American Police, Indian police and the People

Radhakanta Barik

Now Indians learn few things from US protests over racial killing of George Flyod, They do not learn as the middle class lost their vision and vigor after 1991. This is the new middle class who turned self-centered who do not represent their parent generation who worked hard with a vision to get involved in the national movement and social reforms movement. They were enlightened in Miltonian sense that they had 'enlightened souls. They used to carry a vision of nation building. They studied in general schools and had a command over two languages. They had a liking for their regional language and English. They had a respect for other languages. Today's middle class and their children believed in single language such as the English as medium for prosperity. Their ambiguity gets articulated in Irfan Khan's Hindi Medium where he is ready to live in slums for getting his daughter admitted in the English schools. Passport for prosperity lies in learning English Language. They do not have taste for English Literature nor any regional literature. They do not share the sufferings and joys of their people. Their EQ is very poor in proportion to their IQ as very developed. This creates crisis in their personality. Such a split personality is facing the challenge from his consumerist culture to earn more for spending more than leading an enlightened life with reading writing and discussing the things happening around. They are not concerned of the happenings around them. Such a massive move from their cities to rural hinterland has not created ripples in their souls and their family circles. Such a middle class could not stand with the working class or the attacks from the police. Their works are being done by taking help from the police friends and they ignore the attacks from the police men on working people. Once a taxi driver stopped on the way and went and paid bribe Rs100 to a traffic police and on my inquiry he said that 'the police men say that from whom we will earn when everybody here knows somebody in the police and they do not pay any money." This is the pathos of the situation that they could not stand against the attacks of the policemen which is happening in cities of America. Although for our middle-class America is the mirror in terms of earning high salary not their protesting capacity against the racialism and casteism and police attacks on working people.

American police chief is able to tell the President Trump that he has some positive suggestions regarding the discrimination case against the blacks then give him otherwise he should stop speaking. This happened even in Germany when Hitler first time won the province and wanted to create an attack on Jews the police commissioner opposed him and he retreated for some time. Here in India police officers are appointed who can create riots against the Muslims and arrest their opponents. Racial discrimination is a threat to American democracy today as death of a black worker in American city flared up protests all over America. Most of the protests are peaceful and multi-racial protests.

 But our society is experiencing caste discrimination. In the neo liberalism when income gap has increased the racial discrimination has entered in a big way. Some years back an Indian cricketer abused Australian tribal player as a 'player with a monkey face'. This created verbal protests from all over India. Khuswant Singh the most popular English novelist and journalist wrote in humorous manner that neo rich player without any humanistic values have abused the black Australian player. Today in regional literature one finds the discrimination of colour is very much common. In odiya literature one finds in most of the story writers give a description of beauty 'in terms of ‘wheatish' colour. In most of poems one finds the black woman is facing suicidal tendency because of her colour. The leading editors allow their journals to be covered with this sort of stories and poems. In Hindi films it is a difficult for a black actor to grow into a prominent actor. Indians had anti-dalit and anti-Muslim prejudices and they have added another dimension to it that is racial consciousness.

Prime Minister Modi says on migrants, "the worst affected are the poor and the labourers. Their pain, their agony and their ordeal cannot be expressed in words." The pains of labourers need not to be translated into words by Modi but by the poets, writers, journalists artists and teachers and politicians. They wait for the actions from the PM not words. They want a package for the workers. That they need monthly Rs.7000 for running their families, they need free ration and free medical help if they suffer from the Corona. Money would have come from the RBI not his PM cares fund, food would have come from the central Food Corporation of India and medical help could have come from public hospitals. The Prime Minister is branding them ‘poor' which is absolutely wrong as poor are the beggars who beg in front of the temples Mosques and churches. They are the workers who produce wealth with their labour. Their share the wage and profit is being shared by the industrialists. Prime Minister is not ready to intervene in the distribution of income between labour and industrialists. That has increased the income inequality between two classes.

 Furthermore, their party governments have decided to increase the working day from eight hours to 12 hours which is a violation of one hundred and fifty years contract for which May Day gets celebrated. He wants to abolish the labour laws which protect their interests. This will bring more' pains' for the workers which cannot be described in words as he claimed. Prime Minister Modi in his letter ‘my fellow Indian' in Indian Express (May 30, 2020) says, "However, given the way India has surprised the world with its unity and resolve in the fight against coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in economic revival." This is a profound observation by Modi over the unity of its people. They all unitedly fought against the Corona virus. This unity has broken in class terms and community terms. 65 million migrant workers who strengthened the economy for two decades suddenly without any income support and without work and food. This broke their backbone and they came to the streets and they were not allowed to go to their homes as trains were not available. They started moving on foot and criminal cases got filed against them. They were not provided any public transport and food by the government. Some NGOs came forward and started helping them. But the NGOs can coordinate the state in such a massive work but the state withdrew and their representative in the Supreme Court told on March 30 that there was no worker on the street. Hunger and deaths haunt these millions of workers and their families. The unity got broken because of these workers got pushed to the margin by the failure of the government in providing a security package to them.

While people were fighting against the Corona, the issue of Nizammuddin came up as there was a religious congregation, permitted by the government of India. Some cases of Corona came up and the whole scene got published by the government as communal dimension to the fight against Corona. The criminal cases have been filed against those who attended the meeting. This created wound in the hearts of Muslims. The unity shown against the Corona got broken. The large number of Muslim youths got arrested by the police in the name of National Security act who are lingering in the jails today. In both class and community terms the unity has broken.

There was an attack on the states which run by the opposition parties. They blamed Bengal in fighting against the Corona. Kerala is doing wonderful works in fighting against the Corona but no appreciation has come from the PM. Gujarat is the worst in terms of fighting against the Corona as there is hardly any public hospital working in proper shape and there has been a large scale corruption in buying kits and ventilators according to High Court of Gujarat. But the case has been withdrawn from the judges to hurt the emotions of Gujaratis. Many states are not getting their share under GST and no special grant under the National Disaster Authority which have made them poorer in fighting against the COVID 19 and creating work for the poor. The national unity has already broken by the actions of the present government which was there while the people of India fought unitedly against the Corona virus.

After so many years of capitalism, India created a single labour market which allowed free flow of labour and having a standardized wage. They worked in different parts of the country. Their labour produced wealth and made many from the West and Delhi as industrialists. They produced the surplus labour which made these rich people. During the Covid 19 they are being declared as migrant labour from labour. After two months of unemployment they are being declared as poor. This is the only nation which is ungrateful to its workers who created wealth. They are suffering worst and the Supreme Court gave a judgment after two months and the central government which runs on their taxes forgot them totally. A country ungrateful to the real heroes of a nation. This is because of the Brahminic thinking which does not recognise the working class who according to Manu originates from the foot. Today they are walking on foot and suffering the worst.

American police attacked the black American named George Flyod who shouted loudly, ‘I cannot breathe and am dying’. There has been massive protest in America and fifty cities are under the curfew. In India the policemen tortured workers and beat them which resulted in killing of 8 workers but no protest against them. Here is a poem which speaks a lot: It Is written by me.

The desolate roads
taken over by the king's police
the noise of their boots is coming
any ordinary worker they see
The police uses his boots or cane
the women worker holding a child
the police is putting the cane into his frock
Abusing her
She listens to him
The police gets angry
give her beating by cane
Workers on the street are getting beatings
there are cracks on their back
sometimes they are forced to kneel down
they are made monkeys and walking on their hands
the policemen are angry today
he is standing under the summer heat
The heat from the sky
the heat from the pucca road
Making him bitter and angry
He settles his anger against the workers
by giving beatings on their backs and buttocks
There are red marks all over the body
The king is angry
The police is angry
their anger gets settled over the workers
the king is known as a strong ruler
the police is known as cruel person
both enjoy their rule over the workers
The workers look black and brown
their colours have faded
working in the factories
Their colours have changed into black
On black bodies the beatings create red marks
the police is happy that he is doing his duty
on the order of the king
The policemen gave beating to a black person
he is screaming that he is unable to breathe
He is dying under his boots
The strong police standing anywhere in the world
Roads are taken over by them
This is the time of Lockdown
The king has declared Lockdown
They policemen given freedom
to beat and cane
to hit someone by their boots
they can kill some Muslims
they can kill some Dalits
They can kill some tribals
they can kill workers
They are obeying the orders of the king
the king is supreme
The court is silent now
the roads are silent
Silence prevails all over the roads
Only sound of screaming of workers
coming from somewhere
They are getting beatings from the police
they are obeying the orders of the king
The king is happy that police are doing their duty
beating and caning is a part of their duty
hitting by boots
they are doing duty for the nation
nation is crying now
workers are screaming and crying
The king is laughing loudly
His minister is monitoring the beating of the workers
The king and his minster are in jolly mood
that police men are doing their duty
They are doing for the nation
by beating workers they are doing their duty
desolate roads
are taken over by the police
sound of boots
screams of workers
one can hear in silence.

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Jun 3, 2020

Prof. Radhakanta Barik

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