A line appearing almost daily in newspapers, after murders in broad daylight, religious places vandalized, or assaults committed is that the ‘police were mute spectators!’ I decided to visit a police station on the wings of my rather vivid imagination and find out why policemen had become mute spectators.
‘Sir,” said the policeman to whom I first asked the question, “Do you like my uniform?”
“Of course!” I said.
“Do you know every crease, every fold has been meticulously ironed by my wife at home?”
“That is very sweet of her,” I said.
“And do you want me to disrespect her work, by going home with a crumpled uniform?”
“No!” I said quickly, as the policeman stood up and tried to tower over me.
“So, either I honour the women in my house by honouring her work, or humiliate and shame her honest labour by coming home with all her love’s labour lost! Do you want me to do that?”
“No! No!” I said hastily, “It is important to honour our women!”
I was going to beat a hasty retreat from the police station when another policeman stopped me, “Being a mute spectator is part of a meditative process!” he said quietlike. “Once upon a time I was also a loudmouthed cop! Yelling, shouting, cussing everybody, till I learnt the art of silence!”
“Was it a difficult process?” I asked innocently
“Everything takes time!” said the cop, “but all of us learnt that this meditative exercise had huge rewards for us!”
“How’s that?” I asked.
“I used the ‘art of mute spectator’ when a minister beat a woman who questioned him, and was immediately promoted to senior inspector!” said the inspector of the police station and then lapsed into silence.
“I used this vipassana and got a medal last Independence Day,” said another cop, “All I did was hold my lips firmly together instead of shouting, ‘you are under arrest’!”
“That must have been tough?” I asked.
“I just saw the medal in front of me, even as the minister’s brother-in-law lynched the innocent father of the girl he raped! Once you see things in the right perspective it is easy!” smiled the policeman to me, “You should try it!”
“Try what?” I whispered.
“This meditative silence we have learnt!” said the inspector as he stood up and walked to me, “Come!”
“Come where?” I asked very frightened.
“I want to show you our jail and torture chamber!”
“I am willing!” I shouted.
“Willing?” asked the inspector.
“Willing to learn the art of mute spectatorship!”
“Ah!” said the inspector happily, “Imagine the whole country soon mastering this art!”
“Haven’t we already!” I whispered as I rolled out of my imaginative world into the reality of the present..!
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