Published: May 16, 2020 12:23:56 am
A being so small it can only be seen through the electron microscope, whose genome is less than 30,000 bases long (for comparison, a human has 6 billion base pairs) has changed how we live, work and imagine ourselves. It is also changing institutions which are long in the tooth. The courtroom, which is so hallowed that seating is reserved for lawyers while litigants must huddle at the door, has been dematerialised and democratised on the internet. In the ether, a lawyer geographically located in Rajasthan has outraged the majesty of the law by appearing in his banian. But ironically, courts subsequently urged lawyers to drop the gown of office, a relic from the age of Sir Elijah Impey, the first chief justice in Fort William.
The natural elements of the police, the handmaidens of this majestic law, are also transmuting delightfully. From Punjab to Kanyakumari, the police are changing in aspect, demeanour and function. In Chandigarh and elsewhere, they are bringing birthday cakes home. They are donating blood for patients and saving Northeastern tenants with allegedly “Chinese” physiognomy from being thrown out by landlords, and tirelessly pounding the pavement to contain infection and trace contacts.
In short, a colonial force is doing community policing. Former officers are demanding special training to make the men and women in khaki equal to this unfamiliar challenge. Will the good times last? It depends on the political leadership, which has given the police a clear objective without the usual nuances, because it is temporarily dazed and confused itself. When human nature prevails again, we hope that the police do not return to the expressionistic lathi ballet which was their leitmotif when the lockdown began.
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Source: Thanks https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/india-covid-19-lockdown-laywers-robe-police-6411935/