We have become blind to a lot of these things because we are used to them, because they have become part of us. We have become used to our commuter bus drivers handing out that note to the policeman at the roadblock, to reading in the newspaper about a number of extra-judicial killings by the police, to hearing about ‘accidental discharge’. We are also used to the sound of a certain kind of hoot in heavy traffic, a hoot that signifies that an important dignitary is being ferried across in an important car, escorted by a van-full of MOPOL. Of course, the main reason the person is important is because they are a foreigner. We are so used to these things that we have become numb to them.
We must begin to rouse ourselves out of this complacency and ask questions. Are bribes openly given to or extorted by the police and extra-judiciary killings normal in a democracy? What is the government doing about them? Will any political party make them campaign issues in 2011?