Our nation is facing an unusual amount of threat to our peaceful existence. We face serious threat of terror attacks as well as we witness an upsurge in violence from fellow citizens.
We can no longer rest assured that terror attacks only happen in far away places. We have terrorists sneaking in through Bangladesh on the east, through Nepal on the north and being pushed in by our friendly neighbour Pakistan on the west. There are ideologies that are uncomfortable with the idea of an India where people of such diversity of religion and cultural, can co-exist peacefully.
For terror to succeed there needs to be local support. Terrorists need to stay somewhere and be supported by similarly criminally minded locals for planning, logistics etc. Thankfully such elements are few, can be identified, and must be isolated and ostracised by society. They are anathema to peace.
Violence of many forms has been on the rise. Violence towards women has not reduced despite the huge uproar following the horrific Nirbhaya incident. Our laws have failed to make women safer, and particularly failed to deter the juvenile offender for crimes against women. Recently youngsters barely into their teens were reported to commit a Nirbhaya like assault. Our public debates on how to deal with a juvenile offender and failure to find a deterrent will see the inevitable rise in crime by this age group who feel they will getaway. We appear more concerned for the rights of the criminal than the victim.
Violence resulting from religious intolerance is another type which is making news more and more lately. Criminals in the garb of anti-Romeo squads (intended to make women safer) are seen to terrorise the innocent. Criminals pretending to protect the cow are finding every pretext to murder innocent Muslims. These actions and extra-legal entities are making our minorities from the economically poorer segment very uncomfortable. This should never happen in any civilised society, and cannot be acceptable in our secular democracy.
Our Constitution guarantees equal protection to all citizens irrespective of religion, caste and economic status. Every citizen has the right to exist in peace, anywhere in the country.
But Constitutional rights do not come without duties and responsibilities. It is the duty of every citizen to preserve the peace, observe the law of the land and respect the rights of fellow citizens.
Thus instead of blaming the state for having failed in its duty to provide safeguard against terror or criminals who indulge in violence against women or other fellow citizens, it is our duty to act as responsible citizens and do our bit to preserve the peace and integrity of the nation.
Criminal minds that support terror or do harm to a fellow citizen are few in number. They are easily identified by their behaviour and pursuit. We can no longer afford to look the other way and wait for some ‘authority’ to deal with them. It may be too late. To make our neighbourhood safe, the principle of ‘neighbourhood watch’ is that you together with your neighbours keep a watchful eye on suspicious behaviour, and do not give shelter to strangers whose antecedents are dubious. You should not be friends with anti-social elements who blatantly abuse law by manifestly behaving unlawfully in public – loud abusive language, drinking, smoking pot, carrying weapons etc. Either ask them to move elsewhere or ask the authorities to take action. It is such elements that are likely to commit crime or support a criminal.
By rejecting the criminal mind and being watchful, we will make an impact on a safer neighbourhood for all and in the process do our duty as a responsible citizen.
Symphony Of Harmony, or AikyaTaan being celebrated on Sunday 9th July at 10 am requires you to show your commitment to playing your part in making your neighbourhood and India safe and peaceful for all citizens, by giving just 2 minutes of your time at 10 am. Make a musical sound by any musical instrument from where ever you are at the time. This will affirm your commitment and your resolve towards a safer neighbourhood.
Hope you will not only participate but also spread this message to others.