Mr. BK Gupta, the police commissioner of Delhi further said,
“You can’t travel alone at 2am and then say Delhi is not safe. It would be ideal if a woman takes her brother or driver along. It’s wrong to say the Capital is not safe for women.”1
Obviously, it was another attempt to victimize the victim and to criticize them for being the victim. If a girl is raped, then it is her fault that she was roaming out alone at 2 am at night. It is her fault if her job hours are late at night and hence, she or others should not criticize the government. The girl should be criticized and may be punished too?
Anyways, no one is free in India and in fact in any part of the world. However, some countries are changing. As for example, a cool thing happened in Germany as the German government gave up regulating the market time… Whereas commercial establishments once could not open their doors before 6 a.m. or keep them open past 10 p.m., now many open earlier and close later in Germany.
However in India, at every city, the government regulates the shop opening and closing hours, the government has its own irrational yet forcible arguments in support of such ridiculous laws.
Let us see what government says about regulating the market hours?
- If government allows individual shops to set their opening and closing times, those which open early and close late will make high profits and hence all other shop keepers will be entailed to open early and close late. This will reduce the quality of life.
- A small scale shop will fail to compete against a big shopper store because the small shop keeper will fail to afford electric bills and labor charges to open the shop early and close it late. For lack of profits, he would be forced to close his shop.
- Letting shops open at early or late hours will prompt customers to get out from their houses at odd hours. This will increase the chances of crime, rapes, burglary as the police will fail to provide security at night.
- Consumers should figure out a way to manage their shopping between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. it will allow them to enjoy an eight hour sleep.
Basically, government wants to decide when we should sleep, when we should eat, when we should shop, when we should go out to work and earn, and that too, for our own benefit and safety. And still the government also wants us to believe that we are free and self-governed with the famous joke “the government of people, by people, for people.”
In general, the concept of government and the police force is to restrict, imprison and control the common man, who is honest, hardworking and morally correct and that too for the cause of providing safety to him. That is why Delhi Police attacked Swami Ramdev and his followers at night on 4th of June and declared emergency at Ramleela Maidan and surrounding area. For the same cause, the Jantar Mantar and surrounding area is always kept under the state of emergency and when Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and Anna Hajare asked for permission to protest against the attack on Swami Ramdev and his followers at Jantar Mantar, the Delhi government denied the permission.
In fact, every citizen of this country actually lives under a stage of limited emergency. They cannot walk at night after 11 or 12 and if they do, the policemen have the right to stop them and enquire about them as if they are the criminals, thieves, robbers, or illegitimate prostitutes from whom the police have to protect the city.
In spite of all these ridiculous restrictive laws, police always fail to protect citizens against robbery, rapes, kidnapping, burglary, murders, and terrorism and mass murders. They can’t catch the criminals; they can torture and restrict the common man and that too for the purpose of protecting the common man as they did with Swami Ramdev for his own protection.
Allowing markets to regulate their time will certainly help in providing protection against ill-activities and crimes. Even now, the shop keepers and the citizens do not believe that police will protect them and that is why they appoint private security personals for keeping an eye on shops, colonies and residential to guard against thieves and criminals. If the market is allowed to remain open as per the wishes of the shopkeepers, and if some shopkeepers find it profitable to keep their showrooms open at night after 10 p.m., they will also make sure that the market remains safe for their shops and for their customers. They will certainly appoint private security personals and system which will be much efficient and better than the government police.
Second thing is if the markets will remain open and enough customers will regularly visit markets, hardly any criminal will dare to attack a girl in presence of many other people. So the customers and the shopkeepers themselves will act as a security guard for girls and women who are engaged in night shifts at their private or governmental offices.
The thing is simple and it is not about Delhi only. Not a single city of India is safe for women, girls or even for men. Every common Indian is at risk of their property, life and dignity and the so-called protective police are almost inefficient and incapable to provide any sense of security. However, common citizens do fear of police because police are the biggest robbers and in many cases they have been proven to be the most heinous rapists (as in current case of Lakhimpur Uttar Pradesh2 where a 16 years old girl was raped and killed at police station.)
However, if government really wants to provide protection and security for Indian citizens in any or every city of India, then there is one simple and properly logical way and that is: allow privatization of security forces, protection sector. Another step for better security is to allow complete freedom for markets, shopkeepers and customers to decide when and for how long to keep open their showrooms and shops. The shoppers will ensure protection of shops and customers by private means and because of these better arrangement of security and protection, even those girls and women who are forced to come out of their houses at night will find enough security as people will remain there on roads and criminals will avoid attacking anyone in presence of those people and private security personals.