TODAY -

Animals

By Debanish Achom *



My doctor used to tell me that if I felt a slight pain in my left leg, I should control my diet and after three days, cut my leg and find out from where the pain would have started. Everything would be solved this way, he would assure me.

No more pain, no more worries, no more leg. Yes, no more leg. To me, this seems the exact treatment our Chief Minister has settled for in the fight against insurgency. By giving jobs to every jaywalker in the name of blowing poverty into smithereens, he has brought doomsday on us.

Jobs are okay so long as they have something to do with curing people, selling useful things, cleaning windshields or even catching petty thieves, but no, the Chief Minister pats himself on his stooped back by turning every available empty head into a walking, talking AK-47.

Then he proudly goes on air at 7 pm every other week: "I have assured jobs to our youths."

I'm in no mood for objectivity now. You can't be objective about the deep cut in your face as a result of a rifle butt repeatedly hitting it for no fault of yours last night. So don't bother me with your Nobel-Prize-winning words that are best suited for a college thesis and not the real, hard, blood-soaked street.

Before making a soldier out of an unemployed person, the CM should shove some guns to his kids first. That will be the ultimate test, like they say, the captain should lead the team.

I mean a good leader is supposed to do the dirty things first so that others believe, trust and follow. But nay, it's only in theory.

Their kids can enjoy shooting aliens in Half Life 2 and be heroes while we fight it out in the streets, face to face, in real-time on national television.

There are good cops, and they are few. There are some who will actually help you if your Kinetic Honda broke down at 11 pm on a strike day and won't charge a dime or resort to lathi-charge.

But many of them happen to be drifters who suddenly landed on a job that involves slinging a gun and earning a fixed pay at the end of every month. Which is why we often see vulnerable girls beaten up at night for no good reason by those who call themselves the Indian Reserve Battalion. The term is fancy -- Indian Reserve Battalion -- and reads like a corp of well-mannered gentlemen.

The CM should stop recruiting cops immediately. Let them stay jobless. They will find a way out themselves. Giving a gun and a uniform change only their appearance, but they stay the same meat as they were before.

The situation is so bad, every loser and dropout aspires to join the police. The whole force has become a joke; their camps have become hanging ground for evening joggers who have acid in their blood and not a penny in their pockets.

When you say the police are animals and they ought to behave, you forget to ask why they are there in the first place. Who gave them jobs? Who told them to join the force? Mr CM, are you listening?

I don't mean to laugh at their plight. They may have circumstances unknown to me that force them to take the dirty road. But that is a different matter. We can talk about that in another space.

The point many people miss is that the atrocity we see on the streets is a direct result of recruiting anybody of any shape, size and temperament into the force without a standard. By recruiting more people into the force, there will be employment and everybody will have reasons to smile -- this kind of thinking is the basic flaw.

I often cling to my chair when I read another battalion will be raised. But nobody seems to bother.

It's only when they get beaten up that they start questioning, which by the time is too late.

You know what, hyenas are known to eat their legs if they get injured. They don't wait for the wound to heal. So I banished my doctor who gave me a similar advice. The CM's fate is also headed that way.

Animals.




* Debanish Achom, a Bangalore based Journalist working with a big news media company, writes regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be contacted at debanish9a(at)gmail(dot)com . This article was webcasted on Octotber 23rd, 2008

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