While watching the news of protests against the brutal gang rape of a 23-year old physiotherapist, my mother-in-law said “oh, it’s just a matter of few days and then nobody will care as to what exactly happened to the culprits and to the victims and their families”. Although her words didn’t surprise me, I was quite astounded and impelled to think about what she said. Have we Indians got so habituated to crimes that any act of law-breaking is just another “breaking news” for us? Why we listen to the crime related news so helplessly, as if we can’t do anything but just abuse the criminals on our TV screens and then get involved in our daily chores as if nothing happened.
Crime is present in many forms in India, wouldn’t be wrong even if we say its present in all forms in India be it drug trafficking, gunrunning, money laundering, extortion, murder for hire, fraud, poaching or human trafficking. When a heinous case of “baby falak” surfaced a year ago a wide network of felons was discovered, revealing the shameless face of brutality prevailing under our fake and fickle cover of civilized and modernized society. In a survey some hundred people it was asked “which part of the society was mainly involved in crimes like female infanticide/feticide and even dowry?” With no doubts the answer was “the village ward and the uneducated ones”, strikingly the statistics have a different story to tell. According to the registered complaints the maximum numbers of female infanticide cases were from the so called ‘urban’ class of the society. And it’s needless to highlight that beneath the lavish show of wealth in our modern day weddings often lies a weak marriage that thrives only until the supply of dowry stays supple after which domestic violence is not at all an unprecedented event.
With the advancements in technology even the crimes have become more advanced. Every day that I open my mailbox, I don’t get a bit amazed on finding a big bunch of spam mails waiting to have a sip of the tea in my hands. Cyber crimes are the new “IN” thing these days. Not only are the news papers filled with their stories but often I find write-ups that compel me enough to conclude that my private internet space isn’t really as private as I sense it to be. It’s not that it’s easy to achieve the qualification for such crimes, but definitely not difficult for a magician of software applications who has been sitting jobless at his home for more than year, frustrated and looking for easy and fast cash.
And when such huge crimes go unpunished, what to say about matters like pick pocketing, black marketing, chain snatching, purse snatching, thefts etc. Well, they are just like every day incidents which even if happened to ourselves, are forgotten stories or gossips to share with neighbors and warn them of similar incidents.
Now what really leads to these crimes is a long list of excuses, few genuine reasons and few “done for fun” acts. While the reason behind petty crimes like chain snatching and pick pocketing is too apparent and understood, the reason for further severe crimes lies in the abyss of our developing society. In their quest for the seemingly ideal life, people are increasingly migrating to cities causing an imbalance in the supply and demand scenario of basic resources due to overpopulation. The imbalance of available resources is marked by the dearth of space, shelter, food and basic amenities for the rising population leading to competition, rivalry and in turn insecurity. The most appalling and stark manifestation of this insecurity is the rise in crime in cities. The biggest irony of the present times is that, cities that attract economic power and foster growth are now the hub of crime and violence which drastically debilitate development. The rising crime in Indian cities may be...