ByÂ Pooja Baburaj:
When I was 15, I picked a nasty cat-fight with my younger sibling over the possession of some China-ware with Hannah Montana’s face all over it. As highly anticipated, the china-ware soon became no man’s property as it crashed into a million parts of itself over the marble-laid floor. Before we could bat our lashes, our index finger straightened out at each other almost instinctively and we opened fire — the blame game had officially begun. And it didn’t stop until my mom declared that it was gravity’s fault, not our own. Imagine me as president — what a grand nation I would build with my unassailable skills for counter-attacking blames. Maybe I wouldn’t be just as good since the china-ware was just a utility —something that we have assigned a value for. The games revolutionize if the china-ware is given living characteristics. Would the games still retain its ecstasy in if it were played in desperate human conditions with heavy hoots and Mexican waves cheering us on every time we said something smart? In our pursuit of establishing oratory supremacy, what will the living substance do — wait until our prides battle it out to the break-even point?
Our government is invincible at blame games. If introduced at Olympics, our politicians would pile on national gold for it. Their latest feat includes the one played amidst the back-drop of the worst rape case I have witnessed in my short life – The Delhi Rape of 12/12. A day after the incident, while checking my ‘whatsapp’ updates I saw most of my contacts upload a plain white background with a large black circle in protest of an unjust act. As I probed into further details, I was devastated at the brutish act survived by the 23-year old paramedic student. And her fault — she was a girl trying to live an independent life. Thank you generation, that’s some assurance for the female population of which I am a part of.
The damage is done — and now they are smashing what survives into smithereens. Despite the intense public uproar, justice is not yet served. Justice still riding on a cycle-rickshaw, caught up in the Mumbai traffic on its way to Delhi. A war of words has broken out between chief minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Police over alleged interference by police officers during the recording of the statement of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim. The war of words played out in the open after a complaint by sub-divisional magistrate Usha Chaturvedi that three senior police officers had prevented the video-recording of the victim’s statement. It is also alleged that the police officers wanted SDM to use a questionnaire they prepared. When she refused to do so, sources said, police officials misbehaved with SDM.
Denying the allegations, Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said police never forced any questionnaire on SDM. SDM had complained that police had told her to ask the victim only from the questionnaire the investigators had prepared. As soon as Dikshit complained to Shinde on Monday, police immediately sought recording of victim’s statement before a metropolitan magistrate, which has more legal value. Delhi Police on Tuesday came out with a strong denial and also demanded a high-level probe into the “leakage” of Dikshit’s letter to home minister.
Everything apparently is said and done yet the weak link still continues to persist. What we need is not a temporary resolution; we require a solid solution to this evidently recurrent problem in our society. What we aspire are stronger actions, stronger rights and stronger laws. Despite Capital punishment being legal, it’s carried out only in the ‘rarest of the rare’ cases in India. Imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution and the case is dragged on until the furore dies out and the government heads to have their cup of coffee assuming that they have to do nothing about it anymore.
Right now, instead of focusing all of their effective time and energy on gaining cue points to debate on who to blame, I’d rather prefer a debate in the parliament in favour of reforms in the self-defence and capital punishment laws. As a citizen of the biggest democracy in the world, I really do hope that the blame games are gone for good and that playtime would indeed be over — ONCE and FOR ALL.