It is extremely busy Sunday today. It was supposed to be. We are shifting our institute to a bigger and better place. Today we are starting repairing work in that premises. Apart from that, today we are starting our “ Only On Sunday Batch ” for working professionals in Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri, Mumbai. Preoccupied, as I was since yesterday, I was not thinking about any other thing. Apart from that, I was not well also. After I wrote my last blog on 19th of July, a deluge of emotions engulfed me. I succumbed to it and fell ill.
But a very disturbing incident, which happened on the evening of 23rd July, shook me completely. A woman from Dumka / Jesidih, Jharkhand, a province of India, was stripped and beaten up by some hooligans in full public view on the busy Exhibition Road in Patna, Bihar. She was screaming for help, looking for succour but nobody came forward. A voyeuristic crowd kept on watching the hapless girl and were enjoying the free show. Female modesty was outraged on the streets of Patna and no one came forward and helped or even protested. It happened in Patna, once known as Pataliputra, capital of prehistoric and ancient India. It happened in Patna, which was once the capital of Ashok the Great and before him, of his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. It happened in the city, which was once administered by legendary Chanakya the Great, the then Prime Minister of India. It happened in the city, where Selucus Nikator, the chieftain of Alexander, came as a victor and returned as a vanquished, after giving his daughter to Chandragupta Maurya in matrimony and along with her, whole of Afghanistan as dowry. It happened in the city, where mythical Ganga still flows silently, magnificently and calmly. In Indian mythology all the rivers are considered mothers and Ma Ganga is no exception. We believe that she can purge us of all our sins. But I know this sin cannot be purged, cannot be washed away even by Ma Ganga.
We Indians are hypocrites. And this is not a new phenomenon. It runs deep in our psyche. We worship lots of goddesses. We have 51 Shakti Peeths. We proclaim:
Yatra naryastu poojyante
Ramante tatra devatah
( Gods themselves, live in the places, where women are worshiped. )
And this is what we do to women. I was watching the incident on television channels. The anchor was interviewing a social worker of Patna, who was herself a lady. She said that girl in question might be a prostitute……….
My question is, even if the girl in question is a prostitute, was it proper? Was it appropriate? She didn’t deserve this and this shouldn’t have happened to her. What is more appalling and shameful, the police force reached late, though they were posted nearby but watched the drama silently for half an hour.
Congress, the old, dilapidated and virtually nonexistent party in Bihar, has started a political drama along with Lalu’s Rashtriya Janata Dal. Cries of “ Sushashan nahi Dushashan Hai; Cheer haran ka sashan Hai” , rattled the streets of Patna. They forgot that one Maya Tyagi was raped in Meerut during Indira Gandhi’s regime and instead of ordering the police to capture the culprits, she advised the victim to forget everything like a bad dream. What an advice from one woman to another??? No doubt, Indira Gandhi was called the only man in her cabinet!!! So at least Congress should stop politicizing the issue. Nitish Kumar, the present Chief Minister, at least suspended guilty cops and transferred many. Main culprit Rakesh Kumar has been arrested and massive hunt is on to nab other culprits.
My anger is not against the government. It is against the police. It is against the society. It is against the people of Patna, which was once kingdom of our country and was once known as Pataliputra.
Mumbai , India
Filed under: Social Issues