Few months back, a report came in Hindustan Times about how violence has become a part of life for Africans in Delhi. While huge majority of them are in the city for study purposes, they are invariably assumed to be either thieves or drug peddlers. A few days back an African origin woman was beaten up as the shopkeeper thought she was shoplifting. Without confirming anything the shopkeeper started abusing her, gathered some people around from the streets and beat her up. Early this year, a Delhi government minister, without any evidence, asked police to raid houses of Nigerian women in the middle of the night and when police refused, he did that himself.
And this is not just the case with Delhi. Few months back, some cops from Mumbai Goregaon Police Station asked a group of Nigerian students to vacate flats in Aarey Colony, a colony very close to the national park. Reason? They were of African origin. O yes, that is enough for us to generalize. Are you a student? Are you a bachelor? Are you a Gujju? Are you a Bong? Are you a Mallu? Are you a Punjabi? Are you a Marwadi? Are you in film line? – That’s “too much” information for us to draw conclusions.
Someone just asked, isn’t there any police verification happening before a landlord rents out a flat in Mumbai? Yes, that should happen theoretically but then that is a “work” for police. They are already so busy curbing the existing crime and top it up with terrorist threats. Only 47,000 force to cater to a population of about 20 million!
So, to solve any problem, ban it. That is the simplest thing to do. Don’t rent out your flats to a particular group. Don’t let that movie to be released. Don’t allow sale of that book. Prohibit this. Prohibit that. It will hurt religious sentiments. It will hurt regional sentiments. It will hurt that caste. It will trigger communal violence. It will belittle that particular group. And there are millions of other idiotic reasons as well to prohibit anything in this country.
While there are many things which are banned in India, I was able to compile six of the most amazing and wide spread (some of them de jure) ones out of them:
Renting out flats to Students/Bachelors
It’s not only international racism that we follow but there is localized racism as well that we champion – not necessarily on the basis of religion or caste. If you are a student or bachelor, you are banned in India. It is almost impossible to find an apartment in any city of this country without making up some story of you having a “Hum Saath Saath Hai” family who will stay with you. Reason? Read this: Living Alone in India
Being Human… O sorry… Being Gay
Yes. Two humans from same gender, if in love, is a criminal offense in India. The Indian “moral police” find them not just against religion but also threatening to the security of Indian citizens. Unfortunately, even legal entities in India support them. The amazing thing is that the country from which we have inherited the law (guess??) is done away with the law and legalized gay marriages this year. I guess it is just a matter of time that we copy them.
Cycling in Kolkata
O yes, this took me completely by surprise. When the whole world is trying to go green, some Babu Moshaay of Kolkata Police thought, “AAJ KUCH TOOFANI KARTE HAI”. And then, police issued a notification to ban cycling in about 36 streets of Kolkata. The amazing reason for doing this was to “reduce” traffic congestion. Then they thought, “YEH DIL MAANGE MORE”. By 2014, they expanded this ban on 174 streets.
Blaming men for rapes
Oh no, how can you do that? Boys will be boys. Some of the most amazing reasons for rape in India are:
– Mobile phones
– Women not calling rapists “bhaiyaa” (brother)
– English movies
– Co-ed schools and the list continue.
Not honking while driving
Honking is largely considered as a solution to most of the traffic problems in India. How will the traffic get cleared if you don’t honk? How will the person driving in front of you know that he/she has to move forward unless you honk? How will the signal turn green if you don’t honk? How will you prove that you are THE KING OF THE ROAD unless you honk? You are impotent if you don’t honk on Indian roads.
It is completely inhuman if you dump garbage in a dustbin while in a public place. Just check out any place near a paan shop and you will see India’s greatest painters (and perhaps brand ambassadors of Eveready) at work. Stand in a line with just about more than a finger’s distance from the person ahead of you and take a bet to get a push from behind. And if you follow traffic rules like wearing helmet, following signals even when cop is not there or not allowing kids below 18 to drive bike/car, you are from another planet. And how can you not burn at least one public property (city buses are the favorites) when you have amazingly low tolerance to another community/religion/caste/nationality? Slowing down your car and moving it out of the way of an Ambulance is…… JUST NOT DONE!!
Simple (Real) Weddings
Unless you outspend Kapoorsaab or Chaddhaji for your son/daughter’s wedding, wedding is illegal. Indians top when it comes to the amount of wastage – be it money, energy, food, time – that happens on weddings. While it is essentially the celebration of two souls becoming one, there are hundreds of other souls who evaluate the weddings by the amount spent on – dowry, venue, decoration, food, guest accommodation, liquor, gifts and much more. Unfortunately Indians have not come out of the bubble of pre-British era when the country was really rich and could afford it. Today, people sell their lands, break their fix deposits, spend life time of savings and even take personal loans for just that one day – which is probably too much overrated. Yes, it is a special day but there is whole life ahead as well.
The list is not exhaustive and there are many more but it just indicates how far we are from rationality and close to social evils like racism, dowry, lack of civic sense and trivializing crimes like rapes.
Other references: dfuse.in, articles from Hindustan Times, Times of India, The Hindu, Wikipedia