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     Volume 6 Issue 39 | October 5, 2007 |

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View from the Bottom

The Chaotic Endowments in us

Shahnoor Wahid

The inbuilt endowment of chaos in us becomes manifest every day, every hour, on roads, rivers, riverbanks, in bazaars, shopping malls, universities, schools, airports, bus terminals, launch terminals, police stations, and even in courts. We are impatient in a queue. We elbow people on the roads. We talk all at the same time.

Talking about courts, it beats all comprehension why a pandemonium ensues (Reference: reports on TV channels) as soon as a prison van arrives on the court compound. The entire contingent of police force dashes to the door of the van to escort the prisoner to the court building, especially when it is a bigwig having some connection with politics. As the prisoner shows his face on the doorway, the policemen start to shout and scream at one another, no one having any idea who is saying what to whom. We the audience cannot even figure out who is the officer in charge and who is a constable. The prisoner is almost dragged out of the van and pushed and pulled towards the building. Then, as the contingent approaches the narrow staircase inside the court building they become more unruly and start to jostle and elbow one another. In the process they almost push the prisoner down on the ground. The scenario is repeated on the way back to the prison van.

These disturbing scenes bring forth some more questions in our minds. Why must policemen be physically so close to the prisoner? Why instead of keeping everyone in a safe distance and forming a human circle to guard the prisoner, policemen start to jostle and elbow one another while taking an accused up the stairs to the judge's room! Why are so many curious onlookers allowed to enter court premises? And, most importantly, why is face of the accused shown on TV camera before he or she has been proven guilty? Isn't that some form of violation of the person's basic right?

We don't see such scenes while we watch foreign TV channels. In all developed countries, under-trial prisoners are not exposed to the public for fear of assault perpetrated on them by some vested party. They are taken to the court through a separate alley to avoid any untoward incidence. In case of a rapist or a murderer the face of the accused is kept covered so that it cannot be shown on camera until the verdict is given.

Therefore, we must do something about the court houses where people expect to see order and discipline. People go there, reluctantly of course, to seek justice and protection. But if the very place scares one away, especially seeing a disorderly police force in place, then that would be unfortunate. The court house must look clean, tidy and safe.

The relevant authorities must also do something about the hoards of dalals lurking in and around the court houses in search of people who look new in the area.They entice the simple village-folks with all sorts of false promises to some shady corner and then fleece them at their sweet will. We hope someone responsible is reading this piece.


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