Vice Squad
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
India and John Stuart Mill

"No person ought to be punished simply for being drunk; but a soldier or a policeman should be punished for being drunk on duty." So wrote John Stuart Mill in the fourth chapter of On Liberty. In India, they are beginning to take this to heart, following a horrific alleged rape involving a drunken police officer. It turns out that surprise inspections revealed that some 36 officers in Mumbai were drunk on duty last year. This Times of India story has more; here's an excerpt:
Lawyer Sudeep Pasbola said, "Normally you will find 50% of constabulary drunk on night duty. There are several reasons ¬óbad living conditions, the pressure under which they are working and long duty hours. There are also emotional and social reasons. Many constables do not have quarters and their families stay in villages. For some others, they are not able to enjoy a good family life as they are on duty for as long as 12 to 15 hours daily. They resort to drinking in an attempt to drown their sorrows."
Mill, like his father, was a long-time (and high-ranking) employee at India House.

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