Laxman Rekha must remain drawn between policing and politicking.

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Bipin Sharma

Following the gruesome gangrape murder of Nirbhaya sometime ago, the capital city witnessed some unprecedented scenes when citizens took to the streets to register their angst against the gruesome manner committed by brute perverts. The ghastly incident shook the world and raised serious questions about the safety of girls and young women in the city. Following the grisly incident that took place in Munirka few years ago, a slew of security measures were undertaken by the authorities, and one significant measure included making the police more sensitive towards the grievances pertaining to the well being and safety of women folks. New helpline numbers along with security apps were launched to bolster women safety. Night patrolling was intensified, and dysfunctional street lights were replaced with new ones to beef the security in the city.

While there still persists colossal scope for improvisation of law and order situation in Delhi viz a viz women safety, to say that the attitude and approach of Delhi Police following the Nirbhaya incident has remained unchanged would be grossly unfair and ludicrous. The policing in the capital city specifically, is today far more robust compared to the earlier times. When citizens are making merry and holidaying with their kith and kin during the festive seasons, it is the men in khaki who stand guard for ensuring the well being of citizens. For men in uniform be it the police or the Army men at the borders, festivals are usually celebrated in solitude away from their loved ones.

Thus to simply blame the cops for all the things going awry, merely for seeking an edge, and for scoring political brownie points on rivals would unmistakably be unfair to the true spirit of democracy.

A prime instance in this case being the recent horrific murder of a young teen girl in Anand Parbat area of the capital city which is pointlessly getting politicized. The macabre incident saw the citizens across the length and breadth of the country unified in not just their condemnation, but also in demanding the most stringent punishment for the perpetrators of this crime. Gruesome, heinous acts of crime such as murder are unpardonable crimes, that don’t get determined or evaluated by the number of stab counts that a victim gets inflicted with. Instead what counts is that no ‘misogynist’ found guilty of crime against women, small or big, should ever go scot free; unpunished in our country. A strong precedent needs to be set for instilling an element of lasting fear in the minds of habitual as well as potential perverts. Chemical castration of the accused, alongside the social boycott of their family are some novel ways suggested by citizens for deterring potential perverts.

Laxman Rekha

Politicians all over the world have a tendency to turn grave incidents like these into flashpoints for fulfillment of certain political goals and missions. The 21st century discerning viewer is astute enough to infer the real connotation behind Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s over emphasis on the “total count of stabs” that the teenage girl got subjected to, by her tormentors. Much to the consternation of Kejriwal’s apologists, the autopsy report indicating that the victim was stabbed 5 times, and not 35 times has turned the tables on the Delhi CM who would surely find himself on a sticky wicket.

His genuine well wishers would surely be feeling the urge to implore him for not politicizing matters as sensitive as gang rapes and murders as that could have an adverse impact on his popularity. There are many who believe that the actual reason behind Kejriwal and his party going all guns blazing to politicize the issue of the Anand Parbat teen girl murder is to build a favourable public consensus in their favour, one that in due course could possibly pave the way for bringing the Delhi Police under the ambit of their government.

Kejriwal for one, needs to be reminded that the Delhi electorate gave him a thumping majority because they strongly believed that he possessed the potential to deliver a clean, efficient and transparent government, one that had scarce scope for petty politics and bickering.

Ironically, in the past few months of his government, the Aam Aadmi of the city has been subjected to more of politics, and less of governance. The Delhi CM has been in the news more for his unending tussles with the Delhi LG on some issue or the other, and less for new reforms and actual developmental work on ground zero.

Perhaps one of the easiest jobs in politics is to cast aspersions on the integrity of political adversaries, and vice versa, attribute one’s own failures and misgivings to the conspiracy plans of the political adversaries. The belief is that by doing so, one gets exonerated for their own short comings and failures.

People of Delhi who voted in large numbers in favour of AAP have been nurturing an earnest yearning to see Arvind Kejriwal, the ‘activist’ in full swing in the CM’s chair, and not Arvind Kejriwal, the ‘activist turned politician’ in the CMs chair.

The post of CM may be a political one, but the general assurance and feeling that Kejriwal gave to the citizens of Delhi was not just clean and efficient governance, but a government that would remain free from the clutches of usual political cacophony.

Kejriwal’s request to PM Modi for handing Delhi Police to the Delhi government seems misplaced and ill timed.

In the run up to Bihar Assembly Elections 2015, it is refreshing to see the camaraderie between Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal, the CMs of two key states namely Delhi and Bihar.

Quite naturally, political adversaries of BJP would have been ecstatic following the landslide victory for Kejriwal and the decimation of BJP in Delhi Assembly elections. BJP’s heavy loss in Delhi would have come as a pleasant surprise for regional satraps like the JD (U) who had been handed heavy losses during the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls at the hands of the saffron party.

It is pertinent to mention that there is a great deal of difference between activist Kejriwal of the Jan Lokpal Movement era, and the activist turned chief minister Kejriwal of the present times. The Kejriwal of 2015 is a far more astute, and politically correct politician who prefers looking the other way, and keeping mum on the issue of joining forces with a party named “Grand Alliance” of which fodder scam accused Laloo Prasad Yadav too happens to be an integral member.

Unlike the outspoken Kejriwal that played second fiddle to Anna Hazare at the Ram Lila Maidan during the Lokpal Bill agitation, the politician Kejriwal prefers adhering a politically correct stance which is why he has managed to desist from commenting anything against Laloo Yadav as that would not only upset his equation with his political friend Nitish Kumar, but could also impact the outcome of the forthcoming Bihar polls to some extent. Simply put, Kejriwal is far more cautious when it comes to calling a spade a spade nowadays!!.

Expressing his views on the slugfest between the Delhi Police and the Aam Aadmi Party, VM Issar, a noted city based advocate says, “Needless politicization and bickering over young girl’s brutal murder in Anand Parbat area breaches all levels of insensitivity. While I support some ideologies of the Aam Aadmi Party, I have strong reservations about the manner in which Delhi CM through his social message on National TV is leaving no stone unturned in creating unwarranted hype about the young girl’s murder. Even the average IQ citizen can sense that it is being done to eventually get the Delhi Police to report to him. An occasion as somber as this, can just not be used for realizing self- missions and goals. Justice can only be delivered to the teen girl’s family with a robust and thorough police investigation. Every responsible citizen of the society that includes the legislators, the police, and the aam aadmi should refrain from spreading ‘canards’ since they could cause unnecessary panic among citizens. Once the chargesheet gets filed by the police, the ball will be in the court of the judiciary to decide on the quantum of the punishment for the two perverts. Just like the police cannot play the role of the legislators in the legislative assembly, legislators and politicians too should not hinder in the role of the police. Having said that, I deem it imperative to clarify that every citizen does possess the right to question the government of the day, the police, the legislators or the civic authorities for that matter, but they simultaneously need to decode the distinction between ‘questioning’ and ‘disruptions’. When questioning the authorities assumes the form of disruptions and agitations, that is the time one needs to exercise restraint. In a democratic set up, well defined Laxman Rekha’s have been drawn between every profession namely to ensure smooth sailing. There has to be harmonious co-ordination, and no ‘confrontation’ or ‘overlapping’ between different departments and professions as that will only lead to commotion and anarchy. While one is free to question the lacunas in the working of any system, one needs to maintain a certain element of decorum while doing so. As Delhi has not been granted full statehood, Delhi Police cannot be reporting to the Delhi government. World class national capital cities like Washington DC, Paris, London till date have not been granted full statehood, for practical purposes. One should not forget that since NCT Delhi houses some of the country’s most prestigious institutions like the Parliament, the Supreme Court, etc, it would therefore seem ludicrous to beseech or knock at the door of state government for addressing any law and order related grievance of such top ranked establishment. In the wake of this, neither the Prime Minister of the country, nor the Delhi LG Najeeb Jung should ideally concede to the wish of the AAP by allowing the Delhi Police to report directly to the state government. In the larger interests of the capital city, the Delhi Police needs to remain under the ambit of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).”

For those suggesting ‘referendums’ and thereby, seeking to amend the prevalent system, have to be reminded that there exists a ‘Laxman Rekha’ between the 2 key P’s i.e. politicking and policing.

For smooth functioning of the Democratic process in the capital city, the Laxman Rekha must perpetually remain drawn between the Delhi Police and the state government for not only keeping the autonomy of Delhi Police intact, but in the larger interest of the city based denizens.

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