30 March 2020
Let us talk about the police. During the ongoing quarantine, this profession is playing a key role that it never should have had to play. Ideally, people should have stayed home without any incentives but the guarantee of a continuance of normal life in all forms save outings big and small. But they have had to play a key role primarily to force people to stay home.
The famous Stanford prison experiment, conducted almost half-a-century ago, showed that the most innocent of minds when given a taste of power can take it overboard. While the Indian police force was not exactly brutal to the public violently and physically, they seem to have been given a taste for it and there is barely any indication that they will be willing to relinquish their newfound thirst for violent public disciplinary action once all this blows over.
However, it is only fair to point out that no all cops are alike. While some are disgracefully beating up doctors—despite sufficient evidence and identification—and should face disciplinary actions in courts themselves, others have come up with innovative methods to persuade people to stay home. Not all of these are equally effective, but their attempts deserve recognition nonetheless. From singing to flat dwellers and commuters on the street, to wearing silly-looking coronavirus-inspired helmets, to wielding microphones and reasoning with quarantine violators threatening to stop working altogether, the cops have been trying their best to persuade people to stay home.
While I appreciate the difficulty of a cop’s job, I do not think it justifies violence. And while I appreciate the desire to go out for basic supplies, I do not think there is enough reason in the world right now to justify why some people are violating quarantine just because they can. Everyone has lessons to learn.