I have known about the sheer brutality of police atrocity for a long time now. And this is the first time I have come face-to-face with it. Immediately, I had this realisation that nothing will ever change until we want it to. Until we will it to happen. Until we fight for it!
For over the last two years, I have been associated with a party called Swarna Bharat Party. Ideologically speaking, we’re classic liberals. It means we want the abolition of taxes on imported goods that make them 2-3 times costlier. We support the selling of state-run companies and more. I am a keen follower, supporter and well-wisher of the party. I have personally known the founder for a long time, and we have spoken at lengths about different issues on several occasions.
We’re very active in Bhadohi district of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. A small, semi-urban chaotic town with a sleepy, eerie countryside. Recently, a man belonging to a Pandit family went to the police station with his brother to resolve a domestic problem.
His brother was slapped, his left ear is still swollen, and he said he could “feel his brain shake”. Mr Pandit was then beaten too. They were then put in a cell. Shortly after, Mr Pandit fell ill, and his brother started screaming for help after he thought something was seriously wrong. The policemen did not let Mr Pandit out. After he fell unconscious and his brother suspected he might have actually DIED, the policemen still waited around before finally taking him to a government hospital.
Mr Pandit was pronounced dead. It is here that our party members and leaders, Rabi Kant Bharti and Mahesh Maurya came into the picture. They learnt about this incident and staged a protest in the town square demanding that action is taken against the police-in-charge of the station who slapped and assaulted both the brothers and is possibly responsible for Mr Pandit’s death for refusing him medical help.
Our brave volunteers had a sit-in and were determined to protest for at least a few days. On July 5, late in the night, the two leaders were taken into custody by the police, and nobody knew about it. I learnt about it through a Facebook page, and I’m in a city miles away from this incident! The party had no idea.
To put it plainly – they were abducted by the police; the ones we have supposedly entrusted with safeguarding us. The nearest police station is a kilometre away, but they were taken to a station 20 km away. They were charged with “breach of peace” and were then let go. We learnt about it 12 hrs later and literally spent the next few hours praying for their safety.
This could be me. It could be you. Or anybody we know and love. Those brothers ended up in jail for God-knows-what, and something silly and boring turned into a situation where we have a dead man and two abducted political leaders.
Have no doubt, we’re slaves. To make it clear – we pay thousands of crores as taxes to the government. The State taxes every item you purchase. To start off, you pay a ₹4 tax on your toothbrush.
Why do they tax us? The government only exists to protect our life and our freedom. Our freedom to protect our lives from assault and atrocity and our freedom to live and express ourselves however we wish. That is why we pay taxes.
To protect life and freedom, we need police and courts to work. And we need laws that guarantee and protect our rights, liberties and freedoms.
We have none of them in full measure today. Laws are cruel, and even these cruel laws are weakly enforced. The police behave like thugs because obviously, the public has never protested enough to make sure the police do what they must and not abuse us. The reason is that the police are never punished. They are legally allowed to carry weapons, but how often have people protested the misuse of those arms?
Simply because the police can jail, arrest, capture and attack people, they shouldn’t enforce their powers without any rhyme or reason.
There is just one solution to all of this. We must organise, protest and keep protesting until the police are held accountable. Until the courts function, and freedom is guaranteed by law. This is not a choice, but a duty.
Let’s think, and ACT against this brutality. It’s now or never. Liberty doesn’t come easy, even perishing in the struggle is fine, after all, we did what we must. Let’s fight, together. Or it could be any of us tomorrow. Let’s not play with our chances, and fight to ensure that we bring an end to police brutality.
Featured image used for representational purposes only.