Published: 06th July 2020
What do the words 'lock up', 'lockdown', 'curfew' and 'humane' mean?
The word ‘allegedly’ is used to convey that something is claimed to be the case although there is no concrete proof at the time of talking or writing about the incident
Mary: John, It is July. You told me in March that the Coronavirus wouldn’t last long?
John: Did I?
Mary: Yes, you did. You said, “Corona won’t last long because it was made in China.” Sadly, the joke didn’t come true.
John: Men crack jokes and forget but women….
Mary: Yes, women are different from men in many ways. By the way, the curfew in Tamilnadu has been extended till 31st July.
John: Mary, it is not a curfew. It is a lockdown.
Mary: Is there any difference between a curfew and a lockdown?
John: Yes. Curfew is a rule that sets a time for people to stay home and not to venture out. During a curfew, most essential services are suspended and educational institutions, factories, offices and shops are shut. Only administration and police personnel are allowed on the street. But during the lockdown, all essential services are available and only non-essential services are restricted. People are advised to go out only if they have to.
Mary: Oh I see. By the way, is lock up in any way related to lockdown?
John: Though both the words contain “lock” in them, lock up has an entirely different meaning. It means temporary detention of suspects. It also refers to a jail used for the purpose of detaining someone temporarily.
Mary: Got it. Now I remember reading a story about lock-up deaths a few years ago.
John: This morning I read a news report about a cop who was suspended for posting the message “We are waiting for the next lock-up death” on Facebook.
Mary: I think cops are going mad these days.
John: Yes. It is sad they police are going mad these days. Sadly, various reports indicate that. Though it isn’t good to generalize, I think many cops lose control and act wildly.
Mary: Did you hear about the deaths of a man and his son due to custodial torture?
John: I was shocked to hear about it. It has been the talk of the town for more than a week.
Mary: Talk of the town? What do you mean?
John: If many people are talking about a person or topic in a certain area, we say that the person or the topic is the talk of the town. It is because of the recent eventfulness.
Mary: Why did some newspapers report the deaths of the father-son duo as “allegedly due to custodial torture”?
John: The word ‘allegedly’ is used to convey that something is claimed to be the case although there is no concrete proof at the time of talking or writing about the incident. So, many journalists use the word “allegedly” in their stories as it offers a kind of protection to them.
Mary: Of late, there have been more cases of custodial violence, custodial torture, and custodial deaths in our country? Why is it so?
John: It is because we don’t have humane and civilized police. Our police officers haven’t been trained to behave in a humane manner.
Mary: Humane? What is the difference between ‘human’ and ‘humane’?
John: Humane means to be kind and compassionate. When we say that someone is humane, we mean that the person is compassionate. ‘Human’ refers to things having to do with being a human being as in the examples human touch, human values, human rights, human behaviour, etc.
Mary: A month ago, George Floyd was killed in police custody in the US.
John: Yes we talked about it. Every country is cursed with inhuman police officers.
Mary: O God, let my country be blessed with humane police officers.