Thursday, August 18, 2011

Indian Jails: Separating the Boys from the Men

Most Indians are terrified of jails.
A nightmarish place the size of a small room not unlike many Indian 'pucka' houses, where you'll be tortured and have confessions extricated. But you'll still get free healthy food three times a day!
I haven't seen the insides of a Jail and there's a pretty good chance that most Indians haven't either. Indian movies and occasional but steady news of police brutality in custody has ingrained the fear of the bars in every Indian.
India Shining!

Unlike Hollywood jails, Indian jails are not places where 'normal' people go. They are places where the most petty thieves, rapists and burglars and the occasional trouble-maker spends a few nights in.
And hence Tihar was a uneventful place to be. Until recently.
But all that has changed ever since the Indian govt's austerity drive finished. The jails are now packed with former CEOs, the A-rated Politicians and random celebrities and a few of them appear destined to reside here soon
It almost appears that the government did manage to save a lot of money. But almost all of it went directly into the pockets of the few.
Talk about India Shining!

So in a sense, Indian jails are what separates the men from the boys.

It is what separates the wickedly guilty from the truly blessed Statesman.
Unless you've lived in a cave, you'd have read/heard/seen the flurry of politicians who have been dethroned and carted off to jail. Many of them struggling to live in cells that is more luxurious than an average Indian house yet breathing down the necks of their over-paid lawyers to secure a bail and run free.
Some of them have even filed anticipatory bails.
And then we have Anna and his ilk. With the firm understanding that the battle will be long and ardous but the victory is going to be sweet, he and his team have courted arrest. A true Gandhian in word, thought and deed, he has brought a unrepentant and tainted government to its knees.

So, why do you fear the jail, Mr Politician? 

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