Self-defense laws in India exist to protect our self-respect, but most of our laws are designed to protect a few specific groups of people. For instance, the government has declared that anyone who kills a woman or child will be punished with death. They also have a law allowing the police to use lethal force to save human life. When we think about these laws, we imagine that these are very strict, but in reality they are very lenient.
In India, self-defense is extremely rare. The laws that exist, in the country that I live in, are designed to protect Indian citizens against foreigners and their “law enforcement” officers. However, these laws aren’t always strictly enforced. We tend to forget that when we’re not even paying attention.
The problem is that its difficult to prosecute people for self defense when you dont actually know if they might kill you. If you are attacked and you know that you have a knife with you, you might be able to save your life by fighting back, but if you arent, you are going to jail. This may seem like an odd concept to you, but in India, it is not so much that people are not armed, it is that they arent armed enough.
You see, in a country where the law is very weak, there can be serious penalties for even the most minor of crimes. In India, for instance, if you are caught with a knife in public it can lead to a jail sentence of up to 4 years. Similarly, you will get life imprisonment if you are caught with a knife in someone’s house.
This is a serious problem that many in India are still working around, in the face of the fact that a small minority of people are either oblivious to the law or have just been too afraid of it to ever be convicted. The police are extremely reluctant to investigate crimes, believing they are going to be arrested for all sorts of other crimes, including child molestation.
The jail sentence is a deterrent. This means that jail sentences get more expensive as the jail population grows and you’ll not be able to pay the fees.
So what are your options? Do you want to risk it all and just lock yourself in a room with a dozen armed guards? Or, do you want to fight back and get arrested and face a lengthy prison sentence? I know which I’d choose.
It depends on your personality. I am more of the latter, having been arrested for child molestation and molested myself. In the end though, I chose to fight back. The point is that it is better to fight back than to be arrested.
The good news is that in India, self-defence may be easy to get if you’re a member of the right age/gender/education group. The bad news is that some of the laws for self-defence are more lenient than they should be.
The question which comes up over and over again is, “Why should I bother?” The answer is that fighting back is something you’re already good at. That’s what I mean about the two levels of self-awareness. You’re already good at it. The problem is when you get in trouble and need to fight back. You have to use your self-awareness to keep yourself focused.