Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The Fading Conscience

Shilpi Tandon | August 24, 2016 11:12 am Print
No one thinks twice before getting belligerent…!! What is left afterwards… life full of repentance, regret and sorrow…. and a life lost.….!!
Congolese national lynching, Africa Day

“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.”
― Thomas Paine

Seven Years of tireless efforts by old and ailing parents…!! Justice prevailed finally, but, after a long haul… when a Delhi Trial Court found three men guilty of robbing and murdering call centre executive Jigisha Ghosh in 2009 in Delhi. “They committed her murder and disposed of her body in the bushes. Circumstantial evidence makes it clear that it was these men who committed the crime”, the court said, handing down a guilty verdict. Ravi Kapoor, Baljeet and Amit Shukla were found guilty of killing Jigisha and using her debit card for a shopping spree at a popular market in the capital. They were caught on CCTV cameras buying watches, shoes and sunglasses without any apparent remorse. Citing it as rarest of the rare, the Court pronounced death sentence for two and life term for one of them.
But, despite this verdict, the question remains, why at all such incidents happen? Why and how people turn so monstrous that they commit such crimes, and, that too against innocent people? Do we still have the answer to Jigisha’s wailing mother …” Maine usko kitne dulaar se paalaa tha…. usse kyon maara…. (I brought her up with so much of love…. why you killed her…)”??

In a country where PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar have proved with all their vigour and potential that if given a chance, a woman too can rise to heights and achieve her goals, and, even Save the Pride and Image of her Nation, most of the women still face exploitation and oppression at every step of their lives. Two years back, a beautiful life was waiting for this bright nursing student, Preeti Rathi from Haryana, when she got the selection letter of short service commission in the military nursing service. But destiny had some other plans for her. An unidentified man, with his face half covered, threw acid on Preeti’s face and fled. She succumbed to severe acid-burn injuries.

The above cases are not the only ones which we read or witness in our daily lives. The newspapers and channels are full of such harrowing incidents. A few days back, a man was hit and killed by a speeding three-wheeler tempo in Delhi. The man kept lying on the road and no one came to his rescue for hours. The CCTV footage of the incident shows one man walking up to that body, seemingly to check if he’s OK – but instead, steals the dead man’s mobile phone and walks away.

What can be stated and commented about this? How and when our society turned so cruel, evil and ruthless, that instead of giving a helping hand to the victim, just wait for one’s death to steal away the body’s belongings?? ….. What is the cause of this growing intolerance? Not only crimes against women like eve teasing, molestation, physical abuse, acid attacks are on the rise, but also, cases like road rage, which include honking too, are increasing day by day. No one thinks twice before getting belligerent…!! What is left afterwards… life full of repentance, regret and sorrow…. And, a life lost.….!!
In April this year, a 40-year-old dentist was beaten to death with hockey sticks and iron rods by over a dozen men outside his residence in Vikaspuri in the early hours. The incident was preceded by a scuffle between the victim, Pankaj Narang, and two of the accused. According to the police, the incident took place around 12:15 a.m. when the two bike-borne men brushed past him and he asked them to drive properly. A scuffle broke out between  Narang and the duo. They left their motorcycle outside  Narang’s house, only to return with 13 others, all of them armed with sticks and rods, said the police. “They then repeatedly attacked Narang with the rods and sticks causing blunt injuries all over, including on the head which resulted in severe bleeding,” said a police officer. Due to the sheer size of the mob and the aggression with which they were attacking the victim, his family members, witness to the crime, could not intervene, said sources. Once the attackers left, the police were called and  Narang was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead.

In the same month, another man, Prateek Kumar was hit by a car and dragged for half a kilometre on its bonnet in Gurgaon near Delhi in an incident caught on camera. He told the police that he was dragged on the car, a Honda City, when he protested against the driver who was trying to run away after hitting him.
Such incidents send chills down spine with fear. To what extent we have declined morally and ethically? Aren’t we left with any scruples and values? Has this fast paced life become so hasty that we have no time even to look back to the one suffering? Have we started getting pleasure out of others’ pain and agony…?

Even the animals are not spared from the brutality. In July this year, Gautam Sudarshan, a medical student in Chennai, sporting a smile, threw a dog off the rooftop of a building, which fell down crying out in pain and the video ended with the dog lying still on the ground. The video was shot by his friend Ashish Pal. Isn’t this an example of being sadist?

Not only common citizens, but our martyrs’ families are too being harassed…!! Pathankot Martyr Niranjan Kumar’s family is facing a tough time. The house in which his family lives, has been marked for demolition by the Government. ‘It is very hard for us to digest this because we have lost our brother in Pathankot attack and now we are seeing the house is being demolished.” Niranjan’s brother, Shashank told reporters in Bengaluru. He said that the BBMP officials have marked for demolition for one of the three pillars on which the house is standing. “For past 20 years we are here and now suddenly they are coming and telling stories without any prior notice. It is a shame for the country.”

We still have a number of questions to answer… to the families of… a young TV journalist, Soumya Vishwanathan ( She too fell victim to the accused in the case of Jigisha in 2008); Acid attack victims; Road rage victims; A Dalit woman being brutally raped and murdered near Kochi in Kerala and her intestines ripped out, bringing back memories of the 2012 Delhi gang rape that triggered widespread protests, in May this year…. ; And, many many more….
There should actually be zero tolerance against such grisly and horrific crimes… so that the departed souls and their families are not left to keep longing for justice…. Forever… and ever….

Shilpi Tandon
Shilpi Tandon