19 years of trial and just six months of punishment to the guilty. And as if this was not enough to shake the conscience of the nation, the guilty, a former top cop of Haryana police, remains defiant and far from the clutches of our system.
Yes, I am talking about the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case.
The case is not an exception in our country; after all we have already seen too many such cases. Remember, Nitish Katara murder case, Jessica Lall murder case etc, the list is endless.
We have seen the high and mighty walking scot-free in all these cases. Remember a drunk Manu Sharma caught in a bar on the pretext of attending his ailing mother?
But what made this case stand out was the shameless manner in which our whole system conspired to shield a teenager’s molester and in turn tormenting a budding tennis player and her family to an extent that she committed suicide.
When I sit back and try to find out the person res
ponsible for the tumultuous life and tragic death of Ruchika, I fail to put the onus on one person.
No, the DGP SPS Rathore was not alone responsible for her death. He was the molester, or should I say the ‘monster’, but he was just the partial reason. If the system had worked properly and he was put behind bars, Ruchika wouldn’t have died.
So, I moved on to next potential culprit, the system. Was the system responsible for Ruchika’s death? I don’t think so. After all, it is the same system that is now taking the matter to highest level and ensuring that the guilty is severely punished.
Then who is the ultimate culprit?
After much deliberation, I am ashamed to admit, but we, the people of this great country are responsible for her death.
Yes, we should be held guilty for abetting the suicide of Ruchika. It is our passive attitude that creates a ‘Ruchika’ and shields a ‘Rathore’.
These things happen in our society because we don’t give a damn.
Terrorists come on our soil and kill us in heaps. We take out candle march, sign petitions, sing the national anthem, and go back to ours homes and sleep because after a certain extent we don’t give a damn.
A dishonest politician gobbles hundreds of crores of public money, still we vote for him because he belongs to our caste or religion. By the way, Shibhu Soren has just been sworn-in as the Jharkhand CM. Public money is not ‘our money’, we don’t give a damn!
We tear the seats of our buses and trains. After all, they are public modes of transport, not our private vehicle. We don’t give a damn.
We have no problems if riots are taking place in Gujarat, in Mumbai, in Uttar Pradesh, after all, our house is safe. Why should we give a damn?
If India loses to Pakistan in a cricket match, we see it as a matter of national shame, but we don’t give a damn if a woman is paraded naked on the busy roads of Patna or the remote village of Andhra Pradesh.
We don’t care if a fellow Indian is being beaten and manhandled just because he belongs to Bihar. We don’t give a damn, because it is not our state.
We are ready to burn buses, ransack shops and damage public property because some politicians have told us that smaller states, read Telangana, will guarantee better development of the region. We don’t give a damn to the policy of ‘unity is strength’.
We will continue to brand Muslims as terrorists without thinking that the total population of Muslims in our country is close to 138 million, and no country can survive with such a large number of ‘terrorists’ residing in it. But, to hell with statistics and hell with the fact that all communities have black sheep, we don’t give a damn.
So don’t pity Ruchika Girhotra. She was just another victim of the dead Indian conscience. There are many more to come.
I know half of the readers will post a comment after getting emotional on reading it because that’s the easiest thing to do.
And rest half will shrug me off as another freakish writer.
But let me tell you all, I will continue to raise my voice because my conscience is still alive. And even though you don’t give a damn, I do!
(The views expressed by the author are personal)