Indians are outraged by the killing of George Floyd. On social media, Indians are calling for justice against police brutality in the United States. But back at home, they are lax about the police excesses.
Foreign Policy pointed out that Americans have to address the question of race and how it manifests into police practices but in India, the roots of police excesses are more compounded by the presence of a number of social cleavages including the divisions created by religion, caste, power, and wealth. Some attitudes and structures enabling police brutality date back to colonization and laws put in place by the British.
The high handedness of police was seen when the lockdown was announced on 25th March. In West Bengal, a man was allegedly assaulted by the police when he stepped out to buy milk. He later died from his injuries. In the initial weeks of lockdown, the police assaulted 173 people and were allegedly responsible for 27 deaths.
The article also highlighted how the Delhi police have arrested several student leaders and other dissidents who legally protested anti-Muslim government laws in January and February.
In a riot situation in Northeast Delhi, policemen stood by while the attackers went about their business, evincing a state-led pogrom. To date, not a single policeman has been arrested for the documented excesses during the riots. And those who are concerned about Floyd’s death uncharacteristically remain silent.