On 8thof April, an eighteen-year-old woman attempted suicide in front of the residence of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath. This single incident brought her long and painful story of the last ten months to limelight.
The story of Power and Favours and of trust
In July 2017, the victim reportedly approached the accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar to help her find a job, when he asked for sexual favours in return. The girl refused this and the accused raped the girl. The girl and her family approached to police to file a complaint in a local police station where they were refused. The victim and her family ran from pillar to post to file an FIR but were not succesful. Fed up of all this, the girl went near the residence of the CM of Uttar Pradesh and attempted to commit suicide in front of the CMs residence if no action was taken. This is when the case caught the attention of the media. There was pressure everywhere. So, finally an FIR was filed against the accused and the case got under investigation.
Meanwhile, the father of the victim was taken into judicial custody under the Arms Act. The Arms Act was just a pretext, the real intention was to force him and his family to withdraw the FIR. He ultimately died in police custody. According to NDTV’s report, the post mortem report highlights 14 injuries, including abrasions, contusions and bruises. “The postmortem report of the 55-year-old listed multiple abrasions near abdomen, buttocks, thighs, above and below knee joints and arms. It, however, listed blood poisoning due to perforation of colon as the cause of death. Perforation of colon, which is a part of intestines, can be caused by a number of diseases. It can also be caused by blunt trauma to the abdomen or a knife or gunshot wound,”. In connection to this, the brother of the accused MLA was arrested.
The Supreme court is yet to hear the plea for a CBI probe into the incident. The NHRC has communicated with the UP Government and has sought detail report into the case and has directed it to prevent the further harassment of the victim and her family. It has also told that the allegations, if true, are a serious violation of human rights of the victims and her family.
Showing the Dark Side of the biggest Democracy of the World
This incident shows the ‘side effects’ of India being the largest democracy in the world. It is to be noted here that the accused MLA was elected for the fourth time. This raises serious questions – did not the people know his true colour? If they knew, why did they elect them? If they did not know, on what criteria did they elect this man? Should a rapist be a representative of the people?
This shows a serious crack in India’s democracy. A democracy can only become successful only if its people are educated, enlightened and are capable of deciding who should be their ruler, based on his merits, not by the number of biryani packets or liquor he distributes or the number of clothes he provides.
This calls for a thorough research on the awareness of the people and an effective education of the masses on whom to elect, based on what considerations. The Common Man of India should start questioning each and every action of what an elected representative takes in his public life. Then alone such Kuldeep Singhs can be checked from getting power into their hands.
It is high time people stop going to politicians asking for favours like getting a job, procuring a document, etc. Let us work hard upon improving our own merits and capacities and also teach our children to. Is it not a humiliation to hold the feet of those people whom we have elected to serve the very us?
A Dim Light on the Fairness of the Law Enforcing Agencies
This incident also brings to light at least partially the level of ‘fairness’ that the law enforcing agencies follow. The victim was repeatedly refused to file even a first information report, just because the other party was an MLA. They seem to have separate laws for the Common Man and the Power Man.
The victim’s father was immediately arrested after the arrest of the MLA, booking him under the Arms Act. Even if the victim’s father possessed illegal arms, he should have had it before. The intelligence of the police, which could not detect this fact before the arrest of the MLA, suddenly makes out that he is a defector of the Arms Act and arrests him. Is the timing of the arrest not fishy?
The post mortem report clearly shows that the victim’s father was severely physically abused before death. He died in police custody and the MLA’s brother was taken into judicial custody in connection with this assault. While it is difficult for even a close relative of the imprisoned person to meet him while in judicial custody, is it possible to believe that a goon just walks into the jail and thrashes the person arrested and threatens him to withdraw the case without the help of the local police?
Justice Equals Loss of Dignity?
What can be implied from this incident to a common man of India is that if he ever happens to have gone through injustice, that too by a person in power, the best thing is to book a place in front of the residence or office of somebody in power (preferably the Chief Minister, higher the power, faster the results) and pour kerosene on himself and light a matchstick and shout out, ” I am going to die because ……….”. Burn himself if nobody heeds to him or blow the match stick to answer the questions of the media. The powerful person is less likely to come out. What on Earth does this mean? Does he have to give up his dignity to get justice? Imagine the plight of a girl who is just eighteen, yet to see life, standing on the streets and announcing to the world that she has been raped by so-and-so and she wants justice. What happens to her life ahead in a highly stigmatized society?
Do incidents like this call for another movement called “Beti Chupao” ( Hide your daughter) in the lines of “Beti bacho, Beti Padhao”( Save your daughter and educate her) ?
Why Should We Care?
This is the typical attitude of an Indian on such cases. People do not wake from their sleep unless it affects their lives. There were widespread protests for the Nirbhaya case because the victim could be any of us – ourselves, our daughters, sisters, wives or mothers or even our grandmothers.” Here, it is just somebody who is suffering and this cannot be generalised. So let her suffer, why should we poke our noses and get into trouble?” However, humans, please do not forget that even the victim and her father were very humans with the very red blood that we have and with all the features of a human being. If it is them today, it may be someone amongst us with kerosene or a bottle of poison tomorrow . Indians should wake up and ensure that the justice is given to the victim and the death of her father and laws are made to prevent more Kuldeep Singhs coming up. This should be a strict warning to such beasts.
What Lies ahead?
The victim’s family already had a hard time digesting the harsh reality of the rape of their daughter. Like salt on an already burning wound (” jale pe namak”), the bread earner of the family is gone. The family will probably relocate themselves to some other remote place and try to carry on as usual.
The young girl, who just like other girls of her age would have had dreams about life will confine herself without exploring much, for the fear of such recurrences. The very sight of a man disgusts her. She is prevented from studying further and is forcefully married to a man found willing to marry her.
The soul of the deceased father looks on the family left behind and waits for justice.
The arrested MLA will be in the prison with the 5-star hotel facilities and after the matters cool down or ( if awarded a prison sentence after) serving his prison sentence, comes out with his shameless head high, and probably again gets elected in the next elections.
We, the common people go on with our lives as usual. We wake up in the morning, browse through the newspaper for such incidents and say, ” Huh.. Where is India going ahead?”, turn to the next page and read the latest gossips of the film industry and turn to the last page to see what happened to the India-Pakistan match and rejoice if India won and accuse the players for fixing the match if India has lost. Then look through the statistics of the number of soldiers deceased in the border firing as if it is the marks of a topper in an examination. Then, look into our watches and rush to offices, schools and colleges.
Life will go on as usual………