An Indian teenager who dared to write a love letter to a sweetheart from a higher caste was beaten and paraded through the streets before being thrown under a train and killed.
Manish Kumar, 15, a member of India’s Dalit, or “Untouchable”, community, was seized by a gang of men as he went to his village school.
He was beaten and his head was shaved before he was thrown on to the tracks, as his mother begged for mercy, witnesses said. It was alleged that police looked on as the incident took place.
A teenager has since been arrested and a policeman has been suspended. Five other men were detained.Three months ago the boy sent a letter “expressing his interest” in a girl from the Dhobi community, another Dalit sub-caste, which has traditionally washed clothes for a living – but is fractionally above the Ravidas in the Hindu hierarchy. The note was discovered by the girl’s parents.
Hmm. I don't know why, but I've got this story in the back of my mind :
Urgent action is needed to boost the number of Muslim officers in counter-terrorism units, the National Association of Muslim Police has said. A survey carried out by the association and think tank Demos suggests Muslims remain under-represented in the police. Half of the 51 UK forces took part. There are 27 Muslim counter-terrorism officers out of a total of 2,300, and few officers overall in high ranks.
The association said progress on diversity was "painfully slow".
I think the idea that to police Community A you need officers from Community A, with its implication that Community B officers just can't cut it (for reasons of racism if B = white) is an extremely dangerous one. What you need are officers who'll enforce the law impartially among all communities. Otherwise, what happens when Community A come into conflict with Community B ?
Well, we see what happens when those officers have more loyalty to "their" community than to the law. I'm presuming the officers in India who watched the killing of Manish Kumar weren't Chamar (ac/t the Times, "another term by which the group is known, chamar, is considered a grave insult"), any more than the officers watching/encouraging/participating in the 1984 killings of Sikhs were Sikh, or than the officers who told the killers of Ehsan Jafri and others that they had three or four hours to work in were Muslim.
Up to now, the vast majority of officers in the UK have been natives, something that causes our rulers no end of breast-beating and soul-searching. Although I'm informed that officers did not intervene during the 1919 Liverpool riots, when natives were doing the attacking, they certainly intervened in 1958 in Notting Hill, probably the last UK 'race riot' when the attackers were natives. They also famously guarded mosques all over the UK following the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks.
If the police and firemen who turned up at Manningham Labour Club had been more representative of the the local community, would those elderly Yorkshiremen and women still have been rescued from immolation ? It's a question worth asking - because one day, perhaps not so very far away, they will be (this report says that Muslims will be 15% of the workforce by 2017).
It's not Muslims in particular - all the Indian examples of partiality above featured Hindu officers. But the question still stands - it's one I've asked before. Import people from countries where there is a higher incidence of corruption or partiality among State functionaries than there is in the UK. What exactly is the mechanism by which the lower levels of corruption and partiality in the UK are transmitted to its new citizens ?