Saturday, December 9, 2023


Biplab Roy

A crime free society is not a dream of the citizens but it is the motto of good governance. It is no doubt an expectation of the citizens to have a society free from all sort of violence taking shape of crimes in different shades.

Crimes in whatever form happens have always adverse impact on the society. Man cannot live alone. He lives in the society so that he may be taken care of from the oppression of the stronger. Crimes not only shakes the vary foundation of the rule of law but it leaves to mistrust in the mind of citizens at large on the rule of law also.

Mistrust of the citizens on the rule of law weakens the basic fabric of good governance thereby leading the common men to take law and order in their hands to get rid of criminal activities and this thing happens only on being frustrated by the law implementing agency.

In this way, another crime is generated to put an end of one crime. It should not be forgotten that the common people are always peace loving and they favour safety, security and peace in the area where they live in.

These are the minimum expectation of the common people from the end of the Government particularly when such Government is a democratic- republic. The common people have not sky limit expectation from the Government but their minimum expectation as stated above is neglected most of the times.

Amongst others we have promised in the preamble of the Constitution to secure justice – social, economic and political to all citizens of India. Inequality in the socio-economic fields creates differences between one citizen and another. Such inequality creates class even in a classless society.

Inequality always pips its head even if it is wrapped with sweet coated. It is very hard to say that hunger does not compromise with the morality or human values. A man cannot evaluate morality or human values in empty stomach. The basic needs of human beings are food, clothing and shelter which cannot be denied even by any stretch of imagination.

Liberty or freedom or human values comes only on fulfilment of these basic needs of the human beings. A hungry man prefers food not the arms as arms is not substitute of the food. To satisfy his hunger a man may go to any extent as food is the first priority of life. A hungry man does not give a second thought to sell his son and wife.

A woman compromises her chastity in fighting with hunger. Necessity of clothing and shelter come side by side to maintain a human life. Dignity of human beings comes only on fulfilment of these basic needs. Clothing and shelter in absence of food are of no value. Food in absence of clothing places a man in wild life. Food and clothing in absence of shelter make a man in nomadic life. Here lies the importance of socio-economic justice.

Can a society be made crime free without securing socio-economic justice to the common people? No, it is next to impossible. To control the crime focus of the Government should be first to remove the inequalities with regard to basic needs- food, clothing and shelter.

Fulfilment of the aforesaid basic needs of the human beings may reduce the crime automatically to a great extent. Unfortunately, there is hardly any sincere move on the part of the Government to come up with a wide policy to wipe out the scarcity of food, clothing and shelter of the thousands and thousands citizens who are spending day after day in the footpaths, railway stations, temples and the slum areas.

Thousands of children are born in the footpath everyday and grow up without nutrition, education and care. Are they not citizens of India?

Do they enjoy the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Part III of the Constitution? Are they not entitled to get free education up to 14 years of age? Are they not entitled to get other human values and dignity like other citizens under the Constitutional scheme?

No Government or political executive is concerned about them. Those persons do not have Ration Card, Voter Identity Card or Adhar Card in proof of their identity. They stay within the Indian territory without any recognition. In the city like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai the number of street children are increasing every second. More than twenty lacs children are living in the footpath, temples and railway stations.

They grow up on the mercy of the nature and to fulfil the stomach they are associated with criminal activities since childhood. They have no future and no fear of law. They live in their own freedom at the cost of freedom of others. Jail gives them temporary shelter as they think that the jail is better than footpath.

Legal punishment is of no consequence to them. Rules of the Jails or Correctional Homes cannot bring any change to them as they are not receptive due to neglect and refusal from the so called society since their birth.

The deprivation eats away their morals and human values. Should the Government and the political executives not come forward to provide them basic amenities of human beings?

To check the crime those street children and dwellers of footpaths, temple areas, railway stations and the persons of slum areas should be taken proper care so that they feel themselves as Indian and come forward to perform their duties towards the society.

To achieve this some immediate steps are required to be taken on war footing viz. (1) temporary homes or shelter homes to be provided to each family staying at those areas, (2) job security to be given to each adult person including female, (3) they are to be included in the 100 days work scheme according to their skill and ability, (4) health scheme to be introduced for them, (5) all children under certain age should be provided education free of cost, (6) vocational training to be introduced for those children and youth who may not be included in the educational programme due to age bar, (7) at least 2% seats in every Government aided school to be reserved for those children in all classes, (8) begging on the street or other public places to be restricted, (9) beggars and vagabonds to be lodged in the shelter home specially made for that purpose, and (10) interaction programme to be conducted in between the children of the street etc and the children of class society to remove distance.

These steps are not exhaustive but implementation of the same may reduce the crime; I believe.

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