Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saving Delhi – Part 1: Get The Weapons

How to make Delhi safer – Part 1 : Get the weapons!

International Women’s Day in India was greeted with the cold blooded murder of a Delhi student, Radhika Tanwar. She was 21 and on her way to college. One can sympathize with her family and friends but there is no way we can feel or experience the pain it has brought them. Around the same time the stupid body called UN inducted Iran into the UN ‘Women’s Council’. So much for women’s rights. And if you think that is horrendous, the UNHCR was about to pass a resolution praising Libya’s human rights record. This even as a civil war is raging in Libya. It may be time to dismantle the useless body called UN. That’s whole different topic. But it may also be time to take a serious look at safety and security in Delhi and take a series of strong measures.

I am no security expert or political administrator. But this series intends to look at a few steps that are definitely ‘do-able’ to make Delhi safer and get rid of the ‘Crime Capital’ tag it has acquired. A long time back New York  under Rudi Guiliani and the head of the police department dramatically reduced crime in NY. That was a city infested with criminals, mafia and if it can be done in NY, it can be done in Delhi too. This could apply to all other metros too.

Students protesting Radhika's murder
Not long ago Tejender Khanna, the Lt. Governor of Delhi, made a statement that “north Indians liked to break the law” and P. Chidambaram blamed it on migrants. Sure enough, PC was lambasted for his statement but there is some truth in what he said. That will be taken up in later parts in this series but let’s take the first step. Get rid of weapons in private hands.

Before that a central security agency needs to be formed. Very frequently the Delhi government, the Union Home ministry and the police play a blame game on crime and security. This can be stopped by forming a new central body like an ‘NCT Security Force’. Following which some ordinances need to be passed. The first among them should be to get rid of weapons. Here is what the ordinance should look like:

Get rid of killer weapons
Ordinance to surrender all guns held by private citizens, legal and illegal:

1.   Pass an ordinance requiring all citizens, other than police and security forces, to surrender all guns within 7 days to the nearest police station. Guns can be regular or  country-made or whichever way the govt. wishes to describe them. This includes guns for legal hunting. Rifles and guns used for sporting pursuits can be returned after due verification. Even some types of swords may be called for surrender.

2.   If not surrendered within 7 days provide for a penalty of Rs.1o  lakhs and imprisonment for 1 year. In case of inability pay the monetary penalty extend the imprisonment for an additional two years.

3.   On expiry of the 7-day limit start a massive combing operation to weed out  guns from society. Make random checks on citizens coming into Delhi to ensure no new weapons come in. The combing operations may reveal a lot more than just weapons.

4.   Shut down all guns and ammunition shops. These should be sold only through police department outlets under the strictest supervision and monitoring.

I am positive there will be those who will argue that murders can be committed even with kitchen knives. It is this kind of faulty and silly logic that stops governments from acting. These steps do not imply that crime will be totally eliminated. That’s like eliminating evil people itself, which is not going to happen. But it sure will make a big difference and the steps I am recommending differentiate wanton crimes on the streets and other crimes. Motivated murder may not stop. Street crimes can be prevented, if not eliminated. Motivated murder does not need weapons. One can strangle a person with bare hands. But it does make killing a lot more difficult.

This may appear to be a diversion from my usual posts on the media. But if the Editors’ Guild got together and devised 10 steps to reduce and prevent crimes in Delhi such posts would not be needed. The Editors’ guild can not only devise those steps but strongly petition the government to act on it. But they won’t! On the contrary the media feasts on crimes. It is their bread and butter. This series will have 10 parts and will recommend 10 simple and doable steps to reduce crime on the streets of Delhi. This may well apply to other cities too. If you have suggestions, I welcome those.


  1. The author is living in a castle. Governments be it state or center is not for the sake of people but for the convenience of politicians, bureaucrats and moneyed. Other than the above three no one could live and if living at their own risk for they cannot get justice. There is nexus among police politicians and criminals in one way or other. This is the prime cause for all such evil. It is naive to believe that any measure for common will reach the common and more to the point the trio mentioned supra will scuttle in all possible means

  2. It looks as if you prefer gun-control. There are arguments both for and against this preference. And the debate is usually open ended.

    I have always maintained that the specific problem in India is not that it is possible to commit a crime, but that those who commit believe, and experience reinforces their belief, that they can get away with it!

    Gun-control or such would further weaken the law-abiding citizens, who would still be at the mercy of criminals who would wield unlawfully possessed weapons.

    In this particular case, I would rather have Radhika or women like her free to carry their own arms and shoot an aggressor in self-defense without draconian laws restricting this right to self defense.

    Of course I sound outrageous, but one must consider the outrageous when the problem is outrageous too!

    This is similar to my other sentiment that Islam is an unreasonable problem, and we should not rule out unreasonable solutions!

    Unfortunately the current policies are appeasement of the nuisance makers, be it Islam or be it criminals! That has to stop!

  3. Sorry to say but this is a very bad idea. You need to look in exactly the opposite direction -right of citizens to carry arms. The state is an absolute failure at providing security to any but the VIPs. The state, by gun control, also takes away the right of the citizen to defend himself adequately. We won't protect you and we will prevent you from protecting yourself.Double whammy! And to think there is something called the right to life in the constitution. What a joke!

    Imagine if Radhika Tanwar carried a sleek pistol and was trained in using it responsibly. Imagine if people around her were also.Reduces the likelihood of crime happening.

    Remember, under gun control the criminal will manage to get armed anyway but the citizen will always remain defenseless.

  4. The day Politicians like SHEILA DIXIT would stop batting for Criminals like MANU SHARMA for illegal Paroll, 90% crimes would not take place at 1st place.. Another biggest problem in India is whenever Police catch any Suspect or Criminal the first thing they would do is to cover up their faces against Media and Public. It seems Police feels shame that they have got someone from their own. By this act Police don't get feed back from Public and botch up the case with weak and lousy investigation. In US Police would first expose the Criminal to Media and seek Public feed backs on hot lines. By this way the prosecution could build up a strong case and the Criminal is out from society.

  5. We are also not security experts (in fact no one is, it is commonsense and equal treatment to all Indians which matter most) but blaming it to migrant is absurd. Further it smells like making Delhi and other metros a “gated colonies” in national sense.

    Just look around sir and see that the division of India and Bharat is so sharp and clear in our so called cosmopolitan cities. You cannot create a world for classes by neglecting the basic needs of masses.

    Yes ! we are in agreement with your conclusion that “media feasts on crimes, it is their bread and butter”. In fact in the disguise of economic reforms these people have looted our wealth and they have committed a more sophisticated genocide by forcing lakhs of farmers to commit suicide, poverty ridden and unemployment youth to commit crime.

    Unless we understand the deep rooted causes of the problem, NY like security rules will only complicate the problem. Sorry sir!, in a country where law breakers are law makers, your suggestions appear cosmetic.


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