Who? Who do I address this letter to?
To this beloved and bereaved country of mine, this ‘India’ who has strayed so far from her own people, jailed for dreaming about who she could have been?
Is it to the caretakers of outraged RTI’s stacked upon each other before they are thrown into the dustbin, from where they will be recycled into saffronised newspapers?
Is it you, the outraged online Hindutva troll, threatening and jeering your authors and artists and poets in Instagram comments to preserve ‘Indian culture’?
Is it the courts? The lawyers? The police?
From whom do I ask for justice? To whom, should I beg? Plead? Whose idol should I prostrate myself in front of?
Who do I go to, for the freedom of Professor Hany Babu, anti-caste activist, English teacher, the orange-bar buying father of my school friend who I call ‘Uncle’ ?
It is his hearing today, August 21; his hearing decided after being shifted around 3 times.
I wonder why? Is it because of us? Us who would shout and weep and make spectacles out of ourselves when they do to him, too, what they have done to the 11 before him? Us, who they expect to forget him and move on to yet another atrocity gaining traction on social media? Us, young and juvenile, naive enough to believe that we and our voices matter still?
(Will it work?)
Will it work, You The Addressee of my letter, Giver and Withholder Of Justice, if I tell you that we will do all of the above and more if justice is not given to Hany Babu tomorrow? That the day until he is released, we, this ‘phone addicted’ generation simply refuses to stay shut? We cannot come on the streets, but we will come onto your streams, your stories, your WhatsApp’s until our anger, our sheer fury and devastation infects every single person as naive as us?
Will this shameless begging, pleading letter of a seventeen-year-old girl wanting to pursue medicine, terrified out of her mind that she will be arrested and thrown into jail for demanding justice for Hany Babu, orange-bar buying Uncle-Father of Friend?
For imploring you, believing in you, Mi Lord, my Justice, that you will truly serve justice tomorrow, 21st August? That there was no need for me to lay bare in front of you my naked, ravaged, wounded hope that without reason and rationale still, still believes that somehow India and our torn, discarded constitution with its declarations of ‘Freedom of speech’ and belief and ideology, can be salvaged, despite everything that proves otherwise?
Please, to anyone who is listening, you, my beloved reader, will you help me get the release of Professor Hany Babu? Will you help me cradle this fatally wounded hope of mine that still believes in Justice, in India, who she could have been and maybe, maybe still can be?
Please, I beg of you.