SAFETY & SECURITY

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The Closed Circuit Television has become an integral part of lives. Yes, inside elevators, in corridors and on roads. The roads and play grounds, parking lots and restaurants are all equipped with the CCTV surveillance cameras. You are monitored and captured inside the camera. These visuals have become precious.

December 31, a date that is familiar to all people. Yes, last date of the year 2016.  This date is called the eve of the New Year. And Bengaluru city had a very lively and active night of the new year’s eve. Over forty thousand people are reported to have assembled near the MG road and the Brigade road. Mostly between the ages of twenty and thirty years, these young people assembled for celebration of the mid night. The count down to the new year began and all shared their festivities, to welcome the 2017.

But next morning, the newspaper and television channels had another story to report. Few young men were alleged to have misbehaved with nearly four women. Yes, there was a big crowd. In the darkness, these unpardonable behaviors of eve teasing or even inappropriate touching is reported to have happened.The television channels aired the visuals that were retrieved from the CCTV.Two male miscreants had actually alighted from a motorbike and man-handled a woman. These horrific visuals brought condemnation to the way these young men behaved on the New Year’s eve, in Bangalore. Bengaluru city took a beating on its image.

This concert of French DJ Pierre David Guetta, is cancelled. In Bengaluru, the police department denied permission to the organizer of this show. The organizers are called the Sunburn. Even their concerts scheduled in Pune and Noida, are under the scrutiny and scanner. Much conditions from the police department has disrupted the pace and preparation of the organizers. Fans of DJ David Guetta are also perturbed as over twenty thousand tickets to the show, has to be either reimbursed or re issued. In all, just like the case ofnew year’s eve, tranquility is the ultimate victim.

The Bengaluru police has claimed that the police force is too occupied with Agriculture Produce marketing and Committee(APMC) elections. So, law and order situations cannot be guaranteed. In the Noida concert too, the elections in Uttar Pradesh was the reason for denial of permission.

But let us read between the lines. Are the police in Bengaluru becoming excessively cautious? Did the public, put the blame on the police for not doing their job? The police may feel defamed by severe accusation by people. So, does the responsibility for civic behavior of citizens of Bengaluru, lie solely in the law and order enforcement department? Does the civilians, citizens and society, have any accountability for the way these young men and women, behave with each other? Who will give a good conduct certificate to all citizens of Bengaluru?

Is the fear of CCTV and the police force, the only deterrent to criminal and rowdy behaviors? The police department may not be in a play of Tit for Tat. May be the Guetta Concert could have happened with minimum number of policemen. After all, it is a music concert and the fans and music listeners come there to seek only entertainment. But it seemed to have been normal to expect disorderly and unruly behaviour, in New Year’s eve celebration and western music concert conducted outdoors. Revelers and voyeurism cannot be ruled out, under the influence of alcoholic drinks.

Even large assembly of people during political rally has much police personnel to maintain law and order. Religious festivals also bring hundreds of thousands of people together. Most of them have police protection to avoid outward incidents and riots.

Many meditation programmes are becoming trendy worldwide. Yoga programmes in India and spiritual meditations conducted outdoors have very few police. Even CCTV visualsshow, harmony in these large gathering of people. Tranquility is maintained. A sense of serenity, prevails in programmes of breathing techniques because the minds are trained. The minds and brains are trained to experience a sense of sanctity and sacredness in the assembly and its activities.Under this cover of a sentiment of holiness, the large gathering of people are evidently well behaved. And CCTV and policing is limited to a minimum.

Our communities can learn from these lessons, of expression of bullies, rogues and rowdies. If the larger number of people are calm and pious in their transactions and interactions, then we have a rich civilization.

How can we get a camera into our minds? There may be education by which we may be taught to introspect. An incisive view into our minds, something deeper than a psycho education.An education that makes visible, our innate tendencies. If we can identify our weaknesses then may be these can be corrected. If not, then the young minds are vulnerable to volatile tendencies.

The case of student suicides cannot be wished away. In Kerala state, the suicide of an engineering student called Jishnu in Nehru Kendra college, has sparked much violence. The education system and society must introduce learnings of Human Values. Then the civic sense and a good mind will prevail. An expert investigation will reveal many lapses on social education. Mental agonies and other imbalances in young minds, need counseling from experts. Safety and security will become the normal method. And policing and CCTV can be resigned to the side lines.

My best wishes for a harmonious, safe and secure 2017 to all.May we be able to construct an uplifting society.May the Indian cities be progressive and be able to host good musical concerts. Let us help our police department and other institutions.