“To maintain order, enforce the law, and prevent and detect crime” – that is the dictionary definition of Policing. One assumes that there would be more stress on prevention than detection which would be necessary only when prevention fails. At least one wing of the police department seems to be in disagreement – the traffic police. Anyone who has been driving in Bangalore is familiar with the following scenario:
You need to quickly pick up some medicine or bread or whatever,look for a parking lot and finding none, park it under a tree near the shop and when you return after 3 minutes you find the policeman asking for your licence - the crime? You parked in a no parking zone. “But there is no sign?” you mutter in a puzzled tone and he points to it. You needed him to point it out because it is strategically placed close to a tree, visible only from certain angles. This is something you can try in any new route that you take. Try spotting a traffic sign while managing to negotiate the car through the traffic in any commercial area and nine out of ten times you will fail. The most prominently displayed boards will only give you information on the number of accidents and deaths in Bangalore over the past 3 years or the details of the penalty for every traffic violation.
And if the policeman had to police the no parking zone why is it that he does not make himself visible preventing you from parking there like the security guards in apartments? How come he hides behind the tree, waits for you to park and then pounces on you with a wicked “got you!” leer?
The answer is not hard to find. He will tell you to pay up a fine of 100 and then return you Rs.50 if you do not demand a receipt!! So why prevent a lucrative source of income? And even if you demand a receipt, it goes under his record of “number of crimes detected”. So it is a win-win for him right?
2 Responses
  1. Paavai Says:

    The reason for this behavior is because policemen (by and large) do not seem to join the force out of their choice. It seems that they are pushed into it by their families or could not find anything else.

  2. Swapnil Says:

    Once, this guy caught me for talking on the phone standing by the roadside. My bike ignition was off, and I was "Caught" using the phone on the bike.
    I was further harassed because I had Maharashtra registration bike.
    Another time I was told that I had overrun a red light when I actually was not able to see the light due to a bus in front. He tells me "Fine, 50 rupees saar"
    "How much if I need a receipt?"
    "300 rupees saar"
    "Okay Give"
    "Okay Go"
    Ask for a receipt and most often they let you go.