Not a day goes by with a deplorable incident involving the common man and the custodians of the law happening in a corner of the country. While a multitude of such cases, in which the common man is the target of power abuse, are swept under the rug, a rare few are given primetime focus.
In New Delhi, a 66-year-old man suffered a heart attack after being allegedly pushed by two constables. In Andhra Pradesh, a sixteen-year-old boy was allegedly beaten up by the police in public view at Jagtial town in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. In Kolkata, a woman was raped and instead of providing consolation and speedy justice, she was confronted by uncomfortable questions, revealing the disdainful side of policemen. These are but some of the many appalling and deplorable examples which highlight the impudence of the Indian police.
The society today is crippled by two categories of criminals, one invisible and the other hiding in plainsight. The police fall into the latter category. A service that pledges devotion to the maintenance of public peace, inculcate integrity of the highest order and sensitivity to the aspirations of people, is now symbolic for insolence. Infact, the harassment by the police is so commonplace that people choose to accept it than fight back. The power entrusted to them for the benefit of the public encourages them to perpetrate such brazen acts and the absence of a swift public greivance redressal system only makes it worse. It is also unfortunate that the police are more inclined towards serving the ministers, VVIPs, and bureaucrats.
In short, the system has been corroded beyond repair. They engage in wrong behavior simply because they can and they can get away with it. Some will attribute the public's silence to a history of subjugation by imperialists, then corrupt governments and finally, episodes of failed retaliation such as the Anna Hazare movement. But, you dare not write off the common man because the frustration within him can no longer be contained. He's not willing to be a victim anymore. He can draw inspiration from the Arab springs, he can approach the press and he can fight alongside Anna Hazare. He can use social media to organize, communicate, and raise awareness. He'll come up with new forms of civil resistance and if pushed too far, he might just have to resort to violence. The media has to be a loyal accomplice and must present the facts to expose the rogues.
Democracy has been weakened but it is not dead yet.