State: Bucketful of Dirty Politics
Intro: The image of Siddaramaiah Government in Karnataka lies shattered with the spate of rapes including those of little girls. Karnataka appears to be competing with Uttar Pradesh in that matter and the Government is resorting to knee jerk solutions as transferring the Bangalore Police Commissioner, Raghavendra Auradkar.
The protests by women against the rapes and police have completely unnerved the Congress Government in Karnataka. The Government is resorting to knee jerk solutions as transferring the Bangalore Police Commissioner, Raghavendra Auradkar. The Chief Minister should have told the Home Minister KJ George to resign. A former Youth Congress leader, George is the first Christian home minister of Karnataka. While replacing Auradkar with MN Reddy as the police commissioner, Government has committed a folly. It has flagrantly violated a directive issued by its own UPA Government in January 2014, fixing a minimum tenure of two years for IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers. The Centre had acted on a directive from the Supreme Court (Judges KS Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose) in October 2013 in that regard. The Court had said that the bureaucrats should have a fixed tenure of service and be insulated against frequent or premature transfers ordered on the whims of the political executive.
The protests by women in Bengaluru and elsewhere in the State are similar to those witnessed in Delhi in the wake of the rape and murder of a young woman in December 2012. The protestors are from educated middle class. It is also noteworthy that most of the women protestors are coming into the open to protest spontaneously and do not belong to any organisation or political outfit. The tidings are ominous for the Congress Government.
Though it can be argued that the Government cannot be blamed for the incidents of rape which concern the libido or perversity of individual man, the Government has itself to blame for the way the police are handling such cases. For many years now, the police in Karnataka are dancing to the tune of the ruling party. As far back as in 1981, the Bangalore police were mute spectators to the seizure of two English newspaper offices by Youth Congress goons led by BK Hariprasad, Congress member of the Rajya Sabha and an All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary for all seasons. The Bangalore police at that time had in BN Garudachar, a commissioner known for his professional excellence. But he too had succumbed to the dictates of the politicians in authority, R Gundu Rao government.
The MLAs are barred from interfering in the transfer of government officials. It was when HD Deve Gowda was the Chief Minister and transfer of officials became a big business and a money spinner. In the last few years, it is not the legislators alone, but even minor political functionaries exert pressure on the police and other government servants.
The police in Karnataka have come to be politicised and policemen at all levels have become yes men of those in power. Instead of putting down crime, policemen are interfering in civil disputes and are known to be involved in real estate transactions. It is particularly so in big cities like Bengaluru, Mysore, Hubli and Mangalore. It has become common for policemen to advise the complainants to make compromises with the accused and thereby earn a commission for themselves!
Though, the alleged rape of the six year old school girl has eclipsed the earlier incident of kidnap and rape of a post graduate student, the latter is significant in more ways than one. It looks place in an area where the Muslim elite of Bangalore resides, Fraser Town in Bangalore Cantonment. It is an area very familiar to the Home Minister George whose Assembly constituency is adjacent to it. Fraser Town has areas with a high density of poor Muslims, close to it. Despite being aware of all this, the Government chose to post a Muslim Inspector, Mohammed Rafique to the local police station. It is this officer who diluted the complaint of rape filed on behalf of the victim. He has since been arrested under the amended Section 166 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). All those arrested in this case so far are Muslim youth. Considering the way Muslims flare up on the slightest pretext, a question has been asked as to what would have been their reaction if the victim of the rape belonged to their community? This question was raised in a Kannada TV programme by a former Bangalore police officer known for his ruthless professionalism while in service.
The Government’s handling of the other major incident that of the schoolgirl leaves much to be desired. The police have tried to maintain that their job has been completed with the arrest of a skating instructor from Bihar. So far it has not touched the Chairman of the Vibgyor School, one Rustom Kerawalla who had almost succeeded in hushing up the case. Interestingly the Congress leader and former minister for Primary Education, Prof BK Chandrashekar has demanded prosecution of the chairman for “willful suppression” of the incident which is liable to be punished under Sections 176 and 202 of the IPC. The Government can ill afford to treat Prof Chandrashekar’s demand with levity as he is one of the few intellectuals in the party- a doctorate in law from Oxford University and former professor at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The Government should not yield to any pressure, community or political party goes soft on the School management.
The Congress Government is also encouraging licentiousness among the youth and has extended the closing time of pubs and bars to 1 AM .However, the extension in closing time is limited to Saturdays and Sundays. Parts of Bengaluru like the once swanky Brigade Road have become centers of immorality in the night. The Government has yielded to pressure from the bar owners in this respect.
—A Jayaram from Bengaluru
Much Ado about Nothing
An alleged video of a Shiv Sena MP forcefeeding a Muslim catering supervisor in Maharahstra Sadan brought out the so called Secular Brigade in full force, each giving a discourse on ethics and parliamentary behavior not expected from elected representatives.
Remember Ramrao Adik, the drunken Congress Dy Chief Minister, who drank red wine in Air India International Flight fingered with female passenger and air hostess. Next day it became a headline in all newspaper, In You Said column, R K Laxman suggested renaming Bombay Red light area Faras Road to new name as Ramrao Adik Road.
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