Kidnappings in India are evidence of the growing lawlessness and must be immediately stopped, opined our surfers this week, as the incident of three-year-old Anant being kidnapped in daylight rocked the capital.
Indignation, shame, anger, disappointment and frustration poured forth, as our surfers responded to our survey on the menace of kidnapping. But one thing was clear amidst everything: That the law of the land is soft on violators, and that the government needs to pull up its socks.
Here are some of the responses that came in:
"Indian states like UP and Bihar are responsible for most of the crimes across India. This is due to the inefficient government in these states. So they should be put under president rule. And the police here should be made more accountable and responsible, " said a surfer Subroto Chatterjee, from Male.
Another surfer named Ratan from Delhi echoed the same sentiment. He wrote: "The whole Indian system is bad. We have corrupt and criminal people in the goverment. People in India have guts to commit murder and then roam free. All because they have money to throw around. In fact, democracy in India is being so misued that even a crook like Abu Salem can contest for elections and win. What is need is a quick-thinking, efficient and committed government."
Nikhil Deshpande from Mumbai said: "This is really getting out of hand. No one is safe in Delhi today. Law and order has to be improved. At the same time, mini-buses should be used for door- to-door pick-up and be allowed inside an apartment complex. Awareness amongst parents on how to keep their child safe when walking on the road is important."
"Modernization of the police force in states like Bihar and UP will solve many problems including kidnapping. As a first step, police commissions can be established to monitor and guide the police force. Additionally, police forces in these states should be strengthened by establishing dedicated intelligence departments within the forces, on the lines of western countries," said Riteish Darbar from Hyderabad.
Ajitha from Mumbai wrote: "India is in the grip of lawlessness, and nowhere is this more evident than in the north of the country. There, wealth and clout can get even the most impossible of tasks done easily. Kidnapping has become an industry in states like Bihar, and the government needs to pull up its socks to do something about it. You want money, so you kidnap the son of a wealthy businessman. Where else would this be possible, except in India?"
A very interesting response came in from Ramesh, of San Jose. He wrote: "If I were the Prime Minister, I would ask the Adobe guy to pay the ransom, and get back the kid. I would then send Sukhois, tanks, and 50,000 Indian army troops to Chambal with one mission - to destroy the area. Kidnappers and lawbreakers should feel the heat of being chased down in every corner of the country. Once captured, I would tie them up in an open place with no water and no food, allowing them to rot and die. But unfortunately, we have a government that is apathetic and unconcerned about the welfare of its citizens. Poor India, it is getting destroyed by its own people!"
The numbers did not tell a very different story. To our first question, the majority of people (50) who responded said they felt very unsafe after Anant's kidnapping. 20 people said the incident didn't really unsettle them and that they were sure of the safety of their own kids. 10 people remained indifferent.
The second question also brought out a similar response. As many as 65 people said the government was to be held responsible for the thriving lawlessness in the country. 5 people said careless parents were to blame for their child's kidnapping, while 10 others were non-committal.
Question three, again, was no eye-opener. 40 people said the rich and the famous were always the targets of such kidnapping incidents, while 20 said no one was safe in Delhi. Meanwhile, 20 others said they were not sure.
To the fourth question, all the 80 surfers who responded said the schools had to evolve a better system of pick and drop, in order to keep the kids safe.
Question five brought out a varied response. 35 people said schools should begin a little later in the day say 9 am, instead of the usual 7 am. 40 others said parents should personally accompany their kids to school and not entrust them to the care of the domestic help. Meanwhile 5 people said there should be a better policing system at vulnerable times of the day, like early morning and later night.
The last question, again, saw a division of opinion. Interestingly, 70 people said they would pay the ransom and get their loved ones back, while 8 people said they would rather not think of anything unpleasant. Only 2 people said they would approach the police-a clear evidence of the fact that the public had lost faith in the police force of the country.
The verdict is out, now it's up to the government to act. Meanwhile, Vox Populi will think up another interesting debate and be back next week. Happy surfing!