Part I and Part II.
Lawlessness is a vicious cycle. The more lawlessness one observes, the less one respects the law. If everyone is breaking the rules, it requires an almost silly amount of moral strength to follow the law. An average human being cannot be expected to be very strong, and as more and more people start breaking the law, gradually violence, community lynchings, and mobbing become common.
The Broken Windows Theory is relevant here. It is not without reason that "law" is frequently mentioned along with "order". If disorder is pervasive, then what does it do to one's inner faith in the rule of law?
Centuries of oppression have taught Indians that the rule of law is a tool of the state to oppress its citizenry. That law is arbitrary and whimsical, and that courts and police are to protect the rulers and the rich, not the ruled. No wonder we have internalized lawlessness and opportunism.
A relevant article here: Kill the Indian first.
To travel a short distance in India is a depressing exercise in observation of disorder. From throwing garbage on the street, to breaking traffic rules, to arbitrary number plates, to not wearing seat belts, to encroachments on the sidewalk, to spitting, to taking u-turns when not allowed, to drive on the wrong side, to burning garbage, to urinating by the roadside, to overcrowded buses, busting-at-their-seams 3-wheelers, riding 3-up on two-wheelers, honking, high beams, defaced walls, illegal billboards, medicine shops selling drugs without prescriptions, stray dogs, cows on the road, and so on and so forth.
More than that, a vacuum of moral role models has established itself in our current psyche. There is nobody to look up to in the public arena, and optimism is hard to sustain when everyday one more bastion of our socioeconomic arena is exposed to be rife with corruption.
And if the rich and powerful are breaking the law with impunity, their exhortations to the lowly masses to follow the law ring hollow. Why should a middle-class or a poor man follow the law when the lawmakers and the beneficiaries (in the form of taxes) of his labor are lawless goons?
I once asked an official in the ministry of external affairs if it was possible for an Indian national to revoke his faith in the constitution of India and for him to be allowed to leave this country? He laughed at me and said that that man can probably exit India, but the only countries where he can go and not be an illegal alien are probably worse off.
The goons and politicians have imported guns and trained commandos on their side, and for a common citizen to even carry a hunting knife has been made illegal. It is mafia peace and state oppression maintained, literally, at the point of a gun.
In my daydreaming, I sometimes wish that India be treated as a war-torn zone, like Rwanda, and all Indians must be treated as potential refugees and asylum seekers by developed countries. But then sense dawns, and I have the opposite wish. That Indians be quarantined and not allowed to infect any one else.
(to be continued)