A man of a certain religion did things to a woman, she didn’t ask for. He did to her what they politely call harassment. For the respect of their community, for the pride of their family and for the dignity of that woman, her brothers vowed to avenge her. And so they did; by ending that harasser’s life.
Another woman just like her was brutally raped in India, last year. She didn’t live to ever know the joy of being served justice. What had the nation’s judiciary done? It gave one of the rapists a 3-year imprisonment sentence. You know why? Because he was a ‘juvenile’. He is a juvenile to be safe against indictment he deserves but he wasn’t juvenile when he was brutally raping and murdering a woman. When the law is that benign to rapists, why shouldn’t a brother, a father, a husband defend the woman of his house himself. And for the umpteenth time I say, death is what a rapist deserves.
Back to the recent relentless bloody play. Now, some men of that dead harasser’s religion set the score right by killing the brothers of the woman, who was harassed. Her family tried to log a report with the police but the police official in-charge at that time refused to do so. Appallingly, the police official’s denunciation of his duties was born off of his being of another religion.
The people of the harassed woman’s community had a meeting with notable political personalities about the issue. In India, we call it the Mahapanchayat. On their way back from the Mahapanchayat, the people of the community were greeted with an organized attack by the people of that other religion. Thirteen people died that night. And that night was roughly a month ago.
The place where those people died that Sunday night was Kawal village in Muzaffarnagar, India.
The woman harassed was a Hindu. The man who harassed her and the police official were Muslims. It’s weird that I mention the religions of the victim and the inflicter. It should have boiled down to the fact that a man harassed a woman. But in India it becomes about Muslims attacking the Hindus. The underlying cause of a woman’s dignity was soon lost in the midst of the communal uproar that followed the incident.
This is the land where my father, my grandfather were born. And now on the news I see scared, bloodied, unknown faces of people running away from their burning homes. No part of me aches with familiarity but it is scorched by a need to levy the blame on someone, everyone.
After the episode of night in Kawal, Muzaffarnagar district has gone through communal riots, army deployment, curfew, arson in broad daylight, ruthless murder, and people fleeing in search of refuge. And yet the laughable ‘official’ figures of the death toll remain just 43.
But this is India! Here, the meaning of Democracy is Monarchy.
When the concerned Chief Minister of the state makes his first appearance after that weekend’s communal riots, he decides to show up in an Islamic skull cap. I don’t know what his message was intended to be but that did nothing to abate the communal violence in the districts.
Yet this isn’t new. This divisive policy between the Hindus and Muslims has been worming into the roots of Indian politics since it’s rebirth in 1947.
Guess besides Democracy, one more word has a different meaning in India. Secularity. sec·u·lar·i·ty (sky-lr-t) the state of upholding the welfare of the present government’s favourite religion while crushing the others.