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Europe’s new headache – Designer Drugs

August 1, 2010 6 comments

Though India is the world’s oldest and largest producer of drugs, Indian society does not have an drug-addiction problem. Wonder why?

A still from Apocalypse Now - a film full of surreal images like this.

A still from Apocalypse Now – a film full of surreal images like this.

European countries are scrambling to crack down. The U.K., Sweden and Germany all recently banned one of the most popular drugs, mephedrone, or Meow Meow, which first appeared in 2007. The U.K. last week announced a ban on naphyrone, or NRG-1, which surfaced after the mephedrone ban.

But authorities are having a hard time keeping up with all the new concoctions. As soon as one is banned, another appears, they say. Last year, 24 new “psychoactive substances” were identified in Europe, almost double the number reported in 2008, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, which keeps European Union policy makers informed on the state of drug use.

European authorities say some of the drugs are cooked up in China, where they say lax control of chemicals makes it easier for manufacturers to obtain the raw ingredients. (via Designer Drugs Baffle Europe – WSJ.com).

Guns and crime

Gun ownership has been suspected behind the crime rates in the US. But the most recent argument against this theory is the spate of bank robberies – which dilutes this argument – at least partly. Estimates of the national stock of guns in the US varies between 40 million to 50 million households which own 200 million guns.

India nukes the gun-control logic! (Click for larger image.).

India nukes the gun-control logic! (Click for larger image.).

India is, in many ways, different. Recent estimates show that India is the second largest gun owning population in the world – with 4.6 crores (46 million) guns. One report states that UP alone has 900,000 licensed fire-arm holders and 1,400 arms dealers. Another report estimates more than 3 lakh illegal firearms in New Delhi alone.

Behind every great fortune …

In modern times, though India is a power in computing industry, India is not a big player in spamming or in software virus. In August 2008, there was a hoax story, which alleged that an Indian hacker, had broken into a credit card database – and sold to the European underworld – and some ‘experts’ feared that this would spark of a crime wave across Europe.

Like software, India has a large domestic, industrial base in advanced pharmaceuticals. With pharma firms exports to the developing world and with subsidiaries in the Western world, Indian pharma companies have posed a threat to Western pharma firms. The Western pharma industry’s dependence on ever-greening their patents for continued prosperity has hit a wall with the growth in Indian challenge.

How come Indian expertise in pharma manufacturing not getting diverted to ‘designer-drugs’?

How is it that Indian guns don’t kill, Indian software experts don’t spread malware and Indians pharma-engineers don’t lead in narcotics production?

There is crime

The largest prison population in the world is in USA, now at 2 million. The US has more people in prison than the totalitarian regimes of Russia or China. USA also has one of the highest crime rates in the world.

The current status of Indian criminal system is a study in contrast. India, with a population of 110 crores (1100 million) has a prison population of 2 lakhs (0.2 million). The Indian National Human Rights Commission gives a figure of 3.5 lakhs as the prison population – including convicts and those who are undergoing trial. The UK Home Office survey of World Prison Population estimates Indian prison population at 2.5 lakhs.

The ‘Desert Bloc’ societies are great believers in the death sentence. On the other, year after year, India has had the lowest numbers of death sentences – and executions. For instance, the ‘Grand Debate’ in the US of A, is as schizophrenic as it can get.

With less than 25 people per 100,000 in prison India has the world’s lowest imprisonment rate. Cynics may snigger at India’s ‘inefficient’ police or the slow court procedures as the cause for this low prison population. That can only mean criminals are at large and India must, therefore have the highest crime rate – which is not true. India has low or average crime rates – based on category.

All the indices …

All the 5 indices (below) create a bias for a lawless Indian society and rampant crime. With these five indices, namely: –

  1. Police to population ratio (‘increase police force’).
  2. Prison population (‘put more criminals behind bars’)
  3. Capital punishment (‘kill enough criminals to instill fear’)
  4. Poverty (‘it is poverty which the root of all crime’)
  5. Gun ownership (‘more guns means more crime’)

against a stable social system, how does India manage low-to-average crime rates.

How can India have such a low prison population, with a poor police-to-population ratio and a crime rate which is not above the average – in spite of a large civilian gun population.

A wrong question can only get you the wrong answers! Guns are the subject.

A wrong question can only get you the wrong answers! Guns are the subject.

When the State commissions crimes!

Behind every great fortune there is a crime – Honoré de Balzac.

For many centuries, piracy, slavery, were encouraged, licensed by European States.

Balzac’s statement only be understood with that background. Coppola’s Apocalypse Now was inspired by Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. A book examines this phenomenon tangentially – when a ‘licensed’ fighter goes ‘private’! In Asia. Like Britons did in India.

Remember O’Dyer and O’Dwyer!


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