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Images: Indian police working hard at weeding out rapists!


New Delhi Subway Riders Must Pass Breathalyzer:
Incredible India!





New Delhi's new metro is a symbol both of India's progress … and of its problems.

Started in 2002 and completed in 2010 -- a century and a half, roughly, after both London and New York got theirs, and well over a century after Paris inaugurated its Metro! -- it is among the sprawling country's most impressive post-independence infrastructure projects.

But after its completion, female passengers complained so often of being groped by men that the metro introduced ‘ladies only’ subway cars.

There are other rules to try to maintain order on board -- spitting is banned, as is sitting on the floor and public urination.

Now, officials are adopting a new tactic in their battle to make rides more pleasant for commuters: they will be using breathalyzers to weed out drunk passengers.

Central Industrial Security Force deputy inspector Udyan Banerjee has announced that the breathalyzers have already been tested in Rajiv Chowk, a metro station near Old Delhi, and will soon be rolled out at all 134 stations.

The hand-held breathalyzers will help police build a database of potential troublemakers, he said.

[Build a database? Why not simply arrest the culprits? Simple: this database, like all other databases, will become a source of endless income! For the police.]

The move to address public drunkenness on the metro is just the latest in a string of recent efforts by Indian officials to highlight how the country's public transportation is safe, both for locals and tourists alike.

India’s latest "Incredible India" ad campaign to lure tourists shows Patricia Malone, co-star of the film The Mentalist, travelling across India alone, conveying a message that the country is a safe one for female tourists to explore on their own.

[She’s travelling alone? You mean, other than a film crew of about 40 people and a police 'swat team' escort to guard the crew?]

The breathalyzer test for the daily commuter is India’s answer to the country’s official record of a rape every 22 minutes!

True … Incredible India!

[Rick Westhead is a foreign affairs writer at The Toronto Star. He was based in India as the Star’s South Asia bureau chief from 2008 until 2011 and now reports on international aid and development.]

Courtesy: The Toronto Star. Edited for
May 13, 2013

Conversation about this article

1: Harjot Kaur (London, United Kingdom), May 13, 2013, 10:12 AM.

This is so-o-o-o-o-o funny! You've got me rolling on the floor!

2: Jill Kosta (Manhattan, New York, USA), May 13, 2013, 10:20 AM.

Yes, I've been to India. No, never again. But, over there, here's what they should do. They should cut Punjab and the Sikhs adrift, and then the rest of India should get together and make lots and lots of Cool-Aid, and then a la Jonestown, you know, they should just ... you know ...

3: Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), May 13, 2013, 1:48 PM.

Let me be perfectly clear at the very outset - I have tremendous respect for law enforcement personnel the world over - theirs is not an easy job, always loaded with extreme danger and immense difficulty. Having said that, I turn my attention to the bottom-most photograph accompanying the Indian news-story on this page. Am I right in assuming that the images show a senior Indian police official supervising a shake-down, Indian-style? Surely, the photo shows the desi policeman shaking the right-pocket of the wannabe subway passenger and liberating it of any coins it may hold. Emptying the pockets of Delhites is indeed a sure-shot way of curing, 1) their alcoholism, and, 2) their rapist tendencies.

4: Hardyal Singh (San Diego, California, USA), May 13, 2013, 2:18 PM.

Absolutely correct, Dr. Ahluwalia! The metal detector (see photo #2) tells the IPS officer that coins are lurking in the pockets of the commuter. He gives a nod to the policeman, who then empties the pockets. It's an excellent use of the metal detector, isn't it? No wonder they say India is a land of geniuses!

5: Steve Sargeant (Illinois, USA), May 13, 2013, 2:42 PM.

I'm looking at this same photo (#3). And I see something that makes me very, very curious about Indian practices. Here in the US, the breathalyzer test involves the person being tested having to blow. Here, in this photograph, it looks like that in India, the policeman is the one who has to blow. Uhh-h?

6: Dinesh (Gurgaon, India), May 13, 2013, 3:35 PM.

Either these chaps don't know that a 'breathalyzer' is a gadget you use to measure the alcohol content in a person's breath, or they've simply swiped all the funds allotted for the purchase of the machines, and the coffers have been left empty ... and the New Delhi Police Force with no 'breathalyzers'. From the photo here, it appears the cop is sniffing around, literally, to detect traces of alcohol. Will this method work? We'll have to monitor the rapes in India in the near future to see if it does!

7: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), May 15, 2013, 7:13 PM.

@4 Hardyal Singh: That's the marvel of India, taking things from other cultures and appropriating them as their own identity. India Shining!

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Incredible India!"

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