Bending over backwards

Rarely has an article befuddled me as much as Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand's article, 'Making history, not repeating it', in The Indian Express (August 17).

The first paragraph describes the violence in Azad Maidan: "...a Muslim mob behaved in despicable fashion ó torching OB vans, attacking media persons and the police, molesting women constables, snatching arms from the police...." Then the authors laud Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik for not acting against the violent mob. The article continues, "But do allow for the possibility that responding in a most 'un-police-like' fashion to extreme provocation, the city's police commissioner, Arup Patnaik, may have opened a happy chapter in the otherwise unhappy Muslim-police relationship in the metropolis."

Let's replace some of the words in the first paragraph with substitutes and see how it plays.

Replace "Muslim" with "Hindu". Would the authors have written the first paragraph if the mobs were Hindus? Is the law to be adjusted according to the religion of the miscreant?

There is shocking footage of Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik ordering Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve to release a rioter who is being arrested. The video link has been blocked on YouTube but can be seen on Twitter links. This is how Twitter transforms from social media into political-

info media.

The footage shows PC Arup Patnaik shouting at DCP Ravindra Shisve who holds a (should I say "alleged"?) goon (pleading for mercy) by the collar, "Tumhala koni hyala pakdayala sangitla (Who has told you to catch him?)" Patnaik then threatens to have the DCP suspended.

"You take directions from the commissioner. You are not SP of Sangli. You are DCP here. You will not fall out of line or you will be suspended, stupid," Patnaik bellows.

Am I missing something because I am not a Mumbaiker? No, because there are questions raised in Mumbai's Mid Day newspaper (August 16, 2012). Some of the questions: "Why did Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik force a DCP to release an apprehended rioter from the spot? If speakers incited the protesters with hate speeches, why are they still roaming free?"

... contd.

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