By R. Anupam Pillai:
Money, glamour, power and success! It was her aspiration to be the best among the glitterati that entrapped her in the swamp of misery, harassment and perturbation. Geetika Sharma was a 23-year-old girl with dynamic interpersonal skills and a longing to achieve success in a short span of time. She was young and ambitious and while striving to attain what she wanted, she was trampled midway by the politician, Gopal Kanda. Kanda could be compared to those several politicians in the movies who are portrayed as people with unbridled lust for money, power and women. Kanda had it all; he started from scratch and then became a part of the political mafia of the north. Geetika, who hailed from a middle class family, where there happened to be no restrictions met Kanda when she was still in her teens, became the air hostess of MDLR and gradually, the VP of the company. But the sweet share of success sure did not come for free. She was subjected to sexual violence, abortions and finally suicide. Undoubtedly, Kanda was supposed to be at fault, but then what about the victim?
What plagues my mind is whether the fault was on the part of Geetika, her family or the society that led her to act in an inappropriate manner. Firstly, when she came to MDLR, she was not in a position to make judgments regarding her decision to join hands with Kanda. Her parents felt it was right for her to be associated with him as his gestures came across as nothing but generous and he was never percieved to be a man with ill intentions. “Silence! The court is in session” , a famous play by Vijay Tendulkar, has rightly described the various societal notions drawn upon the character of a woman. Here, the woman in the plot had been subjected to accept the blame in spite of the circumstances that forced her to have relations with another man.
Similarly, there are many instances where the fault has been put on the victim and not on the societal norms that pose critical implications on her to take such steps. Females are always seen to be at the receiving end and it is basically the result of a male dominated society that we are a part of. Secondly, the appalling reality came into the picture that the manager of MDLR, Aruna Chaddha, had also been a part of the conspiracy. She has been held for the abetment of Geetika’s suicide and it was also revealed that Geetika was repeatedly harassed and abused by her. Thirdly, the society tends to doubt the character of the victim that leads her/him to take a step such as this. In case of Geetika, people believe that she had no other resort but to commit suicide. What we need to understand is that it were the circumstances that forced her to do so.
The aftermath of this incident leaves many questions unanswered and it is the need of the hour to stop the blame game and look into the uprooted virtues that have led to aberration in the social order. Such incidents enlighten us on the corrupt face of our politicians, where corruption is not only about money laundering but also about being a major social threat. We must keep in mind that there are several such Geetikas who have been forcefully quietened by such politicians and nobody really knows about their existence. It would therefore not be wrong to conclude that people like Gopal Kanda redefine the way politicians are supposed to behave and force us to rename them as ‘Mr. Sinister‘ instead of ‘Mr. Minister‘.
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