The Year of Law
- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
But the process is not going to be easy. The sense of psychological alienation and helplessness in the face of law is, in the first instance, likely to produce a more punitive rather than intelligent engagement. In some areas, like reforming colonial era land laws, there are genuine disagreements about the likely consequences of legal rules. The habits and sensibilities of the state are notoriously entrenched and path dependent, and there are still few effective mechanisms for re-educating the state at the pace required by social change. And the temptation in democratic politics to buy the peace by being seen to be doing things, rather than doing what is going to be effective, can channel reforms into illusory gains.
But the rule of law cannot just be an idea. It has to be embodied in a social practice in the state. In some ways, the police has become the symbol of the most regressive aspects of the relationship between state and law. But police reform is not going to be achieved simply by legal reform or protection from political interference or more training under the existing system. The brutal truth is that the command and control structures of the police have broken down because it is the site of immense class conflict. Just ask this: What does it mean to say to a lower level police officer, "Please be the embodiment of the rule of law, understand that the law is about protecting individuals, respecting citizens, and recognising their equality?" Is there any way in which his or her experience in the police force will dispose them to think of dignity and respect as foundational ideals of the law? The hierarchical structure of something like the police force, with its deep disjunction between the IPS sahibs and the rest of the force, is a psychological reality which we deeply gloss over. How is a state going to project the idea of respect when its own members do not experience it as a source of self-esteem?
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow