Rotten politics behind police atrocities?

Yes it is, but the malady runs much deeper. A diabolical nexus between India’s self-serving politicians, the servile bureaucracy, the trigger-happy and medal-hungry police forces, unscrupulous businessmen, hardened criminals, and religious fanatics and fundamentalists is gnawing away the nation’s innards. 

Rampant corruption, nepotism, favouritism, gender discrimination, mega scams and frauds are some of the symptoms of the cancerous malaise that is sapping India’s energies and slowing down development. The rule of law prevails only in small urban pockets and in the precincts of the Supreme Court and the high courts.  In the rest of the country, the law is only for the timid, the weak and the oppressed. The ruling elite lives by self-made rules that transcend the nation’s Constitution and are enforced by police forces that are part of the problem rather than the solution. Police atrocities are only one subset of the larger culture of goonda raj — the rule of the goons, by the goons and for the goons. 

Most sociologists and trend analysts have failed to spot it, but a revolution of rising expectations is sweeping across the land like a Prairie fire. This fire is fuelled by joblessness, the obvious disparities between the lifestyles of the rich and the poor and, most of all, by satellite TV that brings visions of the good life into the tenements of the dispossessed. Sooner than later, the people will rise in inexorable revolt. 

For a nation to rise to greatness, there must be a grand vision, outstanding leadership to frame aims and objectives, and to give political direction to that vision, capable administrators to implement the plans without fear or favour and, naturally, adequate human and material resources to fuel the plans.

While India has abundant human and material resources, it lacks visionary statesmen and inspiring leaders, dedicated administrators and committed enforcers of the law of the land. In fact, this triumvirate has proved itself to be so mediocre that it has led the country into a quagmire. Dangerous maladies require drastic remedies and it is time to look beyond the obvious gene pool of unworkable administrative reforms. 

*Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies