A Rant.

So I was having a conversation with SIL last night and she was telling me about the days when she was young and wild and free. Her life has been far more colourful than mine. But there was one incident she told me about that seriously disturbed me because it's the perfect instance of how fucked up this country is in many ways.

She was at this nightclub. There was a rave going on. Police busted them. Loads of people were arrested. Fair enough.

What wasn't fair is the story behind it.

And no, I'm not even referring to the usual police brutality and pathetic, regressive mentality that accompanies so-called law enforcement although I'm going to come to that soon.

Apparently, the police had originally busted another place. And they caught a guy who is a cousin of the Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan. Because he - the cousin - was scared of the scandal, he told the police that if they turned a blind eye towards this particular bust, he would take them to another place. So he did. Right to the nightclub SIL was at.

Just think about that for a second.

Does it surprise you?

If you're an Indian, it probably doesn't. That, more than anything else, highlights just how disgusting and untrustworthy our law enforcement system is. And how, to us, it's just something we live with.

To get back to SIL. She didn't get arrested because she wasn't even in the club just then, but her brother did, and she accompanied them to the station. It could have ended there. But what happened was that the police called the media in order to focus public attention on this particular bust - further removing the dickhead cousin from any sort of mess. The media shoved their cameras into people's faces as they were getting into police vans, shoving them right through the little windows with the bars on them.

(SIL was caught on camera. She was played on loop on Bombay television for a month. She also went and screamed at the dickhead cousin and told him that he was disgusting, but unfortunately that wasn't taped.)

And at one point, she started glaring at a cop who was speaking extremely rudely to another reveller.

"What are you staring at?" The cop said. "Lower your eyes."

"I don't have to lower my eyes," said SIL. "I'm entitled to stare if I want."

"Who taught you how to do these things. It's bad enough that men are doing it, but you're a woman. Don't you have modesty? Shame?"

I think at this point SIL was dragged away by a friend before she actually attacked the cop.

But it's a scary story. Police are supposed to protect people, but protection does not mean oppression. Of course they were free to bust the place, but it's their motives for doing so that is so disturbing. It is their blatant corruption, their manipulation of the media, their attitude towards women, that is so terrifying.

Recall their attitude towards the protesters in Delhi University when Narendra Modi went to Shri Ram College of Commerce.


We are supposed to be the world's biggest democracy. Secular. Free speech. All of it. We advertise it, oh so proudly. We stuff it down the throats of our children. We sit, smug, in our own little self-contained world.

Morality is a word we like to throw around a lot. But our interpretation of what is moral, as a nation, is extremely sad. It needs to change.

But as long as we're smug, self-righteous hypocrites, it won't. And let's face it, we've been that way for centuries now. Three cheers for beloved, revered tradition.

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