Law & Order in the Context of Elections

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

As the parliament goes into its usual paralysis because of inter party bickering, I’d like to draw your attention to a very important and quiet often ignored part that is casually mentioned in the campaigns and forgotten as soon as the elections are over and it’s not corruption or inflation, its Law and Order.

 Now considering the elections that will be held in UP in the coming Feb, it will undoubtedly be flung around the political arena in order to muster some anti-incumbency votes but if you look closely and there are no exceptions, all major parties will field politicians who will be involved in criminal activities ranging from scams, corruption to kidnapping, murder and robbery. I am not talking about conviction because even those who are convicted and are not contesting in elections have more than enough muscle power to influence it. It will take nothing short of army to keep thinks in check or you will have things by the way of the gun barrel. Police, at least under SP rule is in a way helpless in this matter.

 Caste politics, lack of education & development and a chronic sense of hopelessness has seeped into public’s psyche. It’s always politicians, never leaders that come out as winners in states’ elections. So what’s the solution here, when nobody hopes against hope that anything will change in Uttar Pradesh. It’s the change in laws to implement the harsher penalties for heinous crimes. Right now, the punishments we give out are often lax and many times witnesses are threatened to turn statements or simply they disappear in thin air. We should form a review board for reassessing the punishments of criminals who have committed extreme violent crimes and also assessing if they have been rehabilitating or mending their ways in prison. Most of the time the person who has grown to maturity will not change himself but there are exceptions to every rule, so if judging from prison and intelligence reports the person is seem to be living out his sentence in peace, he can be left as such but, as often the case, he continues to run his nefarious activities from behind bars or rehabilitation is not the cure then the preferred approach would be to extend their life sentence without parole or simply the noose.

 Yes, it may sound cruel but is there a use to keep such monsters around. One may say that some people resort to crime under circumstances, bad company, poverty or some other reason but I am proposing this approach for those who are downright killers. You can’t make a Valmiki out of a rakshasa. For example, a terrorist who is too radicalized to come back or a child abuser who had turned kids blind in order to use them for begging on streets or a so called “bahubali”, likes of which can be found in abundance in UP, who runs a profitable kidnapping or extortion ring or a rapist who brutally slaughter a girl after fulfilling his lust. There are mad dogs who can’t be cured; it’s an ugly fact of life. So we have to find a legal means to root out this cancer.

 I am not saying we have to be brutal but when a foreign tourist gets raped we all get the blame; we all suffer the shame because someone didn’t value human life. We can implement rehabilitation program for minor and non violent crimes and up to certain extent murderers and rapists but those with very grave offences should not get a tap on hand. There are some who are beyond help and until we harden the law we cannot maintain the order.

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