By : Ananya S. Guha
Once again we find children at the receiving end of heinous crimes. The perpetrators are the politicians and officials of state governments. I am speaking of what happened in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu. In both cases people who are supposed to preserve the law have tainted it with bloody hands. In the former the father of the 16 year old, because his family protested was assaulted, taken to hospital, removed to jail and was brutally killed there. What is the India of saving and educating the girl child? What is the India of the 21st century, the clean India, the India of technology and showy malls? And these people are defended by the Govt in the first case and lawyers in the second. Those who talk about history and the primeval instincts of rulers in the past, are shaming their acts, by actually keeping silent and defending these criminals. A sixteen year old and an eight year old have been raped and tortured. Where are all the organizations, especially women's ? The slurs on a nation continue unabated.
The worst is the attack on children. School buses have been assailed over the issue of a film. Children or young adults are raped. Mothers in front of husbands. What is the country coming to? The innocence of children have been traumatized. The trauma engulfs the entire nation. The correspondent reality will be anger. Every situation, every event is politicized. Those holding the bastions of power are only blaming their political rivals. In the Uttar Pradesh case no FIR has been filed against the supposed culprit and the Chief Minister is maintaining a stodgy ( and dodgy) silence, only uttering homilies of how the culprits will be punished. But the culprit and his brother have been identified. What does he do, he flaunts his power unabashedly, with a crooked and sick smile. The entire country has seen it. And one participant in a TV channel discussion has the temerity to say that in the past he belonged to another political party!
The politics of expediency has gripped the nation in a monstrous way. And these incidents also include raping scheduled caste women. The larger reality is that of atrocities committed against ' lower castes' and the poor. The political strata is now being identified as oppressor with upper caste predilections, and the oppressed being the ' lowly ' and the poor. In between we have fracas between majoritarian and minority religious groups.
What could be more fractious, caste prone and communal? The country is being divided on every conceivable line: women, caste, religion, ethnic. The majoritarian view is fiendishly upper class and caste. Politicians are pitting one community against another. West Bengal is the latest case in point.
( The author is Regional Director, Indira Gandhi National Open University Shillong, a poet and a writer. He is also the Honorary Editor of South Asia Views).