A police officer showed no more interest when a train passenger complained about being spit on by a man while she was travelling in the train. The complaint was put forth to catch the accused while he was stationed on the railway platform, with the help of CCTV cameras, to identify the indicted male. Would it really change anything if the police would have caught the accused? What else could have the police done other than charging a heavy fine for spitting on running local trains and the passengers on it? The stain remains on both the question and the answer. Why?
Because India has had a reputation of not changing gears in mentality when pressed by the police.
This incident doesn’t change anything, other than a modification for a safe, and clean train travel: wear raincoats that cover your entire body; even your face. Regardless of health advisory posters pasted on railway platforms and near ticket counters, both men and women are going to chew pan masala, and/or tobacco, to spit on the walls; leaving disgusting red stains as a mark of human existence. It’s the way spitters leave a mark to autograph their dirty habit, like a dog pees on a car tyre to leave a mark for fellow folks. It’s still a stain when it’s on a wall and it’s still a stain when it’s on humans.
The question: Can one spitter’s punishment change other spitters’ habits?
The matter is not about the police refusing to comply with the complaint. It is that policemen are unable to change the mentality of other spitters in public because nobody scares easy, and nobody cares enough to change one dirty, disgusting habit. To put forth a complaint about such an incident isn’t justness in any common sense. It is an absurdity. Complaining about being stained by someone else’s’ filth is as ineffective as complaining about being a woman and stared at by uncouth men, while travelling by train.
It is a matter of mentality, and not behaviour that needs to be refined. Complaining is justice for an act such as this or is it absurd? Would you complain when you know that finding the accused is not likely to change anything at all?
This post was originally published on This Week Mumbai