Road Rage and Indian Society

by the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

This new year, the national capital witnessed another gruesome crime with a young woman who was dragged for miles under the car of drunken men out to celebrate the new year. The most shocking fact of this horrific incident is that they dragged her without even bothering to stop the car, despite eye-witnesses’ calls for help, police couldn’t find the car and in the end, only a mangled corpse of a young woman remained.

What shocked me literally to the core was that the accused men, who were later arrested, claimed that they didn’t know that the girl got tangled under their vehicle after the accident. I don’t buy that argument, one can feel the contact if the car grazes a surface or a wall and here they dragged a girl for several kilometers and didn’t realize that there was something underneath their vehicle. Not only this is a case of hit and run but also a case of murder due to negligence moreover, these guys knew what they were doing, trying to escape the scene of the crime in order to avoid justice.

Had Delhi Police, heeded the calls of bystanders and reacted faster, the outcome could have been different but this incident brought forth a similar sense of unease about women’s safety in New Delhi that the whole country experienced during Nirbhaya’s case. Hit and run is nothing new for our country but the callous aggression people show on road simply amazes me sometimes. Just after this incident, there were two other reports of hit and run in Delhi NCR. I sometimes wonder why we can’t take road safety more seriously, why we can’t make more stringent laws against such wanton acts of road rage.

These culprits of New Year Horror should be made an example with the most severe punishment but we should also look at ourselves as a society on how we respond to an emergency situation. The girl who was riding with the victim simply fled the spot and police responded too late given the emergency of the situation. Knowing that it was the new year Police should have been more vigilant. I often think that it’s not technology that hampers our Police ability to save lives, it’s just the casual attitude of the whole system toward human life that has infected Police and its personnel. Sometimes I think we are a cruel society, devoid of empathy and care toward each other. This negligence shows itself time and again whether it’s toward the life of a young woman or the lives of many in Haldwani and Joshimath.

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