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Of Stereotypes and more

All our newspapers are full of how the accused behind the recent blasts in the country are well educated young men. Working with software giants like Yahoo!

Our policemen though, it seems are still to get the message. What else would explain the persistent checking at railway stations of shabbily dressed men carrying large bags and suitcases. While the relatively better dressed and much more educated looking aren't even subjected to a cursory glance.

What about women, you ask? Nada. Zilch. Nothing. The police force seems to think of women as being incapable of anything even remotely related to violence.(I don't think they've seen the fights at peak hour). But that aside, I have never ever seen a woman checked and often when I'm carrying a huge bag, I dawdle past the police desk in the hope that I'll be checked and I've never been questioned or even gazed at suspiciously.

In Palestine and Israel, Italy and Chechnya women are being used increasingly as terrorists as well as suicide bombers. Rajiv Gandhi was murdered by Thenmuli Rajaratnam, a female LTTE suicide bomber. Jammu and Kashmir has been facing this problem too.

All I can is that I hope the Mumbai police force smells the coffee and institutes random checks on people regardless of age, sex, economic status and clothes.


very true. The indian police need a face lift. and this very attitude towards women being the docile variety and not capable of violence is what increases the women headcount into these outfits.
Perakath said…
Urgh I hate random checks. I wish they'd stop them entirely.
sodamncool said…
Imagine the kind of backlash the cops are going to get if this actually happens.

Educated/Rich people could use the standard "Tum jaante ho main kaun hoon? (Do you know who I am?)"

Women's organizations would be all over the cops in terms of "yeh log auraton pe atyachaar kar rahe hain. suspend karo inhey (These people are ill-treating and insulting women. Suspend them)".

educated/working class people would be "yeh logon ne naak mein dam kar rakha hai. hum late hote hain yeh sab checking ke wajah se. yeh log hum logon ko kyun pakadte hain, terrorists ko kyun nahi? Kyunki woh terrorists ko pakad nahin sakte tho issi lye hum jaise aam aadmi ko takleef mein daal rahe hain (These people (cops) are get on our nerves. we often get late because of this checking and all. why are they bothering us? why cant they go and catch the actual terrorists? because they cant catch the terrorists, they harass ordinary people like us)..."

Annnnddddd lo...back to square one...cops check people who are shabbily dressed or whatever because the likelihood of them protesting or so is relatively low...

Can we blame the cops? The useless ones, yeah. but then there are a lot of them out there who want to do the right thing but external/internal forces tie them down...
Bland Spice said…
I agree with the random checks bit. But I do not find anything wrong with profiling at the security checks.
Stereotypes are much maligned but they have a utility – they provide us some clue to a person’s propensities in a sea of strangers. If you were on a junction at one in the night, alone, two roads leading away from it towards your home, and on one a group of young not-very-well-to-do boys are hanging around and on the other a group of investment bankers, would you give the same argument to yourself and choose the first street?
Of course, the outcome might be that the I-bankers try to assault you and hearing your screams the buys come to your rescue – but the point is that, when you were at the junction, you made the best choice given the data you had and what little empirical evidence you possessed regarding group propensities.
I am a rabid foam-in-the-mouth liberal, do not assume otherwise. But pragmatism and liberalism can coexist.

If, as you say, evidence again and again comes forth that it is the laptop toting professionals who are the culprits, the profiling will shift there. Believe you me.

Have you ever wondered how independence day after independence day, with almost a thousand secessionist and terrorists orgs planning to bomb cities, nothing really’s happened so far – besides stray incidents?

Give our security forces some credit.

As for sodamncool’s point, it has some validity. But I have seen security checks following incidents and have reason to believe that no one is above the law then.

Also,don’t you think it makes sense to check the shabbily dressed junta more? They have the real grouse against the system. The rich are already benefiting from the lopsided system. And again, I am talking about probabilities. Possibilties defy probabilities – even pratibha patil might turn out to be a suicide bomber one day in that sense.


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