The cry of the liberals on the social media that the abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Bakherwal girl is to be traced back to the victory of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is justified political rhetoric and nothing more. But it is a far-fetched argument. It does not help in confronting the enormity of the heinous deed committed against a minor girl. The tense relations between the Hindu villagers and the nomadic Muslim community in Rasana village of Jammu, the Hindu-Muslim fault-line that marks it cannot be used as the reason for this crime. Communal Hindu groups like the Hindu Ekta Manch fighting their ideological battle against communal Muslims in the Kashmir Valley using the Kathua episode is untenable. But it would be naïve to argue that none of these elements come into play. In the ugly and untidy world in which we live, everyone on every side will use every pretext to fight their small and big battles, the liberals and the Hindutva proponents, the Valley Muslims and the Jammu Hindus, the Hindu villagers and the Muslim nomads. But it is necessary not to lose sight of the core moral issue at stake: the cruel murder of a little girl by a bunch of perverted males. It is to be noted that the BJP has been woefully slow in its response to the Kathua rape and murder. It was the Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K.Singh who tweeted, “We have failed Ashifa as humans. But she will not be denied justice.” He struck the right note of penitence. The party’s woman Member of Parliament from New Delhi Meenakshi Lekhi gave the first official response from the party podium on Friday (April 13) afternoon, and she fully supported the Jammu and Kashmir police crime branch investigation. Earlier on April 13, Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Maneka Gandhi had declared that the government would want to bring a law that would mandate death penalty for rape of minors. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke last. It would have been better if he had spoken first. Congress president Rahul Gandhi too took the correct stance of condemning the murder and he did not use the incident to criticize the BJP government at the centre or the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. There is a lot more that the BJP leaders at the centre and in the state will have to do to establish that they would not allow Hindu communalists to go on a rampage. The party had rightly asked the two BJP ministers in the J&K government who had participated in a meeting of the Hindu Ekta Manch and opposed the arrest of the accused in the case to step down from the posts. The worst are the members of the Jammu Bar Association who had staged a protest march and obstructed the police from filing a charge-sheet and demanded that the probe should be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), claiming that the J&K police crime branch investigation to be partisan and that it is an attempt to frame the innocent. The lawyers’ stand reflects the divide between Hindu Jammu and Muslim Kashmir, but what was unacceptable was their illegal bid to obstruct the filing of the charge-sheet. The hostility of the Hindu villagers towards the nomadic Muslim Bakherwals remains unchanged even after the death of the girl. The villagers did not allow the girl to be buried in the land which the Bakherwals usually use. One of the villagers said that an alternative site was shown. Behind and beyond the confusing cross-currents remains the eight-year-old girl and her life-story. She lived with her adopted parents, she was quiet and did not talk much, took out the sheep, goats and horses for grazing, did not go to school. She was the child of nature, silent and unafraid. Such is the bonding among the nomadic Bakherwals, that the biological grandfather of the girl said that she was given to a couple who had no children and she was happy with them. The humanity that enveloped the Bakherwal girl was denied to her by the village temple caretaker and retired revenue official, Sanji Ram, his nephew, his son, the village policemen who were his friends. The gangrape of the minor in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh and the death of her father in police custody, with BJP legislator Kuldeep Sengar, his brother and aides in the dock, poses a serious moral and legal challenge, and it casts a shadow on the political credibility of the BJP in UP. In this instance, the rape victim and her family have taken their complaint to state capital Lucknow and it is only after the threat of self-immolation that the CBI was asked to probe the complaint. The crime investigation in both the cases shows that despite the innumerable problems, the police have managed to establish the trail of the crimes and they have managed to track down the culprits. It is for the courts now to dispose of the cases expeditiously and send out the clear message that the Indian polity is still a fair one and criminals, whatever their political leanings and affiliations, cannot get away. But the real issue and challenge is that of remaining a humane and sane society. It goes beyond politics.

" /> Politics Clouds Kathua Rape and Murder

Politics Clouds Kathua Rape and Murder

article

It is natural for anti-BJP individuals and groups to nail the Hindutva party but it does not help

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr is a Delhi-based journalist, who’s worked with Indian Express in multiple editions, and with DNA in Delhi. He has also written for Deccan Herald, Times of India, Gulf News (Dubai), Daily Star (Beirut) and Today (Singapore)

The cry of the liberals on the social media that the abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Bakherwal girl is to be traced back to the victory of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections is justified political rhetoric and nothing more. But it is a far-fetched argument. It does not help in confronting the enormity of the heinous deed committed against a minor girl. The tense relations between the Hindu villagers and the nomadic Muslim community in Rasana village of Jammu, the Hindu-Muslim fault-line that marks it cannot be used as the reason for this crime. Communal Hindu groups like the Hindu Ekta Manch fighting their ideological battle against communal Muslims in the Kashmir Valley using the Kathua episode is untenable. But it would be naïve to argue that none of these elements come into play. In the ugly and untidy world in which we live, everyone on every side will use every pretext to fight their small and big battles, the liberals and the Hindutva proponents, the Valley Muslims and the Jammu Hindus, the Hindu villagers and the Muslim nomads. But it is necessary not to lose sight of the core moral issue at stake: the cruel murder of a little girl by a bunch of perverted males.

It is to be noted that the BJP has been woefully slow in its response to the Kathua rape and murder. It was the Minister of State for External Affairs General V.K.Singh who tweeted, “We have failed Ashifa as humans. But she will not be denied justice.” He struck the right note of penitence. The party’s woman Member of Parliament from New Delhi Meenakshi Lekhi gave the first official response from the party podium on Friday (April 13) afternoon, and she fully supported the Jammu and Kashmir police crime branch investigation. Earlier on April 13, Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Maneka Gandhi had declared that the government would want to bring a law that would mandate death penalty for rape of minors. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke last. It would have been better if he had spoken first. Congress president Rahul Gandhi too took the correct stance of condemning the murder and he did not use the incident to criticize the BJP government at the centre or the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. There is a lot more that the BJP leaders at the centre and in the state will have to do to establish that they would not allow Hindu communalists to go on a rampage. The party had rightly asked the two BJP ministers in the J&K government who had participated in a meeting of the Hindu Ekta Manch and opposed the arrest of the accused in the case to step down from the posts.

The worst are the members of the Jammu Bar Association who had staged a protest march and obstructed the police from filing a charge-sheet and demanded that the probe should be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), claiming that the J&K police crime branch investigation to be partisan and that it is an attempt to frame the innocent. The lawyers’ stand reflects the divide between Hindu Jammu and Muslim Kashmir, but what was unacceptable was their illegal bid to obstruct the filing of the charge-sheet.

The hostility of the Hindu villagers towards the nomadic Muslim Bakherwals remains unchanged even after the death of the girl. The villagers did not allow the girl to be buried in the land which the Bakherwals usually use. One of the villagers said that an alternative site was shown.

Behind and beyond the confusing cross-currents remains the eight-year-old girl and her life-story. She lived with her adopted parents, she was quiet and did not talk much, took out the sheep, goats and horses for grazing, did not go to school. She was the child of nature, silent and unafraid. Such is the bonding among the nomadic Bakherwals, that the biological grandfather of the girl said that she was given to a couple who had no children and she was happy with them. The humanity that enveloped the Bakherwal girl was denied to her by the village temple caretaker and retired revenue official, Sanji Ram, his nephew, his son, the village policemen who were his friends.

The gangrape of the minor in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh and the death of her father in police custody, with BJP legislator Kuldeep Sengar, his brother and aides in the dock, poses a serious moral and legal challenge, and it casts a shadow on the political credibility of the BJP in UP. In this instance, the rape victim and her family have taken their complaint to state capital Lucknow and it is only after the threat of self-immolation that the CBI was asked to probe the complaint.

The crime investigation in both the cases shows that despite the innumerable problems, the police have managed to establish the trail of the crimes and they have managed to track down the culprits. It is for the courts now to dispose of the cases expeditiously and send out the clear message that the Indian polity is still a fair one and criminals, whatever their political leanings and affiliations, cannot get away. But the real issue and challenge is that of remaining a humane and sane society. It goes beyond politics.

politics-clouds

Politics Clouds Kathua Rape and Murder

The cry of the liberals on the social media that the abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Bakherwal girl is to be tr...

Didnt-Do-Enough-To-Save-The-39

Didn’t Do Enough To Save The 39!

The killing of 39 Indian labourers in Mosul, Iraq, by the Islamic State (IS) sometime between June 2014, when the town fell to the terrorist group, an...

India-Critical-In-World-Affairs-No-Need-To-Sulk

India ‘Critical’ In World Affairs, No Need To Sulk

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s week-long visit to India last month with his wife and cherubic children in tow should have been a successfu...

Modis-sales-pitch-at-Davos-a-commercial-sermon

Modi’s sales pitch at Davos a commercial sermon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindi speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on January 23 was wearying. though it had some good points, ...

 
BJP-Won-Rahul-Won

BJP Won, Rahul Won!

As a party the Congress lost in Gujarat. Those are just figures on the panel of the Election Commission… so many seats won by so and so party, and s...

Conspiracy-of-Silence

Conspiracy of Silence

A judge dies under mysterious circumstances. His family raises several disturbing questions doubting the police version. A reporter investigates for m...

the-unseemly-election-commissioner

The Unseemly Election Commissioner

The Bharatiya Janata Party is on a roll. It attained a clear majority at the centre in 2014 - a first for a non-Congress Party. It is in power in 18 o...

Rohingya-A-Facile-Communal-Stand

Rohingya: A Facile, Communal Stand

Among the many problems that the Modi government is creating for itself is its intransigent stand on the unfortunate Rohingya escapees from the tyrann...

magzine-cover
ads