Jul 13, 2012

Why India needs a superhero

Think of any superhero story. It starts with a problem. A big problem in a big city. A superhero emerges and saves the people. In most cases, the superhero doesn't follow the law, is labelled a vigilante, but he is the one who strikes fears into the minds of the criminals, even before a crime is committed. Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man: the logic is the same. Save the innocent. Punish the evil.

Christian Basti, G.S. Road. Probably the busiest area in Guwahati. 8.30 PM. Seventeen year old molested. This goes on for half an hour, no one intervenes or comes to help. The police finally rescue her, but no immediate arrests are made. Is this what we expect from the countrymen? Is this what happens in a developed country? I would not write a blog post on *just* a single incident. There's one more thing that troubles me. But first, let's get this clear.

What's worse is that it's not so simple. Let's look at what makes this even worse.

There were at least twenty culprits, not counting the onlookers, who must be equally guilty. Out of those, only about half of them have been identified. The ring leader is one Amar Jyoti Kalita, who apparently is an actor, also working in Amtron. As the crime was being committed, there was also a video being taken. This video went viral on the internet, getting thousands of clicks on Youtube.

The first arrests were made after two days. I mean, hello? Were the police officers on a holiday, or did they have backaches? They have got to four people till now, but Mr Kalita is still on the run. In fact, his last activity on Facebook is a photo. A photo posted by him one day after the incident. He is wearing the same red T shirt. I fail to see any remorse in this shameless moron's emotionless face. He is still on the run. And did I mention, he calls himself "007" or Bond, with multiple references to the same in his profile.

If you find him on the streets, feel free to take out your life long frustration out on him before calling the cops, because he's gonna be treated in jail the same way Kasab was. Once captured, the security around him would be higher than that of the President.

NDTV reports,
A reporter from a local news channel, Dipya Bordoloi, said he tried to help the victim when he saw the commotion. "It was almost like a gang-rape," he said, adding that when it was clear that the mob could not be overcome, he began filming the incident for evidence against the attackers. He told NDTV he was disgusted that he couldn't do more to help her. The news editor of the TV channel, Newslive, has said that when it was clear that his reporter could not physically help the victim, he did the next best thing by recording the incident as evidence. This footage is the only reason that arrests are being made, he said.
If you leave the ones directly involved, I would say the onlookers, and the cameraman are to blame. I agree twenty people were there, but there were hardly a few who were involved directly. If one person, just a single brave person, would have tried to stop it, I am sure others would have joined.

What seems worse is that 8.30 is pretty much a busy time for that part of the city. None of the cars that passed by even stopped to see what was going on, forget getting down and helping the victim.

The political leaders have been pressurizing the State Government and the Police, for which the arrests are being made. I agree this is indeed a step forward, but don't you think it is just not enough!

Here are the laws that prevail in the country:

- Section 341 (Wrongful Restraint): Imprisonment for 1 month, or a fine, or both.
- Section 143 (Unlawful Assembly): Imprisonment for 6 months, or fine, or both.
- Section 294 (Obscene Act): Imprisonment for 3 months, or fine, or both.
- Section 323 (Voluntarily Causing Hurt): Imprisonment for 1 year, or fine, or both.
- Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty): Imprisonment for 2 years, or fine, or both.

If ALL of these are proved, the highest imprisonment would still be less than 4 years, considering they do not get out on the grounds of "good behavior". Is this the level of justice law provides in our country?

A country where the police force and the law are so inefficient, you can not expect justice. What can be done in such a situation? If you ask me, I would suggest you do something that was done in Law Abiding Citizen. If I could have my way, I would want someone to chain him, and do some "Dexter" stuff on him, filming the incident in the process and posting it online. I agree, that is taking the law into your own hands, but the what can you expect of the law in this country, where Kasab gets five star treatment. However, if someone indeed does it, it would at least put off the would be criminals.

Meanwhile, on the other extreme end of the country, after spending a year in Tihar jail and out on bail, Suresh Kalmandi has been allowed to attend the London Olympics. An accused in the graft case related to the Games, he probably should have been the last person to have been allowed to do so.

If you want to know more, just read about the incident in Gujarat. A college student raped by her neighbor, who also filmed the incident and put it online. As if that was not enough, he even made CDs of the same and distributed them. No arrests have been made yet, just a complaint has been lodged.

All India needs is a superhero. Not someone with real superpowers, not someone with the unlimited funds of Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, someone with courage. We need a vigilante. Someone who can strike fear on the would be criminals; someone who does the work of the corrupt police officers! All I am asking is for someone to do the job of protecting the innocent. Yes, the law would not extend to him. His ruthlessness towards the evil will make him a superhero. Something tells me this is the only thing that can remove the anti social elements!

I once felt proud to be an Indian. Wonder when I can have the same feeling again.

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