Some enlightening laws that govern us have defined the past month. Legislated with noble intentions, most have become rather difficult to implement.
Smoking in public, storing a few liquor bottles and raising noise levels are not the only ones that ensure free ka khana peena in Tiharland. Come to think of it, considering the economic conditions a holiday behind the bars is not such a bad idea.
No bills. No income-tax. No mother-in-law. No wife. And no tel-callers. Absolute peace. The plan works.
No, it doesn’t?
Sometimes, only sometimes, the police are not interested in the common man. Go try lighting a ciggy in a public place. You may end up burning your lungs but the cops won’t bother. Unless of course, they need a bottle for the night. Legal notices will be slapped only if you are a Shah Rukh or a Ranbir Kapoor. Kanoon ke haath bahut lame ..oops lambe hote hain.
Another way to enjoy a jail stint is to store liquor bottles at home. The Mumbai excise department raided the home of a 55-year-old Priti Chandriani for possessing liquor for making chocolates at home. Priti was detained and later granted bail. Making liquor chocolates is Priti’s hobby. She said, “I have never seen a raid in my life. We are law abiding citizens and to have excise officials turn up at our house and conduct raids is a trauma for us that we will never forget. And just because we have a bar, it doesn’t mean we drink every day.”
Even if she does, does that make her a criminal?
Not only did the Excise department seize bottles of alcohol, they also took away her recipe books. I have been rattling my brain and would appreciate any help from readers. Why do you think they confiscated her recipe books?
A. Being responsible cops they wanted to prevent Priti from making more chocolates.
B. They wanted to participate in the coming season of Master Chef.
C. They wanted to gift the recipe books to their wives.
D. They wanted to master the procedure for concocting drinks…especially Aamsutra.
Keep guessing. There are no prizes.
Interestingly there is another law which when put into practice can twist some knickers. Under the Environment protection Act, you are liable to be arrested if you raise noise levels above 55 decibels outdoors and above 45 decibels indoors. Considering Indians are infamous for their loud behavior, this appears to be the most sensible law of the land. Only the cops need to be equipped with decibel meters.
So what if you lose temper and scream at your wife? Worse, what if she calls the cops?
Say your noise level was 44 decibels, one short of courting arrest. Let the cops prove it.
A caveat. This law does not apply:
A. In Times Now studio.
B. In Parliament.
C. To the noise created by horns, crackers, denting, drilling, loudspeakers and religious places are excluded. You can burst eardrums, create chaos, block roads, create nuisance in the name of religion. Anytime.
D. Rakhee Sawant.
Forget about archaic laws, Kapil Sibal, the moral police commissioner has assured that anyone who refers to the North East residents as Ch***i will be put behind the bars. Fair enough. More power to his bushy eyebrow… oops …. elbow.
Undoubtedly the C word is a deplorable racist slur and any such slur which demeans any citizen should be condemned. Racism against North East is a reality. In fact so ingrained is the racist culture that most college students and even teachers use the C word for people with mongoloid features. How many of us can differentiate between people from Nepal, Meghalaya, China, Bhutan or Arunachal?
My problem is again with the implementation the law.
Let us say, a NE resident complains to Haryanavi cop about someone uttering the C word. For a cop who cannot differentiate between Bhaichung Bhutia and the King of Bhutan, the perils of comprehending the nuances of this law are insurmountable.
Ask a local cop if Mary Kom will win a medal for India, he is likely to retort, “Mary KAUN?”
Tell a cop that you are from Nepal and he will either share a gorkha joke (saaab jii) or imagine that you are about to flee the border after murdering an elderly person.
The point is that sending people to jail will not solve issues of racial profiling. Perhaps integration and addressing other issues of development will. Also, five years is way too long for a slip of the tongue unless you are planning to complete your degree in jail by distance learning.
Undoubtedly, banning, prohibiting and sending people to jail they are options; but not necessarily the best ones.