Posts Tagged With: bangalore

Blame it on the victim. Again.

 

 

copcase

Last week, something happened in Bangalore that happens perhaps every other night. A lady driver travelling home from work in her car. Why, you ask, is that reason enough for a blog post? Read on, is what I say to that. It so happened that a man rammed into her car from behind while she was waiting at a red light. There’s still nothing entirely disturbing about this. What happened next is the man started accusing her. He blamed her for the accident. He got abusive. And that’s where this tale of corruption – moral and physical – begins.

One would imagine that a traffic cop present around the scene would have been reason enough to put the erring man in place, comfort the woman and handle the entire situation. But if you’ve lived in India long enough – and I have – you’d know that something of the sort barely happens. I’d go so far as to say that it never happens, but there’s always that one honest cop who will skew the figures.

The woman asked the cop to help her and register a formal complaint against the biker. Of course, this meant that the cop could no longer just pocket a 100-rupee note from the rider and move on with life. (That is what most traffic cops, at least in Bangalore are wont to do.) Was I present at the scene to report so accurately? No. Am I sure that I am indeed reporting accurately? Yes. Because I happen to know the woman personally. She’s a woman who I have had to occasion to work with many times. A woman of strong opinions – as all people should be. A straightforward woman.

And I assume that it is this straightforwardness that became the cause of agony for her. Though, of course, that is a biased man’s point of view. A point of view that instantly begins to at least subside the responsibility of the other men present at the scene. So, I’ll take that back. What caused her agony was a bunch of insecure, stupid men. Men who gathered around her in a circle and heckled her, grabbed at her and abused her verbally. One of them flashed himself.

Oh, and the cop was a man as well. And not very different from the others. He shrugged her, pushed her around, and even punched and slapped her. All this while she was asking him for help. And what did the cop do to the rider? Ignored him and let him sneak away in the commotion. While the other men continued their antics.

The next day, a high official went on air telling the world that the cop was not at fault. And that the onus is on the woman to prove the cop guilty. A classic case of blaming the victim again. A classic case of officials trying to cover up after their erring subordinates. A classic case of a mob victimising the woman and calling it her fault.

There is a petition doing the rounds that I have signed and sent to every person I know. I thought this might be a good place to share it with the others. People who may not even be in my country but feel the need for a protest, a change. People who are better than the cop and the mob. Please sign this petition and pass it around for all to sign. I will be eternally grateful to you.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Legal_action_against_the_traffic_constable_and_bystanders_who_abused_and_assaulted_Swar_Thounaojam_in_Bangalore/

No peace in this one.
Kabir

 

Categories: cops, India, strange people | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Move. Play. Dance. In Bangalore!

So I read yesterday’s Hindu today (as is my wont) and saw this lovely little article in it. It was about a ‘dance company’ conducting a workshop based on the principles of Dance Movement Therapy. I found it rather a little interesting that people would be using dance as a means of therapy. So I logged on to the company’s website – www.threeleftfeet.in (what a sweet name for a dance company!) and tried to read up as much as I generally could about them. Got quite a sweet vibe. And I suppose for the first time in my life, I’m even considering going to a do that has something to do with dance. (Or maybe I’m going for some therapy after all.)

If any of you good people are in Bangalore, and would like to know more about the workshop, here are some details:

Facilitated by Natasha of Three Left Feet,
Wednesdays & Fridays: 5:30pm – 6:45pm
Saturdays: 10:30am – 11:45am
8 sessions, starting the week of November 19th 2012
Open to 14yr olds to 90yr youngs.
Maximum 15 participants per session.
The fees for this workshop is Rs. 2000.
Atta Galatta at 3018 1626 / 96325 10126 or Natasha at 97393 22203

I have a feeling I’m going to be considering this dance movement therapy thingamajig a bit seriously. Seems like quite a fun way to sort out life’s issues.

Say, what’s your favourite way of sorting out issues?

Peace.
Kabir

Categories: India, news, observations | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Can I have a cappuccino, with a dash of irony, please?

Hello, hello. I’ve noticed that the last few posts on my blog have been, let’s say, a bit sombre. So I thought I might share some irony with you today. And, as they’d say in Hollywood, this post is based on a real life story.

So, I was at a coffee shop last morning, waiting for a hot cuppa before I began reading something mildly interesting. And I happened to notice the wall next to me. And the first thing my eye fell upo was this little piece of engraved pomposity above. A coffee shop that prides itself in the conservation of wildlife and all things natural.

At first, I felt glad. Then, I felt a little sick in the stomach. I would have blamed it on the coffee, only it hadn’t arrived just yet. Then I realised that it was the wall. The whole thing was made of wood.

Now, I don’t quite follow how someone can say they’re proud of themselves for saving natural resources by putting up the message on stuff made by chopping trees.

And the thing is, when I don’t really follow something, I tend to get a little sick in the stomach. Mystery solved. Irony enjoyed.

P.S.: Since this is a public blog, I don’t suppose I should be telling you that the coffee shop was a Cafe Coffee Day in Bangalore. So I won’t tell you that.

Peace.
Kabir

 

Categories: books, general rambling, India, observations, strange people | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gone in 60 seconds. Or maybe a little more…

This may not be the best image for this post. But then again, we don’t always use images that go along with wat we’re writing, do we? To continue! Last night, a most disconcerting thing happened to me on Bangalore‘s Inner Ring Road. I was on my way back home from work in an auto – which, I recollect, did not display the auto driver’s card as the law requires. On this road comes a dark stretch devoid of street lamps or other buildings. And on days when there isn’t much traffic on the road, it gets lonelier still. Last night was one of those nights.

And as it would happen, the auto driver asked me if it was alright for him to relieve himself. Clearly, not being his master, I said he was free to. Only, it turned out it was me he wanted to relieve. Of my wallet, my watch and my laptop bag. Because in a matter of just 10 seconds or so, he was back with three other men – complete with knives and a short, thick wooden stick.

Truth be spoken, it was a bit scary to be shoved in the face with a knife. So I didn’t offer much of a fight and let one of them grab at my wristwatch. Then I was asked to hand over my wallet. Which also, I did, because there must have been all of 30 rupees in it at the time. That and an old debit card which is so bent out of shape that only I know how to use it.

Finally, they decided they wanted my bag as well. A little foolish something inside me told them that I’d given them enough and I wasn’t going to let them take my bag. The next instant, I saw the stick coming in the direction of my temple. I was able to block if off with my hand – which my sore elbow is still complaining about. Somehow, I managed to swing the bag at them and I believe the laptop inside got two of them on the head. I reckon they were a bit startled and backed off just a step. I found this moment just enough to kick one of them below the belt and make a run for it.

Fortunately, a passing car let me in and dropped me to another auto, the driver of which decided not to mug me.

The point I’m trying to make is, this is a part of the city – a major part of the city – that doesn’t have so much as five working street lamps on the way. And because there are no buildings of any sort around this road, it gets darker still at night. Plus, having patrol vans at only two ends of the road (not every night either) doesn’t exactly help matters.

This is a citizen’s request: Can we please have working street lamps throughout this stretch? And for heaven’s sake, can we have two or three police cars patrolling the empty stretch every night? Or do a thousand of us have to go hold a rally which no one will really care about?

Peace.
Kabir

Categories: cops, news, observations, strange people | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

When the levee breaks

In the south of India is a fairly long river. It runs through four states, after all. Three states and a Union Territory, more like, though that’s only a spec. And when it doesn’t quite rain very well in the country, the states go at it in the ring.

2012 is one of those dry-ish years. Monsoons have been down by nearly 50% in the country. And all states are feeling the heat a touch. But it would appear that most affected is Tamil Nadu – one of the states through which the Kaveri runs. And since they don’t have much water to farm, or drink, they asked their Kannadiga neighbours to help out a little bit and send in some water from their side of the river.

It would turn out, though, that Karnataka believes that the river belongs to them. That they own her. And that they have undisputed rights over it. Hence, they have refused to be the good samaritans. The PM and teh Supreme Court, however, have asked them to stuff it and send out 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day. This has led to protests on the streets and a statewide bandh being called on Saturday, October 6.

I don’t have a conclusion planned for this post. There is none.

Peace.
Kabir

Categories: politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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