Playing politics with tragedy mutilates identity of Bharat

It’s politics stupid. The calamitous consequences and toxic implications of the rape and slaughter of innocent minors, sexual predators flourishing in entertainment and sports, suspicious deaths and l

Published: 15th April 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2018 07:32 AM   |  A+A-

It’s politics stupid. The calamitous consequences and toxic implications of the rape and slaughter of innocent minors, sexual predators flourishing in entertainment and sports, suspicious deaths and leaks of examination papers are contaminating the national conscience through the prism of perverse politics. For power hungry, publicity-greedy politicians, every drop of blood from a mutilated body contributes to manipulating their cynical algorithm of vote catching.

While the relatives of the victims seek justice, the political class promotes a crass narrative, pouring salt on their wounds. Democracy, which is meant to provide a government of the people, by the people and for the people has deteriorated into an instrument for the destruction of humanity. Even biology is being opportunistically redefined; the colour of blood is no longer red­— it is blue, green or saffron as politically convenient.

Grazing horses was part of the eight-year-old Kashmiri Bakarwal girl’s daily routine. She was a soft target for human vultures who wished to banish her nomadic community from a sleepy Jammu suburb for political purposes. Two BJP ministers in the state government communalized the barbarity instead of helping to bring the full wrath of the law on the perpetrators, even as their supporters attempted to prevent the local police from filing the charge sheet.

The puzzling subtext was why did her gang rape, torture and murder, which happened on January 10, take four months to become public? This delay led to nationwide protests, smelling suspiciously of political mischief and media negligence. Meanwhile, there was cunctation in exposing the reported rape by a BJP MLA of a 16-year-old Dalit girl in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, too.

He has been held, but only after public outrage exploded over the torture and death of her father in police custody. Politicians and their fellow travellers exploited both tragedies to score political points. India has acquired the notorious image of a nation where rapists are protected and feted by the establishment while their victims are shamed and defamed. And the Libtards provide enough fodder to the foreign media by imbuing such crimes with religious overtones. The Washington Post reported: “In the months since, AAAA’s death has brought anguish to Kathua, the small town where she was killed. But it’s also brought division. The Kathua case is the latest example of India’s religious friction”.

Rising rape is India’s scourge. According to official data, 110 rape cases are registered daily all over India, of which around ten per cent involve minor girls. Contrary to perception, concupiscent males are confined not to rural or poor areas. Delhi topped the sex crime list, followed by Pune. Malefic machismo has even literate Kerala in its dark thrall. Of the 3,088 cases of rape registered during 2017 in the state, 1,101 were of minors, with capital Thiruvananthapuram topping the list. A new disturbing trend is that every rape case is painted communal or casteist to diminish the cruelty of the crime. Opinion leaders from Left to Right scout for scapegoats to suit their ideological convictions.

If a Hindu girl is raped in West Bengal, liberals shut their mouths and nationalists froth at the mouth. If a Muslim girl is raped in a BJP-ruled state, secularists move mountains to paint saffron black. Tragically, the selective silence of habitually vocal liberals over rape provides a convenient angle for fringe Hindu bigots to splash communal paint on the shameful acts, even as senior BJP ministers protect loyal bhaktas. Missing the national mood by a wide mile, the Sangh Parivar blamed the media for playing up Kathua and ignoring the rape of a 12-year-old tribal girl by a young Muslim man in Assam.

A tweet on public attention for the undeserving concluded by saying, “Sensationalising crimes and victims fuels the darkness in humanity. Put the rapists on display and the record will play a new tune.” The mishandling of the Kathua horror by the BJP leadership is helping radicals in Kashmir to foment anti-India sentiments, while by blaming Pakistan for the rape, J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Madhya Pradesh BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan inadvertently became floundering comic figures in a nightmare they do not know how to deal with.

This circus of partisan absurdity descended to idiosyncratic depths when sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore gave a partisan spin to India’s stellar performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, giving the credit to NDA rule. He even asked officials to provide a comparative medals tally from the UPA regime’s time. He chose to forget that he himself had won an Olympic medal for India and not for any party, since he owed his victory to hard work, not political patronage. In south India, even reputable film stars-turned-politicians treated IPL matches in Chennai as a political game. Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan called upon Tamilians to boycott IPL, claiming it was diverting attention from the contentious Cauvery issue. DMK leader MK Stalin and PMK founder S Ramadoss called for the matches to be moved out of TN until the river crisis was resolved to their satisfaction.

Trouble-seeking politicians do not even spare court verdicts, supporting or opposing judgments by calculating who benefits or loses the most from judicial pronouncements. For example, the Supreme Court ruled that nobody can be detained under the SC & ST Act without proper procedure or verification. The Congress and other Opposition parties blamed the BJP and supported a nationwide agitation that killed over a dozen persons across India. Not to be left behind, the Central government filed an affidavit blaming the SC verdict for the breakdown of law and order, expecting to get votes.

The appointment of a vice chancellor or the leak of examination papers, too, leads to political confrontations. While the careers of over 70 million students were imperiled by the leak, political parties wasted oxygen on attacking each other rather than finding where the fault lay in our academic system, which creates such obnoxious opportunities for pecuniary gain. Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu objected to the appointment of a Kannada scholar as the vice chancellor of Anna University, ignoring the fact that numerous brilliant Tamilians occupy prestigious academic posts all over India.

Even more disgusting is the politics played over the distribution of finances to states. For the first time since Independence, southern finance ministers banded together to declare that the north was benefitting at the cost of the south. “Is the success of south Indian states going to be used against them by Union of India?” asked film star-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan pugnaciously, though he leads a tiny regional party in Andhra Pradesh.

Never before has the Indian social and political discourse been dictated so by cancerous communal and caste cabals. If bigots and illiberal attention-seekers continue to put the religion of victims and the pros and cons of a tragedy under the microscope of vested interests and political dividends, they will disfigure the identity of Bharat that is known for upholding unity in diversity.

Prabhu Chawla

prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com

Follow him on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

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