The gang rape of the five-year-old has sprouted claims that migrant labour has affected Delhi’s crime graph adversely. Delhi doesn’t need imports to commit crime, contends Jaideep Ghosh
A big fight was threatening to snowball over Facebook. Normally, nothing enthuses me more than a big fight, but the topic in question pre-empts all funny digs. So we will stick to the serious stuff.
The background is the gang rape case involving the five-year-old girl and the stand taken by a certain set is something which has been simmering for a while. At the same time, this cannot be allowed to snowball.
The stand was – this rape, and many other similar crimes, should be blamed on the huge influx of migrant workers, specifically from one state (no prizes for guessing which).
Now, this resentment of Delhi becoming the hub for immigrants from all parts isn’t new. It isn’t ‘cool’ or ‘liberal’ to discuss in public, but the undercurrents are immense. Some have objected in the social media, while most curse when a motley crew calmly walks in front of their cars, an imperious had raised to demand the near-impossible task of stopping a speeding car within ten feet.
The increase is resentment is now leading to crimes being committed by ‘them’, and how ‘they’ should not be allowed into Delhi, since ‘they’ are sullying the name of Delhi.
Naturally, there was resentment, and a torrent of objections and arguments followed, with one side demanding to know why ‘them’ alone are to be blamed, while the original lot stuck to their smoking guns.
This is risky business. This impinges on the rights provided to the citizens of India by the Constitution (and since we as a population knows only our Fundamental Rights and not our Duties, it becomes even more important), to reside in any part of the country, look for employment anywhere. These are sacrosanct, across the country barring a few regions. And Thackeray’s Mumbai.
Crime is the genesis of development. The Industrial Revolution in Europe was where crime and vice spawned and grabbed hold of society, as people from all part thronged to the hovels that cropped up in the cities – their dolce vita being grime and crime.
At the same time, Delhi didn’t need imports to be crime capital. The people who pull out guns and shoot when their cars are scratched, the ones who pile on to women in bars and pubs and those who drive over people, or through police barricades in their BMWs and assorted SUVs, aren’t migrants. Nor are those who burn brides. They are the ones who bring these migrants to Delhi, to build their skyscrapers, tend to their kids and labour in their houses while they party, kitty or otherwise.
In fact, I will wager my pension that if people from three specific states were either evicted, or debarred from Delhi, the crime graph would come down by 80 per cent.
Crime comes with prosperity. The rapists of the five-year-old are doing exactly what the rest of the city, and mankind in general does – exploit the weak.
But crimes also comes through ‘students’ from abroad peddling drugs and ‘hostesses’ from the former Soviet republics adding colour to the flesh trade, again with the ‘locals’ being their partners or customers.
So to label one state for the state of affairs is naive and uneducated. Address crime and prevention. Since suggesting otherwise, adds to our ever-burgeoning list of woes.