In a nation where women get raped, men get killed, and Bollywood stars gift puppies to their girlfriends, it is difficult for news to sustain any sort of shelf life.
Which is why the news of Mumbai Police picking up 40 couples from hotels, and parading them on the road like petty pickpockets, will hardly make the news. A few hashtags here, Arnab Goswami beheading someone there, and that’s it.
And yet, the incident angered me no end.
It has long been the job of Indian Police’s duty to fuck the happiness of the people of the country. In our country, you cannot hold your partner’s hand. Forget kissing, you cannot even hug your partner, without incurring the wrath of uncles, aunties, shopkeepers, beggars, stray dogs, bacteria, plasmodium, the five elements – and cops. Most importantly, cops.
For you see, there is no greater threat for you on the road, than khaki-wearing morons who have the license to weild sticks, pull up anybody for interrogation, and deal with them as they like.
When I am out with a girl, it is not really a sex offender I am afraid of. You can deal with a sex-offender. Raise your voice, be assertive, draw attention – a sex offender is afraid of the law. I am more scared of cops – because cops fear no one. The law is but an old underwear that they can remove and discard as they please.
Having been stopped by cops on numerous occasions, this is usually the drill that ensues. The cop will first stop me, and call out to me to come towards him, like I’m a petty criminal.
I am a Research scholar, and the cop is a Tenth pass, unfit moron who can’t speak three lines in any language, and yet I have to address him as ‘Sir’.
‘What are you doing here?’
‘Nothing, sir. We are just sitting, sir’.
‘Is this the time to sit? (Turns to the girl) What’s your name?’
The girl by now is scared, or embarassed.
‘Do your parents know you are here? Should I call them? Huh? Tell me? What’s your name? Are you from a good family? Do girls from good families do such stuff? Should I call your parents – yes or no, tell me’.
What follows is half an hour of nagging, coaxing and cajoling. Which usually ends when I take out some hard earned money and grease his filthy palms. It is ironic that the Police was instituted to make citizens feel safe and secure. And yet, the first thing people want to do in India, is avoid the cops. We fear them, these lawless creatures of the night, who prowl on everybody they see. These khaki-colored creatures who can only be satiated with some money, like you’d feed a hungry stray dog.
Think I am going overboard? Well, when was the last time you met a polite, informed, fit policeman? When was the last time you dealt with the cops and came out of the room feeling good about things? If you did, well, good for you. I have never met one of such kind.
The couples, who had paid their own money, booked a hotel to spend time together, were rounded up, slapped, and had to walk around with their faces covered. The entire operation was led by visionary DCP Vikram Deshpande, who pesonally supervised the operations. This is how the meeting must have gone:
‘Sir, what do we do today? Kuchh mazaa nahi aa raha hai’.
‘Hmmm…I know what you mean…’
‘Sir, there have been chain-snatching incidents all over the city. Also, Mumbai is perenially vulnerable to terrorist attacks – ‘
‘Wait, I know what we can do. Let’s raid rooms and haul up young couples who are having sex…cos how can they have sex when we can’t have sex? You know with all our paunches and stuff…’
‘Great idea, sir. Let’s go…abey, gaadi nikaal…’
Also, it is not merely the attitude of the police alone. It is an Indian middle-aged problem. Ask anybody middle aged in India, even your own parents, about the incident. The one response you’ll get is ‘Well, they shouldn’t have booked rooms in a hotel. Who does indecent stuff like that?’
We are fine with fucking our brains out and producing babies like rabbits, but someone using protection and doing it for pleasure – Nahi re, baba. Sanskriti bhrasht ho jayegi.
And that is the sad reality of the country. We endure shitty laws, shitty lawmakers, sub-Saharan standards of public utilities, unsafe streets, and terrorists on our way to work. And the force we are supposed to trust – is just this bunch of fat, unfit, uncivilised jokers who chase AK-47 weilding terrorists with sticks.
Who choose to display their masculinity by rounding up innocents, because they know a terrorist isn’t going to pay a bribe. Who have passed an exam, and run 100 meters, and joined an elite force who can stop you anytime, slap you, humiliate you, and laugh in your face as you walk out helplessly.
The Indian Police is a gigantic bunch of jokers. They invoke fear and hatred in you. They carry weapons, and use force when they deem fit. They wear uniforms, and don’t treat you like humans. How are they different from miliants, again?