with you, for you, always

With you, for you, always is the motto of the police of our city. Each time I see these words slapped on the side of a vehicle or on a larger than life poster I instinctively recoil. Nothing could be more untrue and the last encounter you would want to have is with the police. Somehow stepping into a police station is an experience one would not wish for anyone. It is the last place you will get help or justice.

It is with extreme sadness that I read about the young girl who had committed suicide because the police failed to act against those who regularly eve teased her. Instead of getting the justice she sought from the protectors of law, the family was subjected to harassment and intimidation. It was too much for the young girl who decided to end her life. The reason for which the police behaved in this manner was that the eve teasers belonged to some well connected political family! The police is not meant for the poor, the helpless, the downtrodden or simply the innocent.

It is sad that the police in our country still behaves as a force created by the coloniser to beat the colonised to submission. It is just that the colonisers have assumed a new avatar: that of the unscrupulous politician or the moneyed men. And no matter how many nice soundings mottoes they invent, the essence remains the same. Once you don the uniform you are given the liberty to act as you please.

We too have had our encounters with the police and each has been distasteful and vile. If we need to repair any of our centres, before we can lay the first brick the beat officer is at our door his palm extended for blood money and no matter how hard we try to appeal to his better side, it is all in vain: once you wear the uniform you lose your better side forever. If we try and go to the police station to seek some assistance, we are viewed with such suspicion that we beat a simple retreat. And how can I ever forget the case of a young woman taken in by the police because a piece of jewellery had disappeared from the house she worked in? The jewellery was found and the information given to the police station but the poor young woman was gang raped by the posse on duty. Th next day an officer did take the men to task and the woman was offered monetary compensation but that one night changed her forever and scarred her mind. She today suffers from deep psychoses.

The poor girl who committed suicide last week must have suffered extreme humiliation and known that her life too was scarred forever. She simply decided to take it away and she did. And no one could do anything to help her, specially not those who profess to be with you, for you, always!