Can there be anything more bizarre?

There was a time when, in the seventies and beginning of eighties those who had been anywhere near the criminal courts could see plenty of alleged criminals seen in handcuffs. In fact each policeman used to have a pair of handcuffs tagged to his leathern belt. That was the norm then.

If one had been associated with the prisons then, the entrance of those prisons would be crowded with handcuffed prisoners in the morning as a police van would be waiting to ferry the remand prisoners to courts, as no judicial remand could be continued beyond 14/15 days without production before the appropriate magistrate.

Nobody thought then that a criminal being handcuffed was odd, till the Honourable Supreme court came up with orders that remand prisoners should not be handcuffed.

One way we look at it, before being convicted, a person needn’t have to go thru the public ignominy of having to be handcuffed and paraded, on the other hand the number of constables required to produce them were very few if the prisoners were too be handcuffed. The courts lent on the side of the unproved charges being the basis of the ignominy and ordered that handcuffing should be an exception than a rule.

In the above case of Lawrence Bishnoi, the bizarre thing is that his lawyer has filed a petition in a court requesting that he be hand cuffed during transit to courts to ensure that the police wouldn’t have the excuse that he attempted to flee and the police either too prevent his escape or in self-defence shot him.

I wonder if the world had turned upside down! The dignity brought to the remanded prisoners was not an easy one, it was hard fought and many lawyer-days were lost in securing that dignity of presumption of innocence.

But when Life itself is in question, a suspect wants to be handcuffed so that the police wouldn’t have the fig leaf of self defence or attempted escape. In the context of Vikas Dubey’s encounter every suspect, like each one of us wanting to avoid the covid infection, wants to avoid getting into the irretrievable state of death.

The Darwinian principle of survival has trumped the concept of THRIVING. But I don’t discount those who look for muddy waters to do their fishing ; though i surely believe that there would be a select Lucky few who not only would proceed on the premise that covid would not hurt them but also believe that this is the time to thrive whether the waters are muddied or not, or are even daring to muddy the waters to fish.

Every idea has its time and when it has come, none can stop the operation of that Idea. A gangster begging to be handcuffed might be a strategy, but there can be counter strategies of the police too – claiming that the prisoner wanted too be de-handcuffed so that he could attend to the call of nature and when they obliged, the gangster snatched the weapon from the holster and attempted to hurt the police – why not?

After all these years of Thamizh movie watching, it isn’t difficult too imagine this.