Cyber Coolie

Insert statement about high-minded discourse

Big brother comes to India

Posted by chakrabarti on January 5, 2008

If the story in the Times of India is to be believed, then the average citizen of Delhi is in for some harrowing times. Soon, each and every Delhiite would be required to carry some form of identification, be it a driver’s license, a ration card, a voter’s ID card or something else. The authorities have been generous enough to allow school, college and office IDs in the list.

The reason for creating such a requirement, reminiscent of totalitarian dictatorships? Why, terrorism, stupid! This is the excuse being offered by the Delhi police chief, who added “the ripples [of terrorism]… are always felt in Delhi”. So never mind improving intelligence gathering capabilities, coordination with law enforcement authorities in other states or providing better security in vulnerable areas. The most important step towards reducing terrorist violence is forcing every single Delhiite to carry their papers with them.

Mercifully, there have been some murmurs of protest after the measure was announced by the lieutenant governor. Some have even gone so far as to call such a step “dangerous, draconian and autocratic”. Others have pointed out the real purpose of such edicts, which has nothing to do with stopping terrorist violence, and everything to do with creating new ways by which the state can harass and intimidate individuals, especially those who have little or no voice in society.

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