farmer protest – Uttar Pradesh is terror for the poor
farmer protest – killing of protesting farmers
The killing of protesting farmers by a convoy of cars in Uttar Pradesh is an indirect result
of our glorification of the car culture and failure to understand that it has always held terror for the poor.
The car as a weapon of murder and assault is a well studied phenomenon in the West.
The U.S. department of justice has observed thus. A perusal of British newspapers, law reports,
and cycling club data show that incidents in which a motorist turns a vehicle against a pedestrian
or cyclist, using it as a weapon of offense, are surprisingly common.
Many such incidents resulted in serious injury or death. Under the law, these incidents,
depending on intent and the degree of injury, should be prosecuted as murder or attempted
murder, manslaughter, malicious wounding, or common assault, with sentences ranging from
mandatory life imprisonment to 2 to 12 months imprisonment. Yet, such incidents are treated
with remarkable leniency: in both murder cases and those involving lesser injuries,
the defendant is usually undercharged, and sentences tend to be remarkably light.
Factors contributing to this situation are discussed; it is recommended that when
a motor vehicle is used as a weapon, sanctions should be appropriate to the offense.
Now think of it, this is happening in Britain where compared to India drivers are extremely
well mannered. How much worse must be the scene in India.
In the book Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons, Peter Rothe associates cars and trucks with
“homicide, road rage, carjacking, drive-by shootings, smash and grabs, hit and runs, police
chases, auto theft, auto break-ins.” From the opening pages of his provocative and
meticulous examination of roadway violence, he questions the popular assumption of
“vehicle violence as naturally occurring traffic safety accidents or normal events.”
He reframes vehicular violence as a major public health issue, with ramifications that
go far beyond isolated motor vehicle crashes.
Since many of us are motorists and a bit gullible we wholesale swallow the
continuous propaganda of the automobile lobby .
Even if we analyse some media reports in India leave alone actual statistics,
it would be clear that most crashes ae a result of arrogant and rash driving.
The victims in many of these reported cases are other motorists or two wheelers.
But the moment a pedestrian killed we ,otherwise quite kind human beings,
tend to blame the victim, oh pedestrians are so negligent.
Look at this report on the front page of the Times of India Mumbai edition today.
A drunk rich motorist crashed his car into the rear of another car late in the night and the occupant of the other car, a woman, is now in a critical condition.
Just imagine if the drunk had killed a pedestrian, we would automatically assume the pedestrian was careless, the motorist lost his control and so on. Even the motor lobby and the normally insensitive police are not so quick to condemn the pedestrian.
See a report two days ago in Mumbai. A motorist suddenly reversed his car on the Bandra sealink killing two motor cyclists. The point is we should think a hundred times before blaming the victim.
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