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Sunday, January 29, 2006

crime and criminals

Crime is today just another profession – small time cheats roam the streets of Mumbai in the hope of making it big. The news report of people being taken for a ride by buying bars of soap molded to resemble mobile phone hand sets was funny. One of the pair arrested was a knife sharpener and the other a painter – both in their early twenties! The story of the shoe shine boy who never accepted coins thrown at him and who made it real big in the underworld must have had a tremendous influence on these persons.

Bollywood is creating ripples with the news that a film director is on the lookout for real life criminals to act in his forthcoming venture and impart authenticity to the modus operandi. This will reduce our so-called muscled strong men heroes to lollypop heroes – real life gangsters and their molls will usurp the hot spots. That night would not be far off when the glittering awards functions will have these most wanted men occupying the front row seats. They might also share the dais with celebrities and climb the steps amidst applause of the assembled cream of society to accept the memento. Once the function comes to a close, they will be escorted back to their cells and put behind bars. Of course, today also the scenes are quite similar – only, the camouflaged criminals have ensured that the tag of ‘most wanted’ is not attached to them.

And, from the capital comes the news that common robbers took a group of commandoes by surprise. It is a sad state of affairs. Commandoes are supposed to be the swiftest, the smartest, the most observant ones – they shoulder the responsibility of the safety of our leaders. They are meant to be reincarnations of James Bond, they must always be one step ahead of the criminals, they are there to pre-empt attacks. If a couple of ordinary thieves can pull the rug from under their feet, we need to have a relook at our selection procedures and training methods. Such instances could probably be the result of an injudicious quota system that exists somewhere and lies in wait to sabotage honest intentions.


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