In Mahabharata, the genesis of the great battle of Kurukshetra was insult to a woman. Draupadi was wagered by Pandavas in the game of dice. She was disrobed by Kauravas after winning the game. Today, another Mahabharata is being enacted when a young nomadic girl is raped and murdered. Instead of finding her justice, we are embroiled in a battle of identity politics. We are busy digging out how many crimes have been committed on Hindus and how many by muslims. We are trying to find out if death of Asifa was a conspiracy to change demography Jammu? We are more interested in uniting Hindus and protect perpetrators of crime.
In a state where Mata Vaishno Devi has her seat, in a state where prepubertal girls are worshipped as manifestation of Mata, an eight year old girl was raped and killed. She was held captive and raped inside a temple, an abode of god. Someone travelled from a distant city of Meerut to Jammu, to rape this hapless girl. A policeman, who is supposed to protect average citizens, also raped her. Finally, just before she was to be killed, one man took his last shot at her drugged, battered body. Instead of helping jail these beasts, what do lawyers do? They march with tricolor demanding release of criminals. They threaten defence lawyer. They stop police from filing chargesheet.
Has our tricolor become so trivial that people march with it in defence of rapists and murderers? Is this the same tricolor, to protect whose honor our soldiers die everyday in our borders? All these men and some women too, are Hindus. Is it wrong, if I say I am embarrassed to call myself a Hindu?
I was reading an article by Ms Tavleen Singh. The author described how aggressive pursuer of Hinduvtwa ideology have hijacked development agenda of Prime Minister Modi. Every time an Akhlaq, a Pehlu Khan, an Afrazul, and now an Afisa is killed, and their perpetrators go unpunished, a section of moderate Hindu support is chipped away. There is no denying, there is selectivity in media coverage of events. May be certain events catch public imagination more. Recently, a girl was raped and set fire. She died in hospital. We did not hear much hue and cry. But, criminals were arrested. No one marched with tricolor to demand their release.
It is the job of our chosen leaders to assuage people’s fear. It is their job to apply balm on hurt psyche of citizens and heal the communal divide. Brushing aside of such incidents as criminal act may not help. Raucous debates, where statistics are thrown on crimes committed by one community vis a vis another, only alienates sensible people. What good is development statistics, when one community is pitted against the other? Point scoring spree on TV debate looks as appalling as a brawl in funeral procession. Please understand nation is mourning death of an eight year old. Powers that be, understand and appreciate the value of compassion, kindness and empathy, before you are swept away by deluge of public anger.