These are my concerns about the growing commercialization of law in my city. I am currently a citizen of the city of Ahmedabad, GUJ,India. What really frustrates me is that despite the government’s attempts at regulating traffic laws for benefit of the citizens, the blatant incompetency of the traffic cops at street level has made the entire structure obsolete. Not to be anarchistic, but the traffic structure in this city is totally pointless. In fact, taking that back, its actually a system that seems to be in place as a source to make easy bucks for a traffic enforcement agency that is incapable of performing its primary duty. For people in my city, its not a common sight to see cops ignoring their duty as regulators of traffic to find a nice shady vantage point from where all their efforts are dedicated to scavenging commuters for minor infractions. Often their negligence has lead to minor accidents and scuffles but not once are these men reprimanded for their inability to keep the peace. What is perhaps the most shocking point is that policemen will at times obstruct flowing traffic in an attempt to dash across the road and catch a driver whose attention is at maneuvering through the lanes. Their complete disregard for other drivers as well as dis concern for the safety laws is proof of the fact that the wrong men have indeed been placed in charge.
In retrospect, my experience with the local traffic authorities has been far from an awe-inspiring experience. The complete disregard for the need of public awareness is evenly appalling. The policemen see no need to provide legal documentation for the fine amount. Nor do they feel the need to document anything regarding the infraction for that matter. The authorities don’t seem concerned about maintaining statistical information as long as they can make easy money. The image of a law enforcer has been relegated to that of a cheap-conman with authority. Agreed, while absence of a helmet is no petty offense, the lawmen seem to be using that as an excuse to stop moving traffic, cause an obstruction in the name of upholding the law and extorting general public with any fine amount they deem convenient. To add insult to the injury, policemen even mock the citizens for claiming to know their rights and duties. Recently while claiming to know that I am being asked to pay an unofficial fine, amount a lawman blatantly threatened me to either submit to his authority or face confiscation of the vehicle for not putting on a helmet.
My greatest discontentment comes from having to submit to the authority of men whose disregard for duty and civic rights goes unpunished. Male citizens have been manhandled and physically assaulted without any reason for instigation. To add to their list of dereliction of duty, unassigned policemen flock in large groups to stand in vigilance of easy targets at prime traffic slowing spots to take advantage. I am pretty sure the authorities do not assign ten policemen at mid-noon to a crossing which receives hardly five vehicles passing through per signal light. And if they did it was probably to direct traffic and not gang-up on by-passers and thicken their own wallets.
Inconclusively, to my discontent we truly do need to stand up against this form of abuse. What is the point of structures if not to look out for civic welfare. The harm this attitude is causing the city, far outweighs the good. In a latent manner in fact, it has lead to recklessness among st the city drivers due to their zealous attempts at saving themselves the discomfort of an encounter with the incompetent authorities. Rules may be waved away with a single note(currency) but that is definitely not how we want to play! Stand up and against if you want the authorities to take notice.