India is a land of surprises, say many.
And how can Bihar, which they say has been witness to a glorious past, be an exception. Of course nobody could have imagined that ‘surprise of surprises’ or (should I call) ‘mother of all surprises’ would be reserved for the Bihar police. In fact it was one life time experience for all of them there where they found how ‘Rs 50,000 can balloon into Rs 1.14 crore’.
The central character in the still unfolding drama is Giriraj Singh, a RSS activist since his childhood days, and a senior leader in the state, who has already carved out a name for himself nationally for his controversial statements. People would remember how he proposed to Modi opponents to go to Pakistan during election campaign or how he eulogized Brahmeshwar Singh, leader of Ranveer Sena, the private army of landlords which had been allegedly responsible for hundreds of killings of innocents as ‘true Gandhian of our times’ when the dreaded figure was killed in a gang war. As an aside it needs be mentioned here that Giriraj Singh was one of the first in the state who had vouched for Mr Narendra Modi’s PM candidature also. Continue reading The ‘Patriots’ of Our Times !
Mandawli is a police station area in East Delhi and covers the area I live in. As such it is the field of my ‘ethnography’. The reader may however put the name of any other police station in Delhi – rather India – and the story, I can bet, will read as true as ever. Let Mandawli then be the name of all the dens of YS Dadwal’s men (YSD being the police commissioner Delhi, who famously claimed yesterday that ‘Even in New York women are not safe…’). PC Dadwal also has the distinction of claiming, against the growing feeling of insecurity among Delhi’s denizens, that crime is actually declining in the city! A Jansatta report yesterday, however, cites many ordinary people as saying that they are more scared of the police than of criminals.
17 July 2008: The Times of India (19 July) and other newspapers reported the death of 18-year old Umesh Kumar ‘who was picked up by the police for questioning’ two days ago and who died soon after returning home at night. The incident was of Swaroop Nagar in outer district, Delhi. Umesh did not live to tell his story but his friend, Atul, ‘who too was picked up by the police said: “The police took us to Ibrahimpur police post and started beating Umesh after which he lost consciousness.” Umesh, from all accounts was not a hardened criminal – just one of those whom the police decides to make into a criminal in the long run. Unfortunately for them, he died.
Continue reading P.S. Mandawli: Manufacturing Crime and Criminals