Saturday, October 24, 2020
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Your Crime versus Your Crime

B L Saraf

It has become the most disreputable tale of the day . And , to our misfortune the day comes off and on . On the top of it , we the unfortunate mortals are condemned to listen it , minute by minute , from all corners . Tale of “ Your crime versus Your crime “ may be titled in the Second person but when heard carefully , it makes a clear cut battle between First Person and The Second Person - between Me and You -where one party wants to score over the other and hurl a taunt that “ your crime is worse than mine .” In the present context , the parties to the battle are , BJP on one side and the INC on the other . This has turned into a competition in absurdities .

Immediate “ Inspiration “ of the tale is the “ Hathras Shame .” A 19 year old girl of the village Hathrras ,in State of the UP , was allegedly raped and then murdered by some young men of the locality . The heinous act caused a widespread anger among the countrymen and everyone blamed UP Chief Minister , Yogi Adityanath , for failing to avert commission of offence and called in question his administrative capabilities to curb crime in the state . Local police and administrative machinery were , in particular , accused of being incompetent and prejudiced against the victims’ family . What made things worse for CM Yogi was the mid night cremation of the dead victim girl done by local police , in total disregard of Hindu tradition and religious rites . People described it , not without a reason , as most outrageous act . Hathras incident is not the first of its kind that has occurred in UP ,under present CM . Many such incidents took place where mighty and powerful politicians of the ruling party were, allegedly, found involved . At some places , the ‘ bahubalis ‘ of other political parties did not lag behind in the dishonorable race .

As it has become a routine , all TV Channels went ballistic , collected the “ assorted and convenient “ faces to show a “feigned indignity “ and shower pearls of wisdom, as how to cure the system . Naturally , BJP government in U P and its CM were put in the dock . Opposition political parties also went after BJP and Adityanath . Finding itself cornered , the BJP soon shifted the scene to Rajasthan where , incidentally , the graph of crime committed against women is also on the rise . So , now INC and CM Gehlot had to face the music .

We leave political parties to their games . However , the question begs answer : will a crime committed against a young girl in one state, ruled by one political party , get condoned by a commission of similar kind of crime in other state, ruled by other political dispensation ?

The petty minded politicians must understand that, no matter, wherever a crime against women takes place it brings shame to the whole country . And when an element of caste and class is interjected in the sordid drama the society at large gets lacerated . Rape is not only an assault on the physical body of the victim but also it totally destroys her emotional and psychological being .

There should be no hesitation in accepting that ours has become a decadent society . Such abhorrent crimes don’t scratch our conscience . Perhaps , that explains our indifference and shrug off attitude towards these diabolical offences : with the result the perpetrators walkout scot free with a sense of impunity . Our moral fabric has worn out , thanks largely to a cunning and manipulative politician .

The most shameful side of the story is that in order to evade responsibility and accountability we tend to draw equivalences even in the commission of crime . BJP spokesperson and their convenient TV Anchors plus opinion makers gloat over an insignificant medical report which is referred to show that no rape was committed on the Hathras victim . They plead innocence and blame Congress government of Rajasthan where , according to them , girls are sexual assaulted , regularly . How does it matter what the BJP spokespersons say that there is no conclusive proof of sexual assault on the victim . Shorn off the legal niceties , the incident has enough ingredients to shame the UP administration, in particular . How will the CM –a Yogi – explain murder of a poor and disempowered girl - and on what Dharama parameter the protector of faith can justify the midnight – almost stealth - cremation of a Hindu .

Having an impeccable spiritual upbringing and an demonstrable religious outlook , people expect a ‘ Yogi ‘ CM to be a role model . So , he has to act extraordinarily and not get distracted from the task by insignificant legal niceties ,or nauseating comparisons . All administrative and spiritual measures must be employed to give real justice to the poor victim . Payment of cash compensation is not equivalent to the justice which the real culprits should be brought to . Life of a person and especially the chastity and honor of a young girl are too precious to be bartered away like commodities . Nor can their loss be equaled by cash or other considerations . CM Yogi fully knows that concept of Blood Money is alien to our culture .

CM Adityanath must stop the SIT , constituted prior to his order of handing over the matter to the CBI , from proceeding with the investigation of the crime .Instead of doing a fair job the SIT is turning rules of crime detection on their head . As reported by the media the special team is proposing a Norco test on the family members of the victim rather than putting accused to such a test . The job should be totally left to the CBI .

Similarly , questions must be asked on the rising crime graph in Rajasthan . The INC cannot be selective in showing the indignation . Party High Command must seek explanation from the State’s CM in this regard which will lend moral authority to it while blaming UP CM for the Hathras incident . But it won’t be done because politicians , these days , do not rely on agenda of social reconstruction , or for that matter any agenda, except the manipulative one which ensures their hold on political and administrative power . They don’t have any regard for the ‘means ‘ , all that matters to them is the ‘end ‘. Political parties believe in event management and distraction from the real issues confronted by the people . Barring few , politicians , of any color or hue , are hugely disappointing .

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

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