From arrest to bail: pathology of Malegaon

Malegaon: Overwhelming people in Malegaon are good natured. That does not exonerate them from the few who are in a pathological condition. They are of course not terror-prone at all.

Among the scourge that has exacted a terrible price from them is that the town is bustling with police informers. They would go to any extent to trap anyone for a trifling amount of money. There are also some who have “liaison” with police officers who use them in their nefarious designs. There are those who display expensive ornaments in a gaudy show that they are so close (intimate?) to the authorities. They are so meagre in possession that the gold is the symbol of having gained at long last the spoils of office and so they sashay and flaunt their decoration. Like Shakespeare’s characters in Measure for Measure, they make even the highest officer fall victim to their charms. By being exceptional, they have made Malegaon no less than the notorious towns of the old Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah. Thus adultery has come to stay. It finds manifestations. It subjugates the other better half to suit the ulterior designs of the rulers of the democratic set-up of sorts. It is this exception that has made the town suffer for its being otherwise so teeming with the good-hearted.

Inversely speaking, looking at what the town went through, a recourse to literature leads to the truth, by indirection find direction out, as Hamlet’s would-be father-in-law Polonius says. In Joseph Conrad’s novel The Secret Agent, there is a sensible woman of middle class background. She has a retarded brother and marries a fat secret agent. She hopes that her husband would be kind to her brother in return. The agent is used by the police as well as Russia which uses him to snoop on the British. The masters in Russia want him to plant a bomb. The agent gives the bomb to his brother in law and sends him to the weather observatory. It explodes and kills the poor differently abled. When she comes to know the secret design of her husband she kills him and tries to escape to a foreign country.

The police and Hindutva groups keep a tab on even this unseemly side of life in the town. They have information of the age and gender of the child of the accused or children their kin have. Thus the registrar collecting the papers of bail and solvency from the nine accused lost her temper when the evening was “etherized upon the table like a patient.” When the people beseeched her to hurry up she flared up and even threatened to frame the twelve-year-old son of one of the accused in blast case. They protested that they would tell it to the media to check her move.

Many of the accused have grown beards in the prison and others who already had made it wholesome as the five years had a bumper crop. One of the clean shaved was Abrar when he went to prison; and came out a bearded and clad in fashionable dress. In his affidavit of April 18, 2009 he speaks about Superintendent of Police Rajwardhan. The cop exhorted him to throw away the shoes which had been badly used and are torn. Abrar wrote that the cop wanted to drive a wedge between him and his wife. His advocate brother Jalil says that the wife and brother-in-law of Abrar got him framed up in the case. She, of course, sought to be divorced and is rumoured to have married another person to get rid of the nagging past. Her past might be like that but not her hubby. How can either of them redeem from their past? He in jail desired her photo as a companion to dispel loneliness in the cell. She inadvertently gave the photos which reveal more than the espousal companion he sought. She refused to be his companion in despair in the words of the subtitle of Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country. Coincidentally she is the next door neighbour of a famous man nicknamed Khurshid Bomb-walla. In 1968, a bomb had exploded in Ghoti neibourhood of Aurangabad. It was traced to a worker of Khurshid for which the owner of powerlooms and his worker were arrested. Jalil blames the family of his brother’s wife as police informers. Thus, history repeats itself for those who forget their past.

In the meantime, the people are celebrating the release of the accused little bothered by the Parliament-accused Prof SAR Gilani’s counsel for caution, the release of an innocent accused is not a matter of celebration but a time for reflection.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2011 on page no. 1

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