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Cops and Robbers

I'm a believer. I believe that the government does the best job it can. That the police is one of the best in the world.

But now I've had a rude awakening from that idealistic world I live. Why? Well....

I was at a barbecue party yesterday. A party where the focus was on conversation over some amazing chicken, low music, good company, alcohol and a hookah. And we were having a good time until the police butted in.

And then things began to fall apart. They were two of them and we invited them in to look around. A guy there had a permit and it was fine. But however, most of us there were underage, yours truly included, so we had to pay them off and 300 rupees it was. All in all, we didn't feel it was that bad a sum so we let it go.

The music was shut off, the alcohol ditched. We just lounged around then, talking and smoking the hookah.

And it happened again.

At 5:30 a.m, and this time we were hopping mad. They walked in us, stealthily opening the gate and marching into what was clearly private property which they had absolutely no business being in without permission.

We refused to pay them cause
(a)There was no alcohol around anymore.
(b)The damn music was shut off.
(c)It was bloody 6 in the morning.

When we pointed all of this out, they said they came cause they got a complaint and they had been searching for our place the entire night. And he expected us to believe that the person who complained didn't give them the address. How stupid do we look?

And the icing on the cake, since he couldn't really pick us up for anything, he came up with a whopper of a lie, you need to have a license to have a tandoor and we now needed to pay a fine of Rs 5000. Wtf?

They also wanted us to go to the police station whereupon I pointblank refused to cause there was no lady police officer or constable around and I know my rights.

All in all, we managed to get them to leave for 700 rupees. And that left us a 1000 bucks poorer. Not a small sum for poor, struggling college students.

Now, whenever my friends indulge in some police-bashing I never join in. I've always felt that the police stand by you if your in the right and even if they've done or said something, they must have had a justification. I defend them talking about the low salary they get which in a city like Mumbai is definitely not enough for even one person. Forget an entire family. How long their working hours are. How there's just one cop for every 700 people in Bombay.

But there wasn't any explanation for yesterday

Why should we get pushed around? Why is it always assumed that just cause we're young that automatically qualifies us as reckless, rash and immature. Don't 40 year olds get drunk too? Don't they indulge in loud music and excessive alcohol? So why pick on the young then?

Maturity is such a subjective issue. I know some 15 year olds who are way more mature than I am at 20 and some 25 year olds who act like what I would expect a 15 year old to act like. Everybody does stupid things and to brand an age group as immature and incapable of thinking and acting is just unfair. If there's one thing that really pisses me off, its generalizing and stereotyping.

If your young and there's a fracas, it's obvious your in the wrong. If there's an accident, it's always the young guy on the bike fault. I watched a young boy who couldn't have been more than 22-23 get slapped around by the police cause he grazed by a woman who crossed the road when the signal was green but obviously it wasn't her fault, roads are meant to be crossed when the signal is green. You see?

And what is the media and the public in general doing about it? Don't they realise how wrong this is? Why aren't they standing up for us? Why are they letting us be pushed around and treated as people who have their heads up their asses and whose only thoughts are about the opposite sex, booze, music and speed. There is more to us than that.

I'm waiting the awakening but I don't see it happening anytime soon. Maybe by the time, I'm a quiet, sedate 45 year old who drove over somebody in my car but it wasn't my fault. I'm 45 and by dint of age alone, I'm right!

And it's not just this I have an issue with,

Why is it that when I go out at night, I'm not afraid of getting mugged but rather chancing upon the police and having to shell out money as a fine or rather a bribe. Why am I afraid of the very people who are supposed to be my protectors? Why am I as a law-abiding citizen afraid to go to the police when something is wrong?



Nocturnal said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xorkes said…
we´ve made it a habit to bribe the government servants to get our work done faster. and now its hitting back at us. wat say?
nice blogs gal.. read the 1st page liked it. well written!
Lyandra D'souza said…
Xorkes: It's a vicious circle. And unless all of us wake up to it I don't really see it stopping.

Thank you for the compliments though. I hope to see more of you soon.

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