destination india

Monday, July 25, 2005

innocents beware

Trigger happy keepers of the law are on the prowl; they mistake the innocents for hardened criminals and, with shoot to kill orders readily available, they love the practice sessions and gun down whosoever they take a fancy to.

When an ambush is planned to trap hardcore criminals, the concerned personnel must necessarily ensure that others stay away from the booby traps or whatever else they may have planted to snare their prey. Unfortunately, our jawans fire first and ask questions later. It seems to be a tradition of sorts. Probably they have a secret grading system where the number of notches on the barrel of the gun determines the efficiency of the individual and paves the way for his promotion and other perquisites. It may be possible that such persons finally land up getting photographed with bodies smeared with ketch-up and claim credit for exterminating terrorists and insurgents.

Our very own Bollywood churns out make believe movies where the wronged ones take the law into their own hands to set things right. They all have sad backgrounds and have similar tales to tell, the inevitable cruel landlord and the simple employee, his unwillingness to listen to the dictates of the master, followed by imprisonment on trumped up charges, then the release after serving the prison sentence, and search for the villain with the aim ‘to avenge’. He becomes a law unto himself. He shoots at will, gets plummeted and returns the favor ten times over until, at the last scene, he languishes at the feet of the woman he had wronged. Locations change as do the hero and heroines but the message remains the same – getting hold of a gun is child’s play, anyone can get it, hold it, use it to kill. Strange that in spite of such easy access, we have only a handful of people who can really shoot.

We excel in shooting off our mouth; we can’t shoot from the hips!

Thanks to TV coverage of live incidents via the OBVs and satellites, the world at large sees militants in action with the anti-terrorist squads trying to snuff them out. With sophisticated equipments at our disposal, it would be worthwhile to scour the countryside before embarking on missions of eliminating unwanted elements in civilian areas where chances are there that innocents might stray on to the restricted areas, especially at night and become victims of mistaken identities.


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