BY SALIL GEWALI
When the desire for a sense-object overwhelms, the logical mind becomes unsteady. This subsequently might force the “feet” to take wrong steps. Sometimes such wrong steps are brutally detrimental. While the high society of Bollywood is now joyfully groping in the darkness of materialism, some section of actors is longing for a “quick high” and so they are doping themselves with intoxicants. The recent shocking revelation following the controversial suicide case of Sushant Singh Rajput has rocked the entire country. The media went overboard. The finding of the intricate network between the drug cartels and the actor Rhea Chakraborty, who was a former girlfriend of Sushant Singh, has brought forth what were less known earlier. Rhea Chakraborty has now been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau, India. Many other are being interrogated, top actors of B-town are deeply involved. A senior psychiatrist from Pune says — “what we have heard about the ‘Bollywood’s tryst with drugs’ is just the tip of the iceberg. In the country, our youths, from lower to upper economic strata, are badly affected by the drug addiction.”
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Of course, while the drugs with various combinations and names have penetrated deeply into Indian society, the Government agencies and its police forces are practically caught between the devil and the deep sea. Well, with the cutting-edge technology at ones’ command, the jaws of the menace have more teeth now, and thus it looks more ferocious and ominous. While, about 25-30 million people in USA are drug addicts and are mentally depressed, India is not far behind as the trend is catching on. High society apart, the addiction to various addictive substances among adolescent students in India have adversely affected the countless households. Any unsuspecting corners could be the hotspot while the WhatsApp and mobile messengers are the faithful interface. They easily help pull off the dope deal anytime, anywhere.
One can put the blame on the flawed modern culture. The society usually advocate the “personal freedom” for the youngster at an age who can’t even “distinguish” between good and bad, decent and indecent and nectar and poison. Not just that, in the thick delusion of the dope pleasure and its addiction, many have begun to see even the household members as their deadly enemies. A few week ago, a certain newspaper carried the news that a father was beaten black and blue by his own cannabis addict son. The son, with his face masked, did this only to snatch away the money which the father was carrying after drawing the monthly salary. Just look at the degree of desperation that drives the addicted son to act so abnormally and with such cruelty. Procuring the addictive substance is his only goal, no matter how, no matter what.
There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. An increasing number of petty thefts, muggings, burglaries, lootings and a host of violent attacks on the roadsides, which often disrupt the peace in the society, have usually to do with those who have fallen victim to narcotics. It’s reported that in a span of one year there is about 20% to 30% rise in the substance abuse in India. A worried social activists from Bangalore, Mr. Rajiv Iyer laments thus — “Unemployment and availability of various kind of drugs are the main reasons for an upsurge in the menace. The frustrated lot is quite prone to seek escape and take refuge in substances which are made available by their peer groups.” True, the saying — ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’ should always make the government and the parents extra alert.
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In this aspect what intensely upsets the police fraternity is NDPS act (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances). The act lets off the addict/seller with less than 5 grams of drug. It is being heavily exploited to get the peddlers out of prison. Most of the hard-core peddlers, with the help of lawyers, peddle the stories of innocence too quickly and too easily. The addicted are fondly caressed; hence a peddler pretend to be the one!
With the increase in the drug abuse and its adverse impact on society, we should question the law practitioners that why the ethics are just thrown to the wind and put the soul up for sale! Many worried parents and also police officers have accounted how a bunch of “lawyers” cleverly use the loopholes in the NDPS act to save the cruel peddlers having link with international drug cartels. One affluent businessman Mr. Ravi Mehta from Mumbai quips “Don’t the lawyers know it is the narcotic peddlers who usually entice our unsuspecting children with the doses of opium/cocaine first and then push them into the pit of no-return? Do the lawyers have no grown-up children at home who might in a twist of fate be caught up by such peddlers and teach them this dangerous habit?” Ravi Mehta has only one son who had fallen victim of the drug addiction and is now in a rehab centre.
One of the police officers in Delhi, who put all efforts in arresting a good number of drug peddlers in two months, rues — “all those arrested drug peddlers by our dedicated team were released on bails within no time. Many have again got into the same trade/habit. This fact alone discourages our police fraternity to hunt around for the peddlers on a war footing. Besides, we also have to go through lengthy procedures and papers formalities before arresting any peddlers.” This is the ground really directly from the horse’s mouth. One believes, why does the government not consider relieving the police of gathering the evidence and maintain the tedious paper work? For that let there be a separate cell with narcotic experts in each state. The police job should end immediately with the arrest of the culprit. This way we can achieve a very good result, else, the society will be further afflicted with the scourge.
One of the concerned scholars from Mumbai says, “Parents these days feel happy about buying expensive mobiles for their children. Do they really care to know what other horrible activities that their grown-up children are getting done with the help of the devices? So far I know, the drug-related message and information is only one of the many vices.” A secretary of a welfare organisation in Assam, Mr. Manish Patel, who has continuously asked this writer to write article about the rise of drug menace, quips —“All should join hands to contain the drug menace. Especially the parents should not be complacent after sending their children to college and tuition armed with cell phones. Many outrageous things prop up to greet one right at the click of the cell phone.” Indeed Mr. Patel is very correct that the “parents must be extra watchful” now than ever before. The vices now come and attack us in the “digital format” in various avatars for which we do not see any effective anti-vices being peddled by anyone and anywhere.
An India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’ which has earned worldwide appreciations. Translated into Twelve languages, his book has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA.