Friday, December 30, 2005

Crime in Indian cities

Yesterday unidentified gunmen shot and killed a former IIT Delhi faculty attending the Operations Research Conference at the Indian Institute of Science Campus in Bangalore (Bengaluru!). Few others were also injured. Incidentally my Professor had delivered a lecture at the conference only a few hours earlier. Govt says this was the handiwork of Kashmiri Militants/ISI. If that was the case, then we were lucky to get away with just one casualty. This was only a week after the much talked about rape of a BPO employee in the same city. Well, the people of Bangalore now have one more cause to worry about besides roads, Devegowda etc. The two recent flood relief related tragedies in Chennai raise serious questions about the efficacy of the civil and Police Administration in the city. There is no need to talk about crime in Mumbai! Bollywood stars who get away with hit and runs and possessing AK 56s meant for militants gives a good idea of the city's take on crime! I guess this is a place where reel world (Satya, Company, Ab Tak Chappan) lags behind real world. And ofcourse there is Delhi, the unofficial rape capital of the world! We have heard numerous instances of crime against women in Delhi over the years now. (Is it a coincidence that one such rape accused is in the Manmohan Singh cabinet). Not to forget the monkey business which amused us some years ago. I was discussing the reasons for this sort of behavior in Delhi with a friend of mine. Is it because most of Delhi's residents are not natives of the place? They are not even immigrants, they are mostly middle class "sarkari babu" families who left their homes elsewhere in the country to make Delhi their home. It may be because Delhiites don't have the sense of belonging which makes the entire population volatile and insecure. Or is it because of the Punjabi community (prevalent in Delhi) which makes no distinction between cattle and women?! (ok, its harsh on the sardars but how else can we explain the abysmal sex ratio in Punjab?) Maybe its the influence of western Uttar Pradesh on the capital. On the whole I suspect there is a demographic background to the sex crimes in Delhi. To complete the picture there is the Railway station robbery system in Bangalore, Daylight Auto robbery system in Chennai, Tear the passport system at the Hyderabad Airport and the customs racket at the Thiruchirapalli Airport. Have a safe New Year if possible!!

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