Friday, February 22, 2008

Can we privatise Law and Order?

The rediff headline on 21st February reads as:

"BPO rape case: Onus on Som Mittal, says SC"
read the complete story at

Crime, as a direct result of a lapse in the Law and order can be viewed as a failure of the Police System of any state entrusted with the safety and orderly well being of the citizens. If we were to analyse the cause of crimes in a society, more often than not, crimes are a direct result of social inequality, or economic failure (Steven Levitt of the"Freakonomics" fame might disagree!). This atleast seems statistically correct. For instance robbery records might run high in a state with high degree of unemployement, or murder for revenge (or other similar reasons) might run high in societies with high degree of social inequality. That makes common sense.

What does not however make sense, is the prevalence of Crimes in societies like that of Bangalore and by all means, surely this particular stray Crime incident being tagged as a pattern rather than that as an event. Such being the case,it might seem unnecessary or even unjust to claim any one system or one individual to be responsible for a crime that might have occurred right under his nose!

Given that the cause is multidimensional and even complex,which even a complex Police system like that of Karnataka seems inequipped to handle, how correct or wrong can we be by holding Mittal at ransom? Certainly food for thought.

For a moment even if we do assume, Mittal is to be held responsible, can we extend the theory that responsibility cannot come without authority? Can we confer on the same individual from whom we claim responsibility for this crime, the authority to exercise Police power in the city where his employees live?

If we can blame Mittal, I am sure we can privatise the Police system and give Mittal the authority to reinforce the executive to defend his responsibility

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