It's official! A report by the highways ministry has said that 1,60,000 people are killed on our roads every year, and more than 5,00,000 are injured, most of them seriously. A Times of India news report adds that a Member of the Planning Commission, BK Chaturvedi, estimated that road accidents cost India 1 lakh crore rupees annually - that is, 1,000,000,000,000 rupees.
Now, I wouldn't trust these government statistics - precisely because they show the State in a very poor light. The same news report says:
Road safety experts feel that the number of accidents and road deaths reported are less than the actual figures due to lack of scientific data collection.
On the other hand, just the other day, the Indian Express website had a photograph of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi distributing some 600 wheelchairs to the disabled. The question is never asked as to how these people were disabled. Could it be road accidents? After all, we have beaten polio.
Thus, my own guesstimate would be that some 3,50,000 people or more are killed or permanently disabled every year because of road accidents, which means some 1000 people EVERY DAY.
In sharp contrast, Kasab and his gang killed 200 people in Mumbai over two days.
This is SHOCKING! And the Home Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, harps on and on about how "terrorists and Maoists are India's gravest security threat" - as though road accidents are not happening, that too on such a massive scale. I have a previous post on this.
I am therefore of the opinion that this is a case of GROSS DERELICTION OF DUTY on the part of our The State - in particular, the Home Minister, and the entire police establishment. I do not care whether the corruption charges against Chidambaram are true or false - but in this case, he seems to be UTTERLY INCOMPETENT. He has been Police Minister at the Central State since the 1980s - and NEVER have I heard him say a word about road deaths and injuries. However, in one of his Budget speeches while he was Finance Minister I did hear him announce an import duty reduction for orthopaedic equipment. So he must be aware of the fact that Indians are importing such equipment in huge quantities. In every city and town, specialised orthopaedic hospitals are mushrooming.
Now, look at the photograph accompanying this post: this is the cover of the "Abbey Road" album of The Beatles, dated 1969, and it shows the Fab Four using a zebra crossing. In India, more than 40 years later, and after some 20 years of an "automobile revolution," there are NO such zebra crossings in any Indian city or town.
This is a BIG CRIME OF OMISSION on the part of our The State - particularly the police and their minister.
In modern cities and towns, zebra crossings come nowadays with a button operated traffic light for the pedestrian. He only has to press the button and the lights go red, all traffic stops, and he safely crosses over.
In the West, you rarely see traffic policemen on duty - the entire system is operated on high technology. Thus, I do NOT think the Indian police "lack manpower" as they always claim. Their manpower is more than sufficient - and most of it is "armed police." What they need to do is get rid of all this surplus manpower. And the State must invest in Capital Equipment to make roads safe.
Chidambaram, to me, seems to be a "house-trained" Police Minister, a puppet in the hands of his officials, all of whom are deeply involved in political skullduggery. The man is effeminate - and thoroughly incompetent. He - and the entire police top brass - need to be taken to task over the FACT that some 1000 people per day are killed or permanently disabled on our fucked-up roads.
And by "taken to task" I mean that they should get FUCKED - by the press, and by public opinion. Heads should roll. Careers should get ruined.
One more point: When we discuss police predation on street hawkers, senior police officers always say that these hawkers "harass pedestrians." Actually, these hawkers provide indispensable services to pedestrians, while the actualy life-threatening dangers lie on the roads - an area where the police (and their minister) display GROSS DERELICTION OF DUTY.
In my view, this police force we have is NOT an asset to society; it is a LIABILITY. They only serve their political masters; they do NOT "serve and protect" the people. Indeed, they prey on the people. They are precisely the kind of "robber kingdoms" St. Augustine wrote of, in the quote I provided yesterday:
Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity.
I am therefore of the firm opinion that the entire "criminal justice system" must be abolished - and replaced with a system of Torts. Bruce Benson's The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State becomes essential reading for all educated and concerned Indians. You can order this book in India here.
Lastly, do NOT take this lightly, dear reader. You - and your children - could be affected. Rajesh Pilot, Roads Minister, died in a road accident. Ajit Jogi was permanently disabled. One of Bal Thackeray's sons was killed on the road. They don't care. We must. We must ROCK their boat. They must be hauled up - and made to ACT. We MUST be SAFE. They own the roads - and they must fix them.
So, as the title of this post put it:
FUCK THE INDIAN POLICE
AND FUCK CHIDAMBARAM TOO
FOR GROSS DERELICTION OF DUTY