India Insight

Why does Mahendra Singh Dhoni need a gun?

November 17, 2008

Two images have seared themselves into my mind. The first is the brutal treatment meted out to a young girl working as a domestic maid in Gurgaon. I didn’t really know what beaten black-and-blue meant. Until I saw her photograph.

The other image was even more nauseating by virtue of being captured on video. Students armed with sticks rained blows on other students in Tamil Nadu as the police merely looked on.

Violence in domestic and student life is not something new. But what hit me was the nonchalance of the police — it was so in contrast with my own wincing reaction I could not shrug the image off.

Over the years, we have learned to settle personal scores with violence. It is almost a rite of passage. In almost every family, there is someone who has earned bragging rights for having beaten up somebody.

Is violence so much a part of Indian life? Our epics are full of violence in the service of a ‘just’ cause. But is being violent part of our cultural DNA? Probably not.

The woman charged with beating up the young girl tried to justify it — she had lost patience trying to cope with the pressures of family and urban living.

But the excuse is unacceptable in civilised society.

The police were being blasé about the bloodshed probably because they have been known to reduce crime rates by the simple expedient of not noticing it. Moreover, they are desensitised to violence since they see and participate in so much of it.

These two incidents could be seen as senseless acts of cruelty by a few people stooping low. As such they are just titillating. But they could also be seen as part of a larger pattern.

In fact, I wonder if the policemen and the woman can be considered victims in a sense.

Police in India are understaffed, overworked and underpaid. And the judiciary is bogged down by the weight of almost 350 million cases pending countrywide.

If people believe they can’t get their due by going to the police or to courts, it could lead to a state of endemic violence in society and a consequent deadening of senses to it.

Further, this logic could also be used to justify terror attacks.

It is safe to say with John Donne that no man is an island nor are our society’s predicaments ranging from a callous police force or bombings or more mundane manifestations of violence.

A newspaper reported that Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has applied for a 9 mm pistol. The headline ran ‘Dhoni wants a gun’. It would be more accurate if it read ‘Dhoni needs a gun’.

Perhaps we can guess why.

Comments
15 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

The police is waiting for the political bosses to give them the green signal to do their job – which is to control the mobs and bring order. This is what is wrong with the system. The Indian Police Service should be a completely autonomous force, completely free of the politicians. The police should have their own lawyers, who advice them on the legalities of their actions. It should take an act of parliament for a politician to remove a police chief, or influence the working of the police force. It’s better that the judiciary and the police be freed from the control of politicians. The police force should then have their work be audited by an independent body, and of course, they should e held accountable.

Posted by Bajji | Report as abusive
 

Its true that people are increasingly becoming insensitive and also that Police is unable to play an active role as it should be…heres hoping that the police becomes more people friendly and people a little more sensitive and hoping to read more from you Mr. Tripathi

Posted by Nivedita | Report as abusive
 

Applying for a gun in India is as simple as abc. If a common man can apply for and get a gun, why not MS Dhoni. I think this issue is being blown out of proportion. Moreover, the kind of treatment Mohd. Kaif, Vinod Kambli met with at the hands of cricket freaks makes Dhoni’s case quite sensible. I think there is no harm in Dhoni applying for a gun.

Posted by Rahul | Report as abusive
 

In a democratic country like India, where the rule of law is respected, and an efficient Police machinery prevails, there is no need for any citizen even if he is a celebrity, to resort to personal weapons.

Posted by Shravan Davuluri | Report as abusive
 

Ofcourse, MS Dhoni needs a gun. He comes from a state which is naxalite affected area and where law and order situation is weak. Dhoni will feel safe if he is provided with a gun.

Posted by Balasubrahmanyam | Report as abusive
 

India’s future is threatened by factionalism, intolerance and rising violence. Organized groups based on religion, region, caste etc. have unleashed the fear of mob violence in many parts of the country. If u analyze the current trend of our society then violence and intolerence has become part of our culture. Recuperation from such a position will involve more active involvement of the common people in improving the social order. The civil society should work towards building a climate of harmony, tolerance, and and peaceful coexistence.

Posted by arun | Report as abusive
 

I agree to Bajji police should not be controlled or need to wait for the orders from politicians. It will not only expedite the police action process but will also have good impact on corruption. Politicians will be scared for their wrongdoings also. Its been over 50 years now since independence and i think if population was in check all along India certainly would have been a different story by now. But its never too late it just we have to become more aware and wiser and do things which should help every single common man not just the guys with power.

Posted by leo | Report as abusive
 

The first thing which struck me was, can india be considered a civilized society? what r the parameters on which a society can be considered a civilized one ? Is it education, standard of living, economic growth or mere peace and harmony.India compared to Afganistan is undoubtedly civilised but compared to developed nations it still has a long way to go.

Posted by nitin bisht | Report as abusive
 

i agree that police should be freed from the clutches of red tapism and all the bureaucracy which leads to unnecessary delays in situations which require quick action. But what about those trigger happy cops who will capitalize on this and will use it to give vent to their personal animosity. politicians more often than not are inefficient and pathetic in taking decisions but they do keep in check the feelings of police who are after all humans. so instead of giving them unchecked license and freedom what we need is a more organised, efficient and transparent system which can curb violence in this so called ‘civilized society’.

Posted by ena negi | Report as abusive
 

yes there is no harm in Dhoni applying for a gun but what amused me when i first read the news was that how such a trivial thing could find its way into a newspaper.Just because he is a celebrity. To me it was nothing more than Rakhi Sawant throwing tantrums in Big Boss.I failed to see any connection unless of course i read this article.It describes the state of our country so exquisitely.It is a matter of deep concern that people like Dhoni despite having such a fan following needs a gun. It shows the sense of insecurity running deep into the psyche of indian people.But atleast we have a ray of hope that few people like you are making cynics like us see the importance of news we consider so trivial that we would mock at it at the very first instance.

Posted by jatin vadgama | Report as abusive
 

i dont think people r becoming insensitive.they dont have a choice as india is becoming more and more violent and is in a dilapidated state as far as its political,economic and social environment is concerned.in punjab 4000 women applied for arms license this year.i fail to comprehend that wether it is the need of the hour or just fascination with something which reflects power and authority.feudal mentality has not even spared the fairer sex.

Posted by nikhil dogra | Report as abusive
 

Beacuse he is rich and famous, celebrity

 

Ofcourse, MS Dhoni needs a gun. He comes from a state which is naxalite affected area and where law and order situation is weak. Dhoni will feel safe if he is provided with a gun

 

agree that police should be freed from the clutches of red tapism and all the bureaucracy which leads to unnecessary delays in situations which require quick action. But what about those trigger happy cops who will capitalize on this and will use it to give vent to their personal animosity. politicians more often than not are inefficient and pathetic in taking decisions but they do keep in check the feelings of police who are after all humans. so instead of giving them unchecked license and freedom what we need is a more organised, efficient and transparent system which can curb violence in this so called ‘civilized society’and dhoni is so sweet

 

whats wrong with you ?????????????!!!!!!jab se tumne apna baal katvaya hai tum kabhi acha khelte hi nahi ho aaj tumne ek bhi run nahi banaya kher dont mind it main phir bhi tumhari fan rahoongi
this shayari for you
Hotho keh nahi sakte jo fasana hai dil ka,
shayad nazron se vo baat ho jaye,
is ummid se karte hain intezar raat ka,
ke shayad sapne me mulakat ho jaye.
ngi and this is for you

 

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