Gang-rapes On Panchayat Orders, Racist Violence And ‘Confused Kejriwal’: Where Is Our Nation Headed?

Posted on February 19, 2014 in Politics, Society

By Sukanya Sarkar:

With every Indian trying to figure out as to how the just begun year of 2014 shall go, we are faced regularly with some horrible incidents. Those incidents that literally choke our hearts and make us wonder about “how the rest of the year shall pass?”; we have witnessed crude racism, increase of rape incidents like never before, the coming and sudden resigning of “confused Kejriwal” and many others.


In a nation of multiple languages and cultures living in close proximity with each other, is it not necessary that the respect of every other culture be obvious? Then why does racism become an issue? I am referring to the story of Nido Tania, a 20 year old boy from Arunachal Pradesh  who was brutally murdered by the shopkeepers at a Delhi market. Tania, like any other 20 year young man with fashionable haircut and love for music, stopped by a market in Delhi and was brutally murdered. Its not his haircut but his “East Asian feature” that got him into trouble. Every incident of harassment of north eastern is not recorded but as Alana Golmei, founding member of the Northeast Support Centre and helpline says, “this was to happen” because she is regularly taking up calls of cries from many others in distress because of racism. Its not just the physical appearance that differentiates a northeast from any other Indian, but the cultural difference also creates a sense of othering in Delhi.

Also, with our own constitutionally placed head man of Panchayat acting like the devil, there are bound to be questions as to whether their judgement can at all be taken as “applicable” and “expectable”? With the recent incident in Birbhum, Kolkata where a 20 year old woman was gang raped as a punishment given by the head man of salishi sabha, the state’s equivalent of khap panchayat, was a shameful event. The tribal woman was punished with “gang rape” by the head man of panchayat because she had fallen in love with a man outside her community and was unable to cough up an amount of Rs. 50,000. The suprising twist comes in the ordeal where the village headman, Sunil Soren, himself was involved in the sexual assault of the woman. In this incident, the Mamata Banerjee run government came into lime light yet again. The ruling Trinamool Congress has been battling with issues of sexual crimes against women for the past 2 years and as far as the facts goes from National Crime Records Bureau, West Bengal topped the list of sexual crimes against women in 2011 and 2012. The question that arises then is – what about safety of women when we can’t even trust our village head man?

Now let me bring into focus the man who has been fighting against corruption. Yes, I am talking about none other than Arvind Kejriwal. Chronologically, let me give you details of his dramatic seven week run government. We see on Dec 8,2013 Aam Admi Party winning 28 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly Election. The “confused Kejriwal”, as I prefer to call him, takes an oath as Chief Minister. He does some “Chief Ministerial” work on Dec 30 and 31 whereby announcing up to 20kl free water per month to households with meters and power rate halved up to 400 units respectively. Kejriwal calls his dharna on Jan 20-21 demanding control of Delhi Police, and the dharna ends when 2 policemen are sent on leave. Feb 6 sees the Anti-Corruption Bureau filling FIR in relation to the CWG scam. Feb 11 sees some other FIR filling against Mukesh Ambani and Murli Deora over gas prices.

Lastly we see on Feb 14; Kejriwal unable to introduce priority legislation in Delhi Assembly over Jan Lokpal, resigns and quits from his Chief Ministerial post after 48 days of his government. The first instant reaction that swells up — “has he been joking with the prestigious Chief Ministerial post?” or did he think that he can change the entire corrupt system within these 48 days? Was he at all serious in bringing about change to the corrupt system with his utopian anti-corruption logic? Well, the answer might be he was too confused as to how to lead the government without being corrupt. If he wanted to bring about a change in the system at all, he should have been there and done that. Resigning from a post brings him all the more into the critical eyes of India in general and Delhi in particular. With the Aam Admi party actually having no such agenda other than anti-corruption, is yet again in the lime light for much criticism. Oh yes, as it goes, Arvind Kejriwal has yet again become an Aam Admi.

So, with these incidents, Indians can actually feel the havoc of the recent status of our country, spend some time thinking over it and for those insensitive ones who don’t feel the necessity of change in the Indian society, can go out and seek for yet another chance to humiliate our nation. As far as Delhi is concerned, we hope for “immediate conduct” of elections.