Saturday, December 29, 2012
Civil Society and Crime, Corruption and political apathy in India
A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books The death of the gang rape victim in a hospital in Singapore has led to an upsurge of emotion in New Delhi and other parts of urban India. Candle light vigils, black ribbon marches, placards displaying solidarity with the victim, named Nirbhaya or fearless by the doctors of Safdrajang Hospital in recognition of her valiant battle to live, which she ultimately lost. The anger against the criminal political class is palpable but unlike the Arab Spring which was ignited by the fiery protest of a street vendor and spread the the rest of the Arab world from Tunisia, these protests will not do much to change the system. The one man one vote and first past the winning post system of elections has atomized Indian society that the aggregate vote is actually controlled by the political parties which are not afraid of such protests because they are actually a mass of individual protests within a spontaneous field of reaction. The political parties particularly the dynastic fascists know that the tempo of protest cannot be sustained until the next election. Is there a way out? The liberal intelligentsia has been claiming that the rape of the Delhi girl and the sustained brutality to which her body was subjected is a symptom of the "rage" of the underclass Marinate this argument with a critic of the neo liberal economuc agenda and you have that thundering darling of the West, Arunditti Roy coming up with the argument that rape of the Delhi girl was only a protest against "poverty" and "marginalization".What this argument fails to consider and hence dangerous if it starts attracting attention is that it is an overt endorsement of crime against women. Perhaps the novelist in Roy does not quote comprehend the implications of her own argument. Another point is that most of the perpetrators of such crimes,and I am going only by anecdotal evidence, are from the OBC castes. The politically correct media will not highlight this fact, but it is germane to the discussion. In fact all the six arrested rapists of the Delhi girl were from the slums of Delhi and were from castes which historically have been violent. The bad old days of the British Raj they were called "criminal tribes and castes". I am only suggesting that in the name of woolly liberalism we should not loose sight of ground realities and forget history. The liberals in the Indian establishment seem to be advocating a jurisprudence predicated upon caste hierarchy. If the criminals are from the lower castes then their ctrimes can be ignored and if the victim is a dalit then the crime become all the more serious. Such relativism of crime has led to political interference making it impossible for the police to tackle the crime. There is another factor. Too uch civil society activism on frivolous issues spear headed by Arvind Kejriwal has led to the dilution of civil society as a force in Indian public life.