The Two Indias
The most populous state in India, with the most number of parliamentary seats, Uttar Pradesh has now really turned into Ulta Pradesh (opposite or failed state). Rape victims are not getting justice, whilst every effort is being made to protect the offenders. Journalists, reporting the facts are being sent to jail. Important leaders of the ruling party are leading mobs to oust farmers from the land which they they have been cultivating for centuries. Many are feeling unsafe in the state. Yet, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claims that Uttar Pradesh is now Uttam (best) Pradesh.
The claim can be challenged by the fact that powerful Sage turned politician Swami Chinmayanand has not been charged with rape, despite a the face that a law student levelled serious charges against him with video evidence. Initially, Uttar Pradesh police was not even interested in registering a case. It was only after the intervention of the Supreme Court that the case was registered and a special investigation team (SIT) was formed. The case has also been transferred from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi. But as the SIT was formed with state police personnel, Chinmayanand was allowed to roam freely for more than a week. He was arrested only after the victim threatened self-immolation. It is important to note that in almost all high profile cases in recent times, the accused were put behind bars and their stay in custody was extended on the plea that being influential persons, they can tamper with the evidence. Why was the same logic not followed in this case? Finally, after much delay when the accused was arrested, charges of rape were not framed. He was simply charged with some minor offences.
In such circumstances, it is not a flight of imagination to assume that the victim will be denied justice in due course of time. While a rape accused will move with his head held high, the victim will be condemned and forced to live with shame. Is it a gift from the system which promises equal justice to every citizen or a gift from a powerful person to another? People of Uttar Pradesh have already started asking this question. Swami Chinmayanand is not only a powerful leader of the ruling party, but also a Thakur and it is the Thakurs who are dominating the Uttar Pradesh political scene. So chances of Chinmayanand being freed from all charges is only a matter of time.
What is more worrying is the fact that the Chinmyanand episode is not an exception. Rather it has become a reality in 21st century India. In every nook and corner of the country, such abuse of power is taking place every day. Men with power are escaping the law and the poor are facing the heat. The girl who brought charges against Chidambaram, was trying to get rid of poverty by studying law. Her dream is now shattered. Her family is bound to live in destitution. Clearly, we are seeing two Indias being created. One India is for the rich and powerful and another is for those who really strive hard to make ends meet. But remember, the second India is the real India. More than 85 per cent of the country’s population lives there. By denying them justice, we are just preparing an ideal situation for an uprising. This is not the India which our forefathers had envisaged.