Hathras tragedy has exposed our double-standards
We are living in treacherous times! Where rapists and destroyers and criminals are managing to go about scot-free. The tragedy does not end there but stretches far beyond. What with at least two particular BJP politicians from Uttar Pradesh even heaping blame on that hapless teenaged Dalit girl of Hathras who was brutally assaulted, raped and much more.
Also, the fresh ploy put forth by the rulers of the day, of holding foreign powers or designs or vested interests responsible for the disasters taking place in the country, is not just mischievously misleading but downright bizarre!
No sir, our Dalit daughter was not destroyed nor burnt by the so-called foreign powers! She was attacked and raped by four Indian men of Uttar Pradesh and then she was later burnt by the state machinery. I wouldn’t dare say she was cremated. No, she wasn’t cremated—as cremation is done by the family and relatives amidst set religious rituals and traditions. It would be apt to say our 19-year-old teenager was burnt by the state force!
Are we being governed or conned by the rulers of the day? A state of affairs where nobody is safe. Any human form can be ruptured if not arrested and hounded by the State, on any given ploy. Don’t overlook the fact that all those who took part in the anti-CAA protests last winter in this capital city, New Delhi, are still being hounded. And last week all those who tried to walk towards Uttar Pradesh-situated Hathras to seek justice for the victim and her family, were lathi-charged, so much that even political leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Derek O’Brien were not spared by the Uttar Pradesh police. If these leaders could be so very blatantly roughed up and pushed around, then one can well imagine what would be the fate of activists and students and academics raising their voice and concerns at the absolutely decaying situation holding out, in and around that state.
Those shouts of hundreds of protesters getting thrashed with police lathis. In fact, earlier this week, four youngmen, including a Kerala-based journalist, were arrested in Uttar Pradesh while on their way to Hathras to meet the victim’s family. The reason given by the State is that they were members of PFI …Yet to hear the version of these four men. That’s a different matter altogether if we ever get to hear them! After all, we are living in ruthless times!
The stark reality and fact is that several of the rulers of the day have serious criminal cases against them. Yet they sit up there! Why? What’s happening in our country and to us, the masses, is not just dangerous but reeks of treachery of the worst kinds. Where the known villains and criminals and destroyers in all those garbs go about untouched? And in the backdrop, one gets to hear twisted theories to all the demolitions taking place—nobody killed, nobody destroyed, nobody raped, nobody burnt, nobody brought down structures, human or otherwise!
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY – October 10
On the World Mental Health day—October 10—I must focus on the fact that writer Mulk Raj Anand was one of those Indians who spoke frankly about the nervous breakdowns he suffered. Also, how he managed to settle his fragile nerves.
In fact, each time I had interviewed Mulk what came across was the fact that for him writing was a form of therapy. He’d told me: “Writing is a therapy for me to this day. I must write every day… In fact, during 1927 when I had suffered the first nervous breakdown, my meeting with Sigmund Freud in Vienna and five sittings with him helped me to a considerable extent. But, later, the subsequent two nervous breakdowns were cured only through writings. I wrote a novel each time to recover my fragile nerves. I had written the novel, Across The Black Waters, when my friend, activist Gertrude Mitchell, was killed by the Nazis in 1936… In my personal life I have loved several women and was left shattered when they died. In fact, each nervous breakdown took off with that loss. The first breakdown came with the news of the first woman I’d fell in love with—Irene, who was an Irish and was involved with the Irish national movement. She was killed in 1927. The other two nervous breakdowns followed. I’ve suffered not just in relationships but also on the marriage front. My first marriage with Kathleen Van Gelder failed. The second marriage to Anel D’ Silva couldn’t really take off because she changed her mind at the last minute. Then, I got married to dancer Shirin Vajifdar.”
In fact, Mulk had also suffered a severe setback, when he was asked to leave the Sabarmati Ashram. Perhaps, few of us would know that Mulk had spent some time living in the Sabarmati Ashram. He’d lived there till the day he had violated one of the ashram rules and was asked by Mahatma Gandhi to leave the ashram. To quote Mulk on this: “I had just recovered from my first nervous breakdown, which I had suffered in the UK. When I had travelled back to India and went to meet Gandhiji at the Sabarmati Ashram, and requested him if I could stay there. After much thought he did finally allow me to stay there but only after I had agreed on three basic issues. In fact, I had taken three vows: to clean toilets, never to drink alcohol and never to look at women with desire. In the beginning it went off okay but, then somebody had told him that I was flirting with the typist also staying in the ashram. She was an American divorcee and staying there with her young son and though there was just no truth is that allegation, I had to leave the ashram. But even that short stay in the ashram and my interaction with Mahatma Gandhi left an impact on not just my lifestyle but on my perceptions and on my very bonding with the masses. He had asked me to tour the country and interact with the villagers and see the realities for myself.”