India Uncut

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When hooligans come out to party

I'd blogged around this time last year about how "occasions for celebration are so filled with hooliganism and violence," and immense deja vu now arrives. Mid Day has a report, with photographs, of how a woman was molested and partly stripped by a crowd of "some 60 perverts in plain public view" at the Gateway of India as 2007 began. The photographer who witnessed the incident writes:
The 10 harrowing minutes the helpless woman cried for help as the perverts abused her, shook my faith in the city I have lived in all my life. I thought such things happened only in Delhi. I was clearly wrong.
Indeed. Here's CNN-IBN's report on the incident.

(Link via email from Gautam John.)

Update: The Times of India brings us some bizarre reactions on the incident. First, Dr Mahinder Watsa, "an expert in sexual medicine," says:
This is a rage attitude of devil-may-care.
And then, Dr Harish Shetty brings capitalism into it:
[T]here is this global selling of ecstasy pushed forward by a market-driven economy, and so, the line of demarcation between fun and ecstasy is getting blurred. Hence, we find some youngsters indulging in such behaviour.
Yes, yes, whatever.

Update (January 4): The police have "detained" some suspects.

Meanwhile, Arjun Swarup writes in:
This new year's Eve, I was at Times Square in New York City. One million people, across about a 10-15 blocks of a downtown city. There were close to 10 cops per block, so there must have been about 150 cops across the whole area. Additionally, there are probably an equal number of undercover cops in the crowd. Every person entering was frisked, no alcohol was allowed.

Given this level of security, no wonder everyone felt safe - probably half the crowd (or greater) was women and children. This level of security was prompted more by fears of a terrorist attack due to the Saddam Hussein execution, but by and large, the US does a good job of protecting citizens.

There are many, many good things happening in India today, but unfortunately, a revamp of our policing system and judiciary doesn't seem to be on the list.
Well, 300 cops to a million people is one cop for just over 3000 people, and I'm not sure how effective those numbers would be in India. (Or the frisking; you don't need guns to molest people.) As much as our police and judiciary suck, there are other issues at play here as well.
amit varma, 12:05 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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