Saturday, February 21, 2009

Violence, police high-handedness and response

I couldn't help comparing these things.

First, via dcubed, an account of violence against women by self-proclaimed "sons of the soil" (actually influential rich louts in Bangalore); police high-handedness; and how the victims responded (entirely within the system and via the rule of law). A must to read.

Second, what's going on right now in the Madras High Court. It started with lawyers protesting against the Sri Lanka Tamils issue, but has spiralled into violence, destruction of property, the alleged stripping of a police officer by lawyers, and even the burning by lawyers of a police station on the high court premises. The lawyers, who are supposed to fight to uphold rule of law, claim police high-handedness as the provocation, and have retaliated by jettisoning any pretence of law-abiding behaviour.

Are these concepts of rule of law, due process, and so on meant only for the elite pub-goers in Bangalore, and not for the "sons of the soil"? Are they elitist Western concepts that have no place here?

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