Am I funding violence?
I never thought I’ll ever fund violence against my fellow citizens with my hard earned money.
But, seems like that has also happened.
You see, as a citizen of India, I agreed to pay one third of my earnings to the government.
Our agreement was that I pay my taxes honestly and my government in turn provides a range services for us collectively.
A part of those services is the police.
The agreement is that I won’t be violent. Nor will any other citizen. Even if they are wronged.
We will approach the government, who will then, on behalf of all of us decide what is right (through the judicial process) and exercise violence (through the police system).
It was already a rotten deal.
The average case in a subordinate court takes 6 years to get resolved. There are more than 40 lakh pending cases.
However, my middle class indifference combined with a (pseudo) spiritual perspective on life let me accept this — especially since it doesn’t directly hurt me, yet.
The other part of the deal was the police system — that police, providing services of safety to us will be the only one allowed to use force.
This is an important one, because otherwise why shouldn’t each of us arm ourselves and be each-person-for-themselves?
In the past, every political party has breached this trust, this monopoly over violence that we have agreed must be with the government.
Political party workers have gone on streets, vandalised and gotten away with it. Sometimes, the police has taken longer. Sometimes it has just witnessed. Sometimes it has been used by politicians against its will, perhaps.
When students are getting beaten up on the campus, there is NO reason why that can be allowed to happen. Like simply no reason.
The police, on its part has impeccable integrity and tries hard under difficult conditions. Visit any police station and you will see the labour of love that policing is.
The rotten deal is not with the police. The rotten deal is with the government, led by the politician. They don’t have money of their own. It is my money that they’re taking and using it to pay the police while directing it.
Slowly then, trust in the state is eroding. My trust. Out trust.
And that can’t be a good thing for any country. When people can’t trust their leaders (and I mean ALL people), we have a problem.
It is our problem. We need to demand the deal we have been promised.
Right now, I am getting cheated. And I am funding it.