DailyPost 2163

If we go by the number, nature and complexity of criminal cases and its all-pervasive coverage, any right-thinking person would go a little deeper to unravel the message it carries for the common man. Are individual criminal cases the most important issues to be covered out of all proportion or is there a pattern to it. How much does it impact the common man, if at all. Or getting into a different trajectory, the common man has already been numbed by the apathy and the crime related news blitzkrieg, which we find all around the place. What is left is covered by propaganda and falsehood and tangential coverage even by the mainstream media and downright trash and abusive language at quite a few times in the social media.

Is criminality directly proportional to the number of criminal cases being registered? Can the crime figures in any way be corelated to the level of criminality in our society? What does the remission in a horrendous case, seizure of huge amounts to cash from politicians and officials and vitriolic utterings in national debates mean to the nation. Does it give any inkling of the fact of increase / decrease of criminality in our society. Suffice to say, for the criminals indulging in criminal behaviour / acts, the criminal justice system is competent enough to take care as mandated, but if all pervasive criminality is propagated and accepted, the social trajectory may suffer an irreparable stage. This goes way beyond the criminal justice system.

What is criminality? It is a criminal act or practice. Now we are talking beyond the known criminals. We are talking beyond registered cases. The moot question is do all criminal acts reach the doorsteps of law. You can take a call. Just try a recall known criminal acts of your known ones from corruption to tax evasion, to helping a friend or relative who is a suspect or likely to be one, or not reporting a criminal case to the police; all these would give a fair idea of criminality in our system. Numbers of criminal cases recorded, registered, investigated and put to trial and finally ending in conviction by the highest courts is not even the tip of the iceberg. The demolition of twin towers in NOIDA would give a fair idea to the depth of criminality in this country.

In a society where is no social stigma for crime, for whatever reason, the depth, utility and delivery of the criminal justice system would remain to be suspect. The overall social ecosystem which has to support criminal justice system is totally missing. The inspirational value attached to lone legal battles out of sheer desperation is a sham from the point of systemic improvement. Nothing changes. Social stigma or exceptional display of social conscience, may sometime be evoked, but what about political stigma. Does known / recorded criminality entail any political stigma? Certainly not. Lack of political stigma for known suspect / accused / convicted is the norm. How many whistle blowers have we found from the political and the bureaucratic class? From company promoters to NPAs is another story and now the skeletons have starting tumbling out of the StartUp cupboard as well. Systemic criminality leads to system degeneration.

Sanjay Sahay

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