February 18, 2007

A story of two slums

Liked this article... Felt good about India govt.'s arms & ammunition policy. In India, It is not easy to get license for a gun. There are +ve and -ve effects of it. I guess there is more +ve than -ve to it.

Sometime back I met a guy on my Kumaraparvata trek. He was there with two of his coteries. His friends started praising him as if he was some VVIP. They claimed he had three guns. Guns!? - An interesting topic! I started asking him questions regarding the procedure to procure a license. As per him it was not a big deal. With news items like "Software Engineer waylaid" taking rounds in Indian news papers, I can easily request for a license. What takes time is the red-tapism after submitting the request. You will have to pay the officials some "kick backs" to process the request fast. There is another problem too: Once you have the license, you got to get a good gun. And guns which are very very cheap outside, cost a fortune in India. He named a few companies, which I don't remember, and claimed that he was the proud owner of the guns manufactured by them. "What about air guns?" I checked with him hoping that it won’t require any license. He gave me some gyaan on it. Said that some air guns are really powerful. That there is this spring which decides the air guns' capability and that the India govt. won’t let people carry air guns whose spring has the strength beyond a limit set by the govt. The workaround? Get in the spring separately...

My friend who got married in Bihar had to carry a double barrel gun with him. He was carrying lot of expensive jewelries and had the fear of dacoits. He told me that he had to submit a reason, while purchasing the ammunition. This info he submitted goes all the way to the collectorate.

All in all, red-tapism seems to be doing good in checking the proliferation of guns in India.

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