February 23, 2008

Fined!!!

Posted in Freedom, Rights, Social Issues at 7:17 pm by Krishnadev

“Oh! Oralpam personality ullavare onnum Police angane fine adikkilla. Enne kandille…”

(Oh! The Police won’t fine someone with as much personality as me.)

            This used to be my trademark reply whenever my Dad or Mom started talking about the importance of wearing the helmet on the road. Guess that ‘personality’ just gave up on me this time. I was fined by the Police, today evening near the Saphalyam Complex in Pattom for not wearing a helmet! (Sheesh!) And cruelly enough, my purse which normally is empty all the time, was rolling in riches when they caught me! Even crueler is the fact that the only money I could give them was the 100 rupees that belonged to me! (The rest was not mine. I was just in possession of it!) That money, I had so painstakingly raised over the past one month, in a now rendered futile attempt to recharge my mobile balance which has been languishing at Rs.5/- for over a month now. And now, it’s gone! Probably to get some minister his daily dose of premium scotch. Or maybe to fetch that police officer’s wife fish for the family at night. Hope that makes them ‘honourable’ judges, in coats as darkened as their intellect, happy!!

            I’m disgusted. Since when has India degraded to such a despot nation where the fundamental rights of the citizens are threatened by the very courts designed to protect them? I mean, the Constitution guarantees us Indians six fundamental rights:

  • Right to Equality
  • Right to Particular Freedom
  • Cultural and Educational Rights
  • Right to Freedom of Religion
  • Right against Exploitation
  • Right to Constitutional Remedies

Now let’s just look at the one I’ve stressed there. The right to Particular Freedom guarantees us the rights:

  • To freedom of speech and expression;
  • To assemble peaceably and without arms;
  • To form associations or unions;
  • To move freely throughout the territory of India;
  • To reside and settle in any part of the territory of India;
  • To practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

            Again, please note the one I’ve stressed on. So, if I have the right to move freely throughout the territory of India, then why should I be forced to wear a helmet to travel from Vazhuthacaud to Spencer junction, if I don’t bloody want to do so? I mean, isn’t making helmets mandatory, an action comparable to a situation where the courts decide that all Indian men should wear light green shirts and magenta trousers and all Indian women, orange saris and grey blouses , every Monday!!? What do you call this if not bullying by the ‘honourable’ courts?

            Now, I’ve read somewhere that wearing a helmet increases the chances of survival in the event of a crash by 29%. (A seatbelt in a car increases the same by 40%) Am I going to have to suffer all the hardships of wearing a helmet, carrying it around, even to the loo and looking like a fool just for the sake of a paltry 29%? Bullshit! I prefer crashing my bike somewhere and splitting my brains open to the above. Besides, there’s every chance I’d be subject to the same fate even if I wear my crown. Then, why should I sacrifice my comfort for the sake of the whims and fancies of some ‘honourable’ judges sitting in some air-conditioned halls and who may never ever in their lives have even ridden a motorbike or knew what it’s all about!!?

            Forgive me if I’ve sounded too animated. It’s just that I’m tired, frustrated and angry! Tired am I of hearing that lady from Airtel say, ‘Your account balance is low. Kindly recharge your account to ensure prompt service’ every time I make a call. Frustrated am I with the police for fining me, a poor unemployed student, while there are hundreds of filthy rich buggers out there who drive without even a driving license! Angry am I with the ‘honourable’ (Let me use this word one last time before I sound like Mark Antony talking about Brutus) courts for focusing on implementing such stupid laws when they have a backlog of an estimated 25 million civil and criminal cases! Don’t they have anything bloody better to do? All that the courts have done with this action is make patriotic, country-loving young guys like me turn against them while what they’d ideally want is to recreate trust in the judiciary in the quantum that they enjoyed way back in the late 1940s and 1950s.

            I had a talk about this issue with one of my friends before my ‘fine experience’ and he said it was up to the courts to ensure the safety of Indian citizens and maybe that’s why they’ve implemented this rule. Yeah, right!  BEWARE FELLOW INDIANS! The courts are soon going to make condoms mandatory to have sex (Ooh! AIDS kills!!). Please don’t complain. It’s for your own safety.

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14 Comments »

  1. Dude…
    You’re making a mountain out of a molehill. I can well perceive your frustration at having lost a well-saved Rs 100 for apparently no reason. But, my opinion is that it was just another game by lady luck to rob you of your fortune. Blaming the system (which is perennially-flawed as you rightly put) with this page-long rhetoric won’t do anyone any good! 😀

    About ‘wearing the helmet’. I don’t believe in the statistics you just put up over there. You copied ’em from the wiki , eh? Well, don’t you know that anyone can edit Wikipedia? 🙂 The next time you see me, just check out my forehead at the portion above my left eyebrow. There’s still a prominent scar. Actually, I survived by a whisker, despite the impact on my head being severe. If the bike had tilted a bit more, you wouldn’t have me commenting to this post like this! Had I worn a helmet at the time of <a href = “http://dynz.net/hari/?p=44″my accident, I might’ve escaped scot-free (yeah, even without my clavicle fracture!)

    “Am I going to have to suffer all the hardships of wearing a helmet, carrying it around, even to the loo and looking like a fool just for the sake of a paltry 29%? Bullshit! I prefer crashing my bike somewhere and splitting my brains open to the above.”
    – I don’t take that. Try crashing your bike somewhere and you’ll understand why!

    “Tired am I of hearing that lady from Airtel say, ‘Your account balance is low. Kindly recharge your account to ensure prompt service’ every time I make a call.”
    Cut down phone-usage dude… Who’re you so desperate to talk to? 😉 (Guess my ‘revelation’ was true, after all!) Besides, you have an awesome landline at home, nah?

    “courts for focusing on implementing such stupid laws when they have a backlog of an estimated 25 million civil and criminal cases! ”
    Heh. Then what’s the bloody point in having courts? If every single person on the road start breaking rules, you’ll have a pile of deadbodies all over the country!

    Exceedingly well-written, but I BEG to disagree…

  2. And, apologies for clogging your blog with that LONG comment, but it was impulsive! 😀

  3. Came here to say a lot…. but “Hari Shanker R” (I guess I know him 🙂 ) had told everything which I wanted to…..

    I think Helmets are to be made mandatory and be declared an ‘integral part’ of a bike. It should be provided with the bikes, cost inclusive in the bikes mrp (just like the cost of piston rings are not accounted separately)… By doing so, we can ensure
    (1) The quality
    (2) Proper maintenance
    of the helmet.
    A petty loss of 100 Rs. is much much better than loss of time/money when you spend the rest of life in a coma state or whatsoever…

  4. Prasanth said,

    ah. as ambani said, there is no point in discussing this here…there are more serious things that demand attention…btw saphalyam is in palayam, not pattom… 😉

    I felt the same way a couple of months back…gee

  5. Krishnadev said,

    @ Hari, Njaan, Prasanth

    I’m not questioning the role of helmets in protecting us. I’m questioning only the action which makes it compulsory! It’s my decision to wear it or not to. How can someone force me to do so?

    @Hari
    Nope, the info’s not from Wiki. I use Wiki info only for assignment material. 😀 I read this info in some editorial or something.

    ‘Cut down phone-usage dude… Who’re you so desperate to talk to? (Guess my ‘revelation’ was true, after all!) Besides, you have an awesome landline at home, nah? ‘
    C’mon man!! You can never be on the phone for too long if you’re talking to friends! And it is possible to have guys as you friends and still not be gay! Landline – belongs to 4 people. Mobile – belongs to just one person. Which would I use? Mobile anyday!

    @ Njaan
    ‘A petty loss of 100 Rs. is much much better than loss of time/money when you spend the rest of life in a coma state or whatsoever…’
    I agree, but does the helmet (even the ones with the ISI mark) ensure that? I mean, the helmet just protects you from death. It doesn’t necessarily prevent you from ending up in a coma or whatever. In that sense, which would you choose – Lying like a doll for the rest of your life, unable to enjoy it or Ending it? I’d choose the 2nd option anyday. 🙂

  6. Ashok said,

    Ee blogpost oru nalla Airtel parasyam aakkaan kollaam — brilliant, young man ready to sacrifice his brain for Rs 100 mobile recharge. 🙂

    In this case, you were violating a law, and doing that knowingly. Enjoy this “just” moment of being fined. Next time, you’ll be fined even when you don’t violate the law.

    I don’t understand why you are ranting against the judges, though. Did they make this law? They only asked the government to implement the existing law, right?

  7. sivaharsh said,

    talking abt the human rights in the beginning and highlighting the :

    To move freely throughout the territory of India;

    i thought u were pointing to something far more important than u loosing ur 100 Rs /)

    I thought u were pointing to the last hartal when people were forced out of there vehicle , an obvious denial of the above mentioned right.. [:d]

    any way im glad that u lost ur 100 atleast some gals could sleep peacefully at night…

  8. Krishnadev said,

    @ Ashok

    Yeah Ashok, the courts just asked them to implement the law. Mongan irunna pattiyude thalayil thenga ittathu pole aayille athu??
    Abt the violation of law part, even Gandhiji did it! When he did it in 1920, it was called ‘Non-cooperation movement’. When I do it in 2008, it’s called ‘Deliberate violation of law’!

    @ Sivaharsh

    Well, actually I was trying to point out to the above issues through the incident of me being robbed of my money.

  9. @ Kichu:
    Do your research. Almost EVERY modern (developing and developed alike) country today enforces helmet usage among motorcyclists! 😛 Period!

  10. Krishnadev said,

    @ Hari
    Just because the Americans have french fries and burgers for lunch, we don’t have to do so!! Yeah, in the US, they have to wear helmets as well as switch on their headlamps (irrespective of what time it is) to ride the bike. So??

  11. Great. Compare the number of accidents in India and that with the US which has twice (or thrice) the number of vehicles in India. 😀 India would be way ahead of its developed counterpart any day…

    And by developed and developing country, I just didn’t mean america. U.K., France, Germany… even smaller ones like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore… Check out the roads (especially the motorcyclists) of these countries!

    In my opinion, the trivialization of the helmet issue was solely brought about by our government, thanks to the hefty bribes by helmet-manufacturers. It’s an altogether different issue that helmets are actually good for you. Albeit, a poorly-made helmet would make you dead meat. 😀 Had helmets been strictly implemented long time back, no one would’ve made much fuss about it today. In most of the accidents that occur even when the motorcyclists were wearing helmets, the helmets turn out to be of inferior quality. Guess that sums my point.

  12. Krishnadev said,

    ‘In my opinion, the trivialization of the helmet issue was solely brought about by our government, thanks to the hefty bribes by helmet-manufacturers. ‘

    Er.. Actually, the helmet lobby is supposedly behind the strict implementation of this rule. Why would they want to trivialize the issue if they make bucks when the issue is in the forefront?

    ‘In most of the accidents that occur even when the motorcyclists were wearing helmets, the helmets turn out to be of inferior quality.’

    No way! I beg to differ. I’m a guy who looks at the newspaper regulary and let me tell you, in most cases, the news article also mentions that the helmet had the ISI mark. No matter how good the helmet is, it cannot protect you from a serious crash. And as far as motorcycles go, any accident is a major one.

    Besides, let me tell you once more, I’m not against helmets or anything. I just believe that wearing them should be a matter of choice.

  13. The very debate about helmets being “a matter of choice” arises due to the laxity of the government in implementing them, friend. 😀 As I’d mentioned in my previous comment, had the government enforced helmets, say, some 40 years back, no one would’ve uttered a word against them today. People got used to abandoning them while riding motorcycles, and now, when strict helmet enforcement came to being… y’know, it’s hard to change established habits! 🙂 That should explain the widespread hullabaloo.

    By trivialization of the helmet issue, I meant the Government. Not the helmet-manufacturer-lobby! True that a lion’s share of helmets today are flawed. About the ISI mark. Pay 100 grand to the ISI guys, and you get your substandard product certified! 🙂

    Btw, you’ve been driving for a year right? You just got caught once. You had your right to exercise your “freedom of movement” without your helmet, breaking the law for over a year! Still you despise the government and the system, which allowed you to move in peace, flouting the rules!! 😛

    That’s enough rhetoric from my part. Read this post by my senior at college (who also happens to be a great friend of Mr Njaan). He seems to echo your views, albeit in a more moderate but ‘picturesque’ fashion!

  14. Krishnadev said,

    @ Hari
    I beg to disagree. The fact that this rule wasn’t forced upon us 40 years ago doesn’t make it any more just or any more sensible. Again, if it were to be implemented 40 years ago, it wouldn’t have existed today.

    “About the ISI mark. Pay 100 grand to the ISI guys, and you get your substandard product certified”

    Precisely! Why wear helmets when they’re no good??!!


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