DailyPost 1681

Enforcement is India does not correspond to any other enforcement mechanism in the world. We can leave our nearest neighbours for the time being. Compared to the western countries, countries in the middle east and the fast moving Asian countries,  the lament which we have with the best of the laws, policies and directives, the ground reality does not catch with the lofty  and mighty documentation. At the very best in fair weather it is pathetic, take for example of  traffic, and in the times of crisis it looks like a broken record. It is not limited only to cutting edge level enforcement and the common masses but the rot goes right to the top.

Two ongoing tragedies are two sides of the same coin, the first is the whole enforcement mechanism can become a bystander, as if the issue does not exist. The second side of the same coin and  an extremely dangerous trend that lots of it; laws and directives are created only for lip service. It was not intended to be implemented and for sure it does not get implemented. The other fascinating part of the enforcement imbroglio is that we are champions in selective enforcement, from the gravest to the simplest. We have also perfected the art of enforcing it on people, on whom it does apply and create an example out of it. The normal refrain is that if you are being jeopardized, go to the Court.

More often than not the courts have found issues with the enforcement agencies. If the same rider is put on the enforcement agencies, they will never go to court. Then there is swiftness and intensity in enforcement, once powers that be have decided. Paradoxically, judicial pronouncements are kept languishing by the same authorities, who are mandated to enforce lots of other laws. The long and short of the enforcement story is that we don’t have the capability of meticulous / enforcement at a large scale, the machinery to support such an exercise is missing, the training of such enforcement is missing and consequently the will element is nowhere in the picture. We can to understand the big picture and be a willing party to it, for this nature of specialized implementation.

Given the unfolding COVID-19 story since March last year, the lockdown from point of view physical enforcement was a commendable success. The Zones made sense, the tracking and tracing kept wavering. And so did the enforcement effectiveness of the red zones.  There was a lack of  meticulous enforcement. As numbers increased, though never declared officially, it was allowed to nearly lapse. Then as the country got into the different phases of unlocking, all the different enforcement agencies of COVID-19 turned their back, inclusive of the constitutional bodies. Enforcement is not in our blood, perforce we do it. Pandemic Purge is a sad story of the lack of intricate enforcement. Today we are in the run to physically locate oxygen and Remdesivir. Out digital enforcement is equally great at least in crisis. Micro containment will work, if it is made to work. Can the present machinery make it happen, nearly impossible. Even state lockdowns may not deliver. Slow anyway. Given the circumstances, national lockdown is only answer.


Sanjay Sahay

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