Three months back humanity was shamed and torn to pieces in Kathua district of Jammu region. An 8 year old girl was raped and murdered by as many as eight right wing zealots according to the investigation of the Crime Branch; it implicated a few policemen and a retired bureaucrat in the case. Soon after these marauders were arrested, a right wing Hindu outfit called Hindu EktaManch started an agitation demanding the release of the culprits and handing over the case to CBI. It is a well-known fact throughout the country political opponents have blamed Modi led NDA government continuously for using techniques to silence its opponents. The same could have been the intention of Hindu EktaManch in this case. The connection of Hindu EktaManch with BJP couldn’t hide for long when two of its ministers led a rally in Kathua and made inflammatory and intimidating speeches. They shamelessly paraded with the Indian tri-color and raised slogans in the favor of the accused.
Since the BJP came into power, insalubrious and , at times, violent incidents have been followed by raising slogans of Hindu Gods and carrying an Indian flag which make all these look ‘normal’ and ‘nationalist’ in nature. Morality and ethics died an ironic death when lawyers under the banner of Bar Association Jammu not only observed a strike in regions of Jammu but also created a ruckus outside the court where Crime Branch was scheduled to file a charge sheet. Lawyers are meant to fight for justice but these fascists in black suits tried their best to change that perception. It took almost six hours for police to file a charge sheet in court and next day Jammu observed a Bandh( a forced bandh in favour of those who had raped an 8 year old child)
The charge sheet had some chilling revelations in it, it stated that the kid was abducted from forests where she was grazing horses, drugged repeatedly and raped for 6 days in a compound of a temple. After quenching the thirst of their lust, the perpetrators of the vile crime even called up one of their accomplices from Meerut to rape the kid one last time; thereafter, they strangled her and then hammered her head with stones to ensure she was dead and then disposed the body in the forests. The sequence of events is bone-chilling, shocking as well as narrating few things. All these heinous things failed to wake up the conscience of power crazed and power hungry, sadistic people.
The BJP-PDP government, in the state since its alliance, is presiding over conditions of structural violence in the form of wanton killings in Kashmir. (it even doesn’t surprise anymore to hear about killings in Kashmir). Mehbooba Mufti’s late father, when he started his party, showcased several dreams to Kashmiris in the form of self-rule and the healing touch. These terms meant that the state of J&K would have more autonomy and people won’t be killed the damage to property would disappear. He criticized Farooq Abdullah for all this, succeeded in 2002 and formed a Government with the Congress. In the last year of their run, the Amarnath agitation started and Jammu and Kashmir saw spells of violent protests which was followed by another bloody year of 2010 and Omar Abdullah of Sheikh dynasty was the Chief Minister of the state at that time. The National Conference faced the wrath of people in 2014 and the PDP formed the government with Hindu right wing organization BJP and since then we have never seen normalcy nor peace. On violence in Kashmir, Mehbooba doesn’t want herself to get questioned on her failures to safeguard our lives and property. She and her partners talk about much hyped normalcy; yes, if deaths , on daily basis and structural violence is normalcy then surely Kashmir is the most normal and peaceful place on the earth.
Mehbooba Mufti has set an example of a perfect rubber stamp CM. When people cite her as an example of women empowerment, I am sure Simone de Beauvoir and Kate Millet would be laughing at them, in their graves. Mehbooba Mufti’s role model Narendra Modi didn’t speak either on the Kathua rape murder incident nor on civilian killings in Kashmir. All the barbarity, sadistic torture, trauma and intimidation perpetrated on the Kathua victim and her family couldn’t appeal to the conscience of Narendra Modi. Although several high profile Bollywood celebrities like Richa Chadha and SwaraBhaskar expressed their anguish on twitter. Swara posted a picture of herself demanding justice for the victim and Unnao rape victim while Richa Chadha made a mockery of BJP’s “BetiPadhaoBetiBachao” scheme by writing that in reality BJP meant ‘Betihumsebachao’.
These developments and rise of ultranationalist forces will put the integrity of India in jeopardy. Majoritarianism in no way can be beneficial to any country. The Kathua rape murder victim was a kid, as innocent as an angel and if her murderers are let free her ghost will never let these politicians be in peace; she will keep haunting them. Her case is not a case of Hindu vs Muslim but justice vs injustice. The lawyer pleading the case of Asifa Miss Deepika Singh Rajawat is also a Hindu and we’re proud to have such Hindu friends around who value justice and humanity more than anything. The SSP , who is credited for the breakthrough of the case is also a Hindu, so those who try to color this issue in communal colours have been defeated in the first round automatically.
—The author is a resident of Kishtwar. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org