OPINION
Today, in a few hours, perhaps in the afternoon, the society will change. Therefore, I apologise!
- S Pal
Today, in a few hours, perhaps in the afternoon, the society will change. Therefore, I apologise!



(I have a very repetitive news writing style on Mondays. Please bear with me. – Author)
 
THIS IS HOW a society sets up a system of justice dispensation, punitive norms, acceptable behaviour and a bar of forgiveness. Once the citizenry accepts that system collectively, it starts functioning smoothly. Once people see this system functioning, and finding acceptability, it becomes the new normal. Any such normal is then internalised and becomes a value of our times, a value we wear, live, breathe.

You have to do is A, and B will follow. Only a fool will then not expect the C. And everyone and his uncle will then accept A, B & C as "the system.”

Here's A:

A minister is accused of big time corruption. A chief minister defends him to the hilt. Much of the opposition music plays on mute mode. But a couple of irreverent journalists just refuse to give up on the smell of a scam, not afraid that it may even make them peripatetic members of the profession. Eventually, the ground beneath the minister starts slipping so fast - quicksand has that quality - and he goes out kicking and screaming. Someone sticks the 'moral high ground' label on the entire charade of hiding daylight robbery, and even the most relentless give it up as justice dispensed. Punitive measure taken. New normal set. Internalised. Accepted.

Now it is a value. In fact, something to be cherished. If you are caught, you should quit. Simple. Graceful. Moral high ground, as they said.
------------
Today, sometime in the afternoon, a new normal will be achieved. A new punitive norm will be set. A new value will be created. A new bar of acceptability will be laid. As a collective, the society will internalise all of this. Contours of new responsible behaviour patterns for a citizenry will be laid by we, the people. In full public view.
------------
That's how B happens:

A police officer with immense powers picks up a young girl and a couple of boys, all students, while they are waiting for a bus by the roadside. He insults them, humiliates them, illegally takes them to a police station, pulls them by the hair, drags them, misuses the premises of the police station to administer torture, physical harm, assault, assault with wooden sticks, bodily injuries, manhandling, verbal assaults, psychological terror, racial slurs, gender insults. He recruits others under his supervision to carry out such actions. He enters into a pact with people bound to carry out his orders to execute completely illegal commands. He gives directions about the exact way the torture is to be carried out. All infrastructural facilities made available for regular law and order maintenance are utilised towards utter violation of citizens' rights. He finishes the task with threats of similar future violence, but only after having displayed his ability, inclination and instruments to carry out such violence.

If hundreds of students coming together and protesting against it was not enough to invite appropriate amount of attention to what had happened, a senior police officer shot himself dead in the most tragic circumstances right at the site of such a protest. Another officer was also a collateral casualty of this incident that will live in our collective consciousness for years to come.

Today, sometime in the afternoon, a new normal will be achieved. A new punitive norm will be set. A new value will be created. A new bar of acceptability will be laid. As a collective, the society will internalise all of this. Contours of new responsible behaviour patterns for a citizenry will be laid by we, the people. In full public view.

Intimations to this effect have been published by national English language newspapers without a single word of editorial caveat. Accept a new value in the newsroom first, and then it is easier to accept it in the town square.
------------
Today, that demand of the citizenry will be fulfilled. In a few hours of this story being posted online. As I said (and I know it is a pain to encounter repetitive news writing style), a new normal will be achieved. A new punitive norm will be set. 
------------
Today, in a few hours, the town square will define us. Future researchers will someday browse through old yellowing newspaper files and may be awestruck by this moment that we will live today.

"Former Jaitu SHO to apologise to students for moral policing"

The newspaper report describes it as "an alleged act of moral policing.” I am so deeply pleased at times by the scribes’ ability, coupled with their proclivity, to remain technically correct when it comes to mastering a legal understanding of an incident under public gaze.
 
A standalone representative headline reporting the moment when deep inside us, an old normal died. 

"Thudd!" Did you hear that sound? That was the sound of my morale hitting a new low. 

Today afternoon, that police officer will apologise. Apologise? APOLOGISE? APOLOGISE? 

CAN I BE ANY LOUDER PLEASE? CAN YOU PLEASE SHRIEK WITH ME? I REALLY NEED YOU TO. I CAN'T BE SO ALONE IN THIS. 

For five hours — sorry, "for at least five hours," the same newspaper as also other newspapers informed — the police officer, with hands, help, aid and instruments he requisitioned from colleagues/subordinates, thrashed young, innocent people. After weeks of protests, and another tragedy so humungous that we will need a long time to wrap our heads around it, and after reams and reams of media coverage, and with the news headlines almost permanently shifted to deep inside pages, the SHO has offered to apologise. In fact, the protesters’ demand, practically, plunged to seek an apology from the SHO. 

Today, that demand of the citizenry will be fulfilled. In a few hours of this story being posted online.

As I said (and I know it is a pain to encounter repetitive news writing style), a new normal will be achieved. A new punitive norm will be set. A new value will be created. A new bar of acceptability will be laid. We will internalise it. 

If he could think smart, he could possibly even strike a deal with a publisher for telling his own account of his vindication, and eventual catharsis through a public/semi-public/in-camera apology. Possibly claim a moral high ground, also. 

A new normal. A new value. A new you. A new me. A new us.
-----------
Or just whispered into my ear, with a reference to my sister or mother, such as that officer may fancy. It will be, of course, in keeping with your judgement.
-----------
Here's C:

It is not difficult for someone -- the same SHO or another with access to similar instrumentalities of the state, paid for by the taxpayer, me included -- to find the writer of this narrative, drag her/him to the police station, and administer the same treatment. Since this will already have a precedent, the protests wouldn't be so loud. After all, we didn't go to the India Gate too many times for those Nirbhayas who came later. So I'll be very lucky if he then offers to apologise. I guess I will settle for one written on a post-it note also. Or just whispered into my ear, with a reference to my sister or mother, such as that officer may fancy.

It will be, of course, in keeping with your judgement.

The one that you will pass today, in a few hours from now. A new normal. A new value. A new you. A new us.

Can you please be repetitive and read it all again? It is still a few hours away. 

Post Script Notes: 

1. To the SHO I am expecting to meet: "I am sorry." (I must say this in advance. He might choose to drop that reference to my sister or my mother, when the time comes.)

2. To the girl and the boys who waited for a bus by the roadside, and missed it: India missed it, too. It can catch it today afternoon, but only if it is repetitive, and reads the thought, its own thought, again.

3. To the minister: Congratulations. You set the bar. 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

AMARINDER, BADALS, KHAIRA, AROOSA ALAM & A JOURNALIST OF TRIBUNE

BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI 

NAPOLEON PAINTING ROW: Punjab Govt insists on riding its high horse

PLAYING WITH SIKH SENTIMENTS: Punjab Govt’s ad depicts Tenth Sikh Master astride Napoleon’s horse

HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB: How Congress, SAD, AAP have framed issues  

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

VIDEO - CLASS 5 STUDENT THREATENS REVOLUTION

CHAI PAR SUICIDE? Meet Mankar. Sorry, he’s dead. Modi met him, though - for Chai Pe Charcha

1984 - A RIOT OR A GENOCIDE? Controversy explodes in Canada again as Hardeep Puri tweets

PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA: They are publishing a new book, so please go read an old one

JAANE KYA DIKH JAAYE! Rajasthan, where they write poems hailing Shambu Lal Regar 

'IF NOT VANDE MATARAM, then will you salute Afzal Guru?' 

LAHORE NU SALAAM – LAHORE CHODD AAYA - Prof. Randhir Singh

THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati! 

TRIBUNE’S HARISH KHARE SHATTERS EDITORIAL SILENCE OVER CARAVAN REPORTAGE  

THE DANGER OF RENAMING A COLLEGE 

ARNAB GOSWAMI WATCHES PADMAWATI, KARNI SENA IS HAPPIEST

DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY

DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?

HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE 

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US?  – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali

WALKING IN STEP, HAND ON THE SHOULDER Aye Bhayee, Bina Dekhe Chalo

CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.

THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery 

BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much 

AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO –  Walking with the blind in Chandigarh

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects

SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments

ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA   The 10-yard-radius protest

PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!

PEHLU KHAN CASE   Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know

MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE? 

THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE?  Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RETIREMENT AGE ROW   What’s wrong with retirement age policy?

THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB  From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead

WE WILL KILL 40-50 – Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

LET'S KILL PAASH – Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash

A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.

SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: When Indian jawans killed everyone at Pak post

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

 







Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 







MOST VISITED
YOU MAY LIKE

TOPIC CLOUD

TAGS CLOUD

ARCHIVE



Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER