Monday, December 24, 2012

An open letter to Justice Markandeya Katju

Dear Markandeya katju,

            Nowadays writing an open letter to dignitaries has become a fashion. Every Tom, Dick and Harry writes letter to Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Manmohan Singh and in worst case to Digvijay singh. Until now I let the golden opportunity of getting instant fame go in vain. However your recent blog post on Delhi gang rape compelled me to write this letter.

           While expressing your opinion on Delhi gang rape you condemned this crime and asked court of law to give harsh punishment to guilty. However you also casted a doubt whether this same hue and cry had been raised had this incident taken place in rural India. Strangely, without waiting for the people to respond you yourself answered in negative and also added that Delhi is not the whole of India. 

            I know you were trying to hint that media and parliament are apathetic to the agony of poor and rural India. Why not, after all in the eyes of great intelligentsia of this country it is nothing less than a sin to ask for the rights of urban or middle class people. No matter how much wounded you are you have a right to scream only if you are a poor person according to the standards set by our very holy planning commission or if you live in a hut in some remote tribal area where Rahul Gandhi can come and have a dinner once in a blue moon. Otherwise all your cries are fake, your call for your right is bigotry of neo rich middle class.

           Well let me first tell you that rape is a rape whether it takes place in any remote part of India or in the national capital. However what makes Delhi gang rape more serious and perturbing (it is not an isolated case) is that it took place below the very nose of corridors of power. Delhi which is the capital of this country, the place where the Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Rashtrapati Bhuwan are situated. Where Police, para military forces, elite forces like S.P.G and N.S.G are stationed, which is supposed to be secure and guarded like a fort. If women are unsafe in Delhi then where else can they remain safe.

        You also blamed that 2,50,000 farmers have done suicide in last 10-15 years but there has hardly been any uproar. It really amazes me that how our so called intellectuals resonate in support of their blabbering. Every farmer, engineer, doctor or teacher indulging in suicide is not doing it because of professional reasons. There may be several reasons like extra marital affairs, enmity, alcoholism, mental sickness and so on behind a person’s suicide. Now naturally because India is still an under developing economy 2/3 people in this country are farmers and because of that if you look at suicide figures profession wise you will always find large number of farmers committing suicide.  I am not saying that all farmers committing suicide are doing it because of above mentioned unprofessional reason but claiming all these deaths are because of misery and poverty of farmers and then pinching each and everyone that unless and until problem of farmer's suicide is not solved no other issue can be raised is stupidity.

          You are saying that everyday 45 farmers commit suicide but you must be knowing that every minute 23 women are raped and this is official figure which must be lower than actual figures since in our patriarchal society it is really difficult for woman to come out and complaint that she has been raped. Even if she does that, in many instances police denies writing their complaint since it unnecessarily increases their burden of work. I am not saying that issue of farmer’s suicide is less important than gang rape. Actually both problems are different than each other and should be dealt separately rather than mingling it with each other. However everyone will agree that because of huge vote bank of farmers they are being helped in various ways in the form of subsidy, minimum support prices, waiver of debt, cheap debt(7% per anum and if farmer pays it promptly then next time he’ll get it at the rate of 4% per anum) and tax free income. Of course because of corruption many of these benefits don’t reach to farmers but corruption is not only hurting farmers it is equally painful for urban middle class also whom you are blaming.

       You are blaming the people that they are not raising enough voice over the issue of massive unemployment, skyrocketing inflation and shabby condition of primary education, but do you have slightest of idea that it is these very people whom you are blaming for not being serious enough are the victims of unemployment and double digit inflation. There is lot of anger among people over these issues but people understand that these problems are not created by someone with criminal intentions like rape rather some of them are global phenomena, hence it will take some time to reduce unemployment and inflation and making furor over every issue will not solve the problem.

       You are saying that section 376 of Indian penal code already contains life sentence for rape and hence there is no need of raising demand for capital punishment on rape. But, can you tell me in how many cases rapists have been awarded life term. Had our legal system seriously sentenced people with strict punishment then menace of rape wouldn’t have grown up to such an extent (I know there are other reasons too). In most of the cases accused get acquitted because of shabby legal process. Criminals get bail in few days and then roam freely but victim suffers the life term of ignominy, social boycott and mental harassment. Cases take decades to reach the climax and if victim is fortunate to get the conviction of criminal, punishment in such cases is very trivial. In fact Pratibha Patilhas made another record by pardoning many rapists cum murderers in wholesale.

       Finally if you believe that some issue requires people’s attention then you can raise that issue separately but you have no right to ask people who raise some important issues that why are you showing outburst on particular issue when you didn’t raise your voice over other issue. Different people have different priorities, no one can fight for all the issues in the world. Rape is not the only national problem in the country, but rape certainly is a national problem in the country. Rather than issuing useless statements and making controversies do some real job. 
                                                      A common man of India

1 comment:

  1. Bhavin, I had not read the blog post of Justice Katju earlier. Just read it and then could understand your anger about it.

    I too am surprised the way he has tried to balance out rape with other social evils. As u rightly pointed out, if the punishment meted out for rape were stringent enough then that would hv deterred people from comitting such a crime. There is no fear of law. Yes this hue and cry is required to mark it in everybodyz memory....before the incident gets faded the public memory is very short.


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