We will rock you
The media has gone to town with news of the arrest in Mumbai of some small-time entertainers, models and cricketers in a drug raid at a hotel in Bandra, defending the interests of the boldly beautiful. DNA carries one example of breathless outrage:
Last year, a report compiled by the Praja Foundation ascertained that 19% of police posts in this city of 13 million are vacant. We know this is not a situation restricted to Mumbai. Last August, the state government told the high court that 13% of police posts across Maharashtra were vacant. The court asked for these statistics after noting the slow progress in the investigation of the murder of a Pune builder even a year after the incident.
Now, if you were in charge of a short-staffed police force in a city that’s been bombed 10 times in 10 years what would your priority be? Would you step up beat patrolling to keep an eye and ear on the ground, to make the police more visible and to gather grassroots information on possible Indian and foreign bred terror networks? Or, would you raid private parties after alerting local and national media, round up unsuspecting partygoers, parade them in front of TV cameras and then, when unable to find any drugs on a majority of them, charge them with a ridiculous prohibition-era law that brands them criminals because they were adults who happened to be drinking without a piece of paper called the liquor permit?
Fair enough, but then why go on about the party? Why waste acres of rain-forest on these trivial matters? Why let page three dominate the front page and the middle for days on end?