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Saturday, 26 May 2012

5 Answers To Those Who Defend Rave Parties.

Since the time Juhu Police has busted a rave party at Hotel Oakwood certain newspapers especially the English ones have launched a campaign to prove that it was not a rave party at all & police went overboard in the incident. Although, it is the job of free media to question the authority & take everything with a pinch of salt, in the present case, it is not seen that the publications questioning the police action have done thorough homework & considered the larger aspect of the issue. I am not defending the cops here, but to be fair with them, I have certain points to make in response to the criticism published in some newspapers.

1)  It was not a rave party?A newspaper claimed that the party where police intruded was not a rave party at all, but a normal Sunday evening sundown party. To see how this is untrue, look at the invite sent on social networking site Facebook. The language & choice of words clearly indicate that it was a party for drugs & sex. I spoke to Dr.Yusuf Merchant of Drugs Abuse Information Research & Rehabilitation Centre (DAIRRC) who has helped thousands of youngsters for de-addiction. He examined the copy of invite & said that at a first glance anybody who is part of the drugs circuit will come to know that it is an invitation for a rave party. The words “Sundown”, “Down”, “Do not FLY” have a connotation for rave party goers which are different from that explained in the Oxford Dictionary. Moreover, according to Dr. Merchant the last sentence of the invite –“ Support the music & not the drugs” itself hints that there is availability of both drugs & music in the party. Apart from the invitation, seizure of trance music equipments & drugs also prove that it was indeed  a party which has been understood in our society over the years as a rave party.
2)  Why victims were treated as accused? “People taking drugs should be treated as victims of drug abuse & not as accused”, preaches a newspaper. I agree with this...but wait, how will you ascertain that a person is a victim? He/she will not voluntarily come to the cops & declare that I am a drug addict. Please take me for de-addiction. Obviously, cops have to secretly execute their operation to reach out to such “victims of drug abuse.” Thus, police action was justified in Juhu rave party case. When police will detain the suspects & get their tests done, then only it will be revealed whether they have been drug addicts or not. We should also not forget that laws related to drugs abuse & trade are very mild in India when compared with Saudi Arabia, China, Thailand & other countries of South East Asia where the convicts are likely to get death penalty after a short trial. It should also be considered that most of the persons detained during Sunday’s raid were adult Indian citizens (few foreigners too) from well to do & educated families & they should have been aware about the law of the land. Selling & consuming drugs is a crime in India.
3) Why detained people were paraded before the Media? This is the one where critics have gone factually wrong. Police never ordered the detainees to parade before the media. Infact, media representatives themselves gathered outside the hotel, police station & hospitals when they got the news of the raid. Police did not co-operate in providing media persons the footage & photos they required. Media guys had to struggle to get them. Interestingly, lensmen of that particular media group were also there which has raised this issue. Infact, the presence of media should be considered as a relief for the detainees which led to cops behaving decently with them…otherwise everybody knows the language of slaps & abuses which policemen in Mumbai (or all over the country) use to deal with the people in their net. If nobody was roughed up, treated inhumanely, kicked, slapped, punched or abused it was all due to media’s presence.  Media also provided an opportunity to the detainees to explain their side of the story.
4)  Deterrence Value: Dr.Yusuf Merchant told me that there are dozens of rave parties organised in & around Mumbai over the weekends, but the issue is highlighted when police raids one. Since 2007 there have been 5 rave parties in & around Mumbai which were raided by the cops…if we believe Mr.Merchant then the scenario is very alarming & more such raids are required to deter youngsters from drug abuse. The latest trend is that now drug addiction has extended itself from collegians & even school going children are falling in the trap. Dr.Yusuf Merchant can provide more elaborate information on this…then the correct question will be- why is police not raiding more rave parties rather than why police has raided a rave party? Newspapers still have some social responsibility I believe.Every person abusing drugs should fear that he/she will be caught.
5) Voice of rich & powerful. If you look at the personal profiles of most of the youngsters caught in the party, you will find that they belong to affluent families…the families which only subscribe English newspapers & patronise them in several manners ranging from Page 3 parties to sponsorship of events. Hence, when you see an English newspaper targeting police for rave parties the reasons could be understood. This has not happened for the first time. It happened when Fardeen Khan was arrested with Cocaine in 2001 & it happened when rave parties at Pune & Karjat were busted. While criticising cops, one senior journalist who is also a politician & a film maker went to the extent of saying that drugs should be legalised in India. I wish that he should be surprised one weekend by taking him for tests & results might reveal the real reasons behind his stand.

The only point where I find police action as unjustified is the decision to charge all the detainees found consuming alcohol under Prohibition Act. The irrational requirement of a permit to drink is unnecessary & provides scope for corruption.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

10 Traffic Rules Which No Driving School Will Teach You.

1)      When there is a strong urge to jump a less busy red signal & the traffic cop is not seen, it makes sense to wait for few seconds & observe some other oversmart guy to jump the signal. If he is not caught, then you too move on bindass.
2)      When you ride a motorcycle it’s a thrill to hack your way in a zigzag manner from the traffic of 4 wheelers, but when you drive a car, motorcyclists are the biggest headache. You may have to brake suddenly if some biker comes in front & you may listen a sound coming from the rear of your car. You get down to find out that some other vehicle has kissed your car due to sudden braking.
3)      If caught by a traffic cop it is more likely that you will escape penalty or pay less fine if you politely handover your driving licence to him as soon as he stops you. You may invite more trouble if you hurt his ego by arguing with him or not easily handing him the licence.
4)      Drive more cautiously on Sunday during both day & night time even if roads are pleasantly vacant. It is likely that some half asleep person or somebody who is drunk gets knocked down by your car.
5)      Although, talking on mobile phone while driving with car blue tooth devices are illegal in many countries of the world, you are less likely to be caught..and when caught there is an excuse- “Oh Johnny, I was not talking on phone…was singing along a song on radio...which made you assume that I was talking. ”
6)      Heavy vehicles like dumpers & tankers are the biggest killers of 2 wheeler riders in Mumbai & other major cities of India. Stay away from them as much as you can.
7)      Nakabandis by cops mostly takes place on same locations, same timings & on same days/nights of the week.
8)      Even if you drink premium vodka & think that you do not smell alcohol after chewing a mouth freshner…you are still likely to be suspected & tested.
9)       Never fight with a BEST bus driver in fit of a road rage. Even if he is at fault, you are more likely to be jailed rather than he fired from his job.
10)   If the car moving in front of you is irritatingly slow in speed, then there might be some taxi ahead of that car…& the car driver might be enjoying the foreplay of the couple sitting on the rear seats of the taxi.
(Strictly based on observations & not personal experiences.)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Address to the Nation.: 5 Observations on why crime has increased in Mumba...

Address to the Nation.: 5 Observations on why crime has increased in Mumba...: Here are my 5 observations on recent spate of crime in Mumbai. + UNORGANISED CRIME: The decade of 90s was characterised by the organi...

5 Observations on why crime has increased in Mumbai.

Here are my 5 observations on recent spate of crime in Mumbai.

+ UNORGANISED CRIME:The decade of 90s was characterised by the organised underworld gangs headed by Dawood Ibrahim, Chota Rajan, Arun Gawli & so on. Shootouts & gangwars were rampant. Most of the targets of gangs were affluent people like builders, jewellers, film personalities etc. Present days are dominated by unorganised criminals who either operate independently or in small groups. They are involved in crimes like chain & bag snatching, house breaking, robbery, theft etc. Their targets are mostly women & senior citizens.

+ LACK OF DETERRENCE: Criminals aren’t afraid of cops anymore. Stringent measures like “encounters” & application of laws like MCOCA have declined. Most of the officers having reliable networks of informers are jailed, suspended or dismissed from the service on genuine/fake charges of links with the underworld & corruption. Rest dont want to risk their career by going out of the way to control crime.

+ PRIORITY OF POLICE: Police is not seen as chasing criminals today. Their priority seems to be shifted towards raiding hookah joints & beer bars. Moral policing seems to be on top of the agenda.

+ LACK OF CONSISTENCY: Every new police commissioner comes and announces his own policies and programmes and discontinues or stops support to the ones initiated by their predecessors. There were brilliant strategies adopted by previous police commissioners pertaining to women and senior citizens security…but they have not been maintained.

+ INFIGHT WITHIN THE POLICE FORCE: Various wings & branches of Mumbai Police do not share cordial relations & dirty politics dominates the functioning. Police Commissioner unofficially formed its own squad and gave extra ordinary powers to it. This led to squad’s competition with the crime branch.

There are many other factors also like corruption, stress of policemen, poor working and living conditions, but such factors are as old as the concept of police. They do not specifically characterise the present times.