Sunday, September 1, 2013

This appeared in Mumbai Mirror yesterday.... and ruffled a lot of feathers. That was the general idea!
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  Mere Chhotey Bhai, Satyapal,
What have you done? After all that good and efficient work of catching the Shakti Mills’ rapists in record time, you’ve gone and ruined it all with your ulta-pulta remarks.  Now the city’s presswalla’s are after you. Everybody’s baying for your blood. And ridiculing your outburst. Naturally!  How can you make statements like, “Today you want to legalise prostitution, tomorrow you will want to legalise rape and murder ” ? These sort of comments make you sound like an uneducated, medieval , feudal  man, living in the 15th century -  or like your minister, R.R,Patil. Not the dynamic, take charge 21st  century Police Commissioner of India’s premier city. Bro, I have figured out the problem. The villain is not you. It is English. You have a problem with Angrezi bhasha. And you have an even bigger problem with those who speak  it.  Theek hai. We get it. English = Promiscuous =  Rape = Suicide = Depravity =  Guilt. Case closed. In the first week of January you made this preposterous observation : “ A majority of those who commit suicide are English-educated people.” So, according to you, millions of Mumbaikars  should be on a suicide watch? Had this come from someone else, we would have laughed at the person and moved on. But Satyapal Singh, you are in charge of our city! The women of Mumbai are under your protection! Your men and women in the police force are supposed to look after us. How can they do their jobs if the boss himself has such a low opinion of  women in general, and today’s women in particular?
As a badi behen, I feel protective towards you!  The entire city is after you now.  People are shocked, horrified and revolted by your misogynistic, misplaced, mistimed comments, that too, at such a sensitive time. The thing is, Mumbai’s Police Commissioners have always enjoyed a special status  - Top Cop of Mumbai! It’s the most coveted position for a police person to hold in all of India. It comes with power, glamour and responsibility.  Over the years, Mumbai’s high profile Commissioners have enjoyed not just the confidence of the public at large, but have also been larger than life figures who have inspired citizens and struck fear in the hearts of criminals. They were our heroes. They excelled at their jobs.  And that happened only because they understood the pulse of the city. Understood  its women. Accepted that Mumbai was indeed unique. And went about their work  with  sensitivity and understanding , factoring in the rapidly shifting socio-cultural  developments that define teeming  metros globally. To talk about Raavan and Sita to such a community is asking for trouble. You landed yourself in a mess with that throwaway line in          July this year. Since then, it has been downhill all the way. Poor you.
We expect a lot from our Police Commissioners. It’s true. And perhaps, a little unfair, as well. By the same token, we empathise with what they are up against –  an acute shortage of  beat cops in a city that  grows and grows by the micro second. You don’t have enough support on the ground. We get it. Your people are over worked and underpaid. We get that, too. Forget guns and  bullet proof jackets. I doubt we have enough lathis to go around! It is a daunting job.  The public understands your challenges on this level. But what nobody understands is your attitude. Your mindset. You also said , “ Countries with sex education in their curriculum have an increased number of crimes against women!”  Whaaaat?How could you! It gets worse ( if that is possible!). You asked , “Should we allow couples to kiss in public and indulge in obscenity?” You also added, “We have to strike a balance as to what kind of a culture and society we want.” Correct! To that last observation, Mumbaikars across the board  have an answer ( it is the same in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and English) : Leave that to us.  We can decide for ourselves what we want. We are capable of figuring it out, without the cops. We’ll do our bit. And you do yours. Which means,  make Mumbai a safer city. Especially for women. We agree not every woman is a Sita ( or even wants to be her). Just as not every man is a Raavan. We just want to be us – Mumbaikars. Jhakaas people.
Go on… go for it. Learn the lingo of the streets… the lingo of our hearts. It’s not all that tough. And we’ll back you all the way. Kyon? Are you game?Abhi bhi chance hai.
Aap ki Didi,

Shobhaa

10 comments:

Deepak Handa said...

Its not actually the Angrezi Bhasha, but the real Sattu(A typical male chauvinist).
This mentality holds good for most of the policemen, be it a IPS cadre or a simple constable.
You can sensitize those with milder view however that is not the case with forces, where only opinionated MALE DOMINANT psyche only survives beyond five years of service.
Go and conduct a survey and you will find the truth on how safe are females in the family of a policeman ...

TSV Hari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TSV Hari said...

I am in the horns of a dilemma.

Should I liken Mumbai's COP Satyapal Singh to the loser character played by Garam Dharam in the movie Satyakam [1969 by Hrishikesh Mukherjee] wherein critics hailed the actor's performance but the box office performance landed hail stones on his career?

Should I use the character played by Dharam as a prop, parody the dialogues from Sholay, mimic Amitabh and say, "Veeru ... urf sattu pappu ... main ney tere baare mein kyaa soachaa thaa... aur too kyaa niklaa ... thooo? [The last expression is of me ... spitting on the sidewalk outside Famous Studios abutting the deserted mills-compound.]

Or would you be happy, when I compare you Satyapal Singh, to the Hindu folklore hero of doubtful male parentage called Satyakam Jabali who needed to create a herd of 1000 cows to prove he was fit enough to learn the scriptures?

I thought you were sensible when you postponed your daughter's marriage do the day Balasaheb passed away and his Sainiks ran riot in Aamchi Mumbai ... supposedly in grief ... threatening, looting and pillaging. I had even been foolish enough to think that you wanted to concentrate on policing what had been Bombay instead of welcoming political guests at the reception with plastic smiles. How wrong I was!

But, now, in my opinion, you should quit and buy a herd of cows and rear them in some Jhoomritalayya ... and send requests to Vividh Bharati which would announce ... is gaaney ko sunnaa chaahtey hain ... jhoomritalayya sey satyapal, raampaal, govindpal, shambhupal, idiotpal, stupidpal, gangupal, madanpal, sadanpal sadakchaappaal... aur unkey kayee saathee. Film kaa naam hai ... bambai kaa baabu!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

what happened to this fella? I guess he was not invited to cocktail parties at Rakesh Maria's house or yours to learn angrezi ways.

Do they not teach a course in basic human rights and gender issues at police academy or administrative colleges?

Jogeshwar said...

I shudder to think of what youth can look up to in such authority figures.What actual work could they be doing, when they blabber on and on?

Decent Stalker said...

@Jogeshwar, true that!

Is all the tax payers' money going into fuelling people like these, so that they can blabber eternally... ever after?

Unknown said...

I think his remark is taken out of context.

Legalising prostitution is like legalising rape by paying money. It leads to more girls to be initiated into this profession of easy money.

As for English speaking knowing people committing suicides. Naturally they read online all the gory news daily and depressed. If you know how animals are slaughtered in slaughter houses early in the morning while you are in sleep, you will not touch non veg food.

sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Out of the Oblivion said...

HI shobha mam, every time I read your post, it makes me wonder how do you write so effectively, crisply and so impressively... :)
How????

sumit bhardwaj said...

Hi nice one

Anand JOMDE said...

nice