Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 24, 2018-Monday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Angry brats: A law unto themselves

YOU ARE young. You are rich. You are influential. So, what do you do when a traffic cop stops you at an intersection as the traffic lights turn red? You go green! Get down, assault the cop, tear off his uniform, threaten him with dire consequences and speed away. What do you do when asked to pay after getting your vehicle?s fuel tank full? Simple. You whip out your firearm, threaten the petrol pump owner and zoom off.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 00:46 IST

YOU ARE young. You are rich. You are influential. So, what do you do when a traffic cop stops you at an intersection as the traffic lights turn red?
You go green! Get down, assault the cop, tear off his uniform, threaten him with dire consequences and speed away. What do you do when asked to pay after getting your vehicle’s fuel tank full?

Simple. You whip out your firearm, threaten the petrol pump owner and zoom off.

Such incidents took place in the state capital in the last couple of days. And these are not isolated incidents. In Lucknow such incidents, as several cops admit, have become the norm these days.

“In most cases it’s either the spoilt brats of rich families or political workers flaunting their proximity with the powers that be who are usually the most arrogant,” says a senior cop.

What’s more, the cops on their part too have been selective. Take Friday night’s incident at Hazratganj for example. When Aman and Anand Rai, the rich sons of a chief engineer in Merchant Navy were busy assaulting a traffic constable, tearing off his uniform and hurling choicest of abuses at him, a traffic sub inspector standing nearby, remained a mute spectator.

He was suspended later only after some media persons took up the issue with the SSP Ashutosh Pandey. “Yes, the cops too arestreet smart now. They know immediately where they are supposed to act and where to go slow. It’s simple. Put up a flag of the ruling party on your vehicle, wear khadi dress and see how you are generally allowed to get away by the cops. They know, a wrong move on their part might land them in trouble and hence they do not want to risk their job,” says another senior cop.

Psychologists, like Dr Pallavi Bhatnagar from Lucknow University (LU), see this as a reflection of deteriorating moral values. “It has now become culturally permissible to show off one’s might in certain ways that were earlier taboo. Films too have affected the youths and let’s not forget this is also a reflection of the anger that the contemporary society is reflecting in a myriad ways,” she says.

The law, as another cop told HT Live, is successful only when a handful of people are on the wrong side of it. “But, now we are having a situation every other day where people are jumping signals, violating the motor vehicles act, not wearing helmets and losing temper on the slightest pretext. If this continues the law would lose all meaning for no law can be successful if a majority starts flouting it,” another cop says.

What’s the way out? “It’s difficult to identify the exact solution for the problem is in the mind and until the mindset improves nothing would happen. Politicians and cops, bureaucrats and the moneyed all are equally responsible,” says a senior official.

First Published: Apr 24, 2006 00:46 IST