

Preventing crime is not about inventing new laws or amend the existing ones. But to understand the social fibre of society and then think of solutions. If laws alone were a deterrent, there are already enough of them for every conceivable crime. Based on the awareness level about the law and the criminals in our society are of three types.
The first type can be called the Affluent Criminals . These are the criminals who know the laws well and the punishments and yet commit the crimes because they feel that they have immunity due to their power and position. They become habitual when they are able to escape the dragnet of the law during their initial experiments with breaking them. There is no need to give examples because every reader would have his own metaphors who could fit this description. They range from the highest officials, affluent businessmen to politicians. This category of criminals have a strong belief that they are always above the law and the things pertaining to obedience of laws is much too trivial and banal.
They are the law makers!
The second can be termed as The Petty Criminals (for whom crime is a profession. It is their bread and butter). These are the criminals who know that the laws exist in place for everything yet they commit crimes. They are aware that they are much more able-bodied then the cops and are sure that they will be able to escape from the scene much before the cops reach. They are too smart in their profession to leave any tell-tale signs. They have experienced being behind the bars and it is no longer a taboo in their community. As a child I remember about a middle aged Sweeper in our locality who was perpetually foul-mouthed with everyone. He would often threaten others by saying that two of his brothers were in jail. And in the same breadth would add, ‘for murder charges’ . All other employees and servants in the coloney were scared of him. He commanded a different kind of respect, which he enjoyed. His head was always held high……Such petty criminals too consider themselves above the law. The law is not a deterrent for them anymore. When you are not scared for something you certainly grow above it. Like our old saints and sages were never afraid of death. People revered them because they felt that they were above life and death. Similarly such criminals are above law and punishment. As far as death is concerned they are very sure that in our country even if they do the most heinous crimes and even if the highest court of justice awards them capital punishment there is a near 100% chance of being saved. Caste, creed , region, religion, media, local goonda-turned politician are some out of so many factors which could come to their rescue. So in a nutshell his interests will be looked after. If his crimes are well publicized , then after his release he can even get elected to the parliament and become the law-maker.
Either way he was above the law!
The third type are the Ignorant Criminals. Most of the times in this category come the ones living in abject poverty or the ones who are eking out a living from petty self-employment. They are the ones who have never even seen what is happening in their city leave alone know anything beyond. They live in dingy slums and generally do not even have access to television. A cheap mobile phone is for access with their families in a far flung village. After a hard days labour they either immerse themselves in a local drink or just sleep in a hired room or a shack somewhere in a slum. So the question is how they can be termed as criminals or what is their nexus with them? It is obvious that the slums in which they live are replete with petty criminals who keep transiting to and fro from jails and the slums are always agog with their brave acts of breaking the law and sometimes even breaking the jails. Such petty criminals are indeed revered in such areas. Their families create an aura of sympathy for their kin by narrating their stories and convincing everyone that their son was sinned against rather then he sinning. If a boy murders his rich employer and escapes with all cash and jewellery, the family will surely weave a story of how feudal the employer was or how the boy was tortured in his work place. In the end he was left with no other choice but to pick up the kitchen knife and slit the throat of his employer while he was sleeping . Everyone in their locality would nod in unison at the innocence of their locality boy. When the next elections are near and the party workers visit the slum for vote gathering ,the parents of such criminals plead their innocence and the politician has no choice but to agree to get the life sentence reduced. Hence the nexus develops and is re-kindled every five years. So the innocent criminal is living around such environment . At times the petty criminals make them accompany on bouts of enjoyment and during which daring crimes are undertaken. Once they are in , they are in it forever. The only way left with them is to start considering themselves above the law and not be scared of the law.
In our democracy the dilemma is that the criminals are not scared of the law, the law makers are not affected by the law, and the law enforcers have their immunity from the law.
Then who is scared of the law?
Of cource you know the answer…. The law abiding citizen~!!! The PPC
The poor citizen has to walk the tight rope of the law. He must drive in the right lane in spite other cars with red lights overtaking his from all sides and then jump the red lights at the crossings. He must not try and emulate them for he is a law abiding citizen. He should also give side to the old rusted open diesel jeep which have rowdy looking men in it. They too can jump not one but many red light crossings. If some person has not shown due courtesy to them then their jeep can come to a sudden halt in front of his car and give him that scary stare of ‘don’t you mess around, you petty powerless citizen’ . So PPC keeps abiding the law and keeps seeing the dance of democracy all around him. If there is grave incident ( like a gang rape of an innocent citizen), and these petty powerless citizens seethe in anger, they decide to come out for silent means of protest(for they don’t know the violent means), their peaceful protests are just ignored. The biggies know how long can the petty citizens be absent from his work? How long can a student ignore his studies? How long can a house-wife ignore the house-hold chores? Not long enough. So ultimately the protests will die down on its own. Why bother?
Also, it is a universally known fact that no agitation in the world would have succeeded unless it has vicious interests of the people who are above the law.
Innocent protests are always doomed unless it is led by a leader not less than Mahatma Gandhi…..