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An estimated 3-minute read

What the law doesn't protect you from

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Variously touted as the great equalizer or a common pack animal, the law has served many purposes. But no matter how many times it is reinvented or regurgitated, the gargantuan body of rules that passes for the law in this country somehow manages to lose the plot. For instance, there's no law that protects you from people who try ever so hard to steal precious minutes from your short life.

Law schools would head the list of culprits, followed by bad novelists and filmmakers. Advertising professionals are just as bad. And I'm not just griping; I intend to provide solutions. If you don't act on them, it's your loss, really. How, indeed, ought the law to react to this menace? Compensate them. Give the poor student/reader/unsuspecting member of the audience their time back. The law excels at giving back what was taken, and then some, a little something called damages, doesn't it? The offenders could do their victims' laundry and visit their rich-but-boring-aunts on their behalf while the offendees took a few quiet weekends off. That could work; and the 'novelists' would never attempt another 'work' again either. Everyone wins, yes?

That was innocent enough, although the long-term effects can be appalling (just look at all the law school graduates and Dan Brown/Ian McEwan/Chetan Bhagat fans and the extent of the horror will hit you like a horde of stampeding zombies). But the law turns a blind eye to some rather more heinous crimes, and criminals. Rapists, for one; the majority are never caught. And those that are caught, are never punished appropriately. What, pray, is the point of gaoling a man in his early twenties for fourteen years hence, only to unleash him into the world at large as a sexually deprived virile forty-year-old? I fail to see the reason underlying this proposition. (And then, there are some that campaign to do away with porn altogether; but later on this.) Castration is the only form of punishment that appears to make sense. Compare this, if you will, with a driver's license, or even, your life. If you misuse it, the state ought to take it away. It's quite straightforward, and yet, I'm surprised that nobody has thought of it yet.

And then there are the neighbours. Tort laws have screamed themselves hoarse on the subject, and yet it's not a drooping tree that gets you in the end. Her shrill voice rends your early mornings and his over-sensitive car-alarm is set off by the cat skulking ten feet away every night. As if that's not enough, there are the children. The ill-mannered, nose-picking, loud, annoying children that taunt your dog to madness and through irrationally noisy birthday parties. But if you ever tried to strangle them, which is what any reasonable man having a reasonable reaction to the situation would attempt to do, the law would never side with you. The law ought to be modified while dealing with neighbours: nothing about the situation is remotely reasonable. Only an altogether separate set of guidelines will work.

Which conveniently brings us to the next point of interest, viz, morons. Love them, hate them, but you cannot escape them. They're everywhere. It is an unpleasant shock when they begin to state the obvious in classrooms. And then you encounter hordes of them pushing to queue up at airport gates. Then you turn on the TV and they're there on news channels, every night, taking forward the fond project begun in the classroom, of stating the obvious in five different ways no less. But you realise, with dawning horror, how dangerous they can be, when you perceive their very numbers. They put people in high offices, and thus control the newspapers, supermarkets and the company that makes your refrigerator. This is where I'm drawing a blank. Any suggestions?
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