(It is a reply to those who are politicising a serious social problem. It is no coincidence that the 49 ex-civil servants include members of the extra-constitutional body, National Advisory Council, set up by Sonia Gandhi under her own chairmanship.)
There are 4 policemen among 8 accused in Kathua rape case
Is MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar more powerful than UP DGP?
Dear retired civil servants,
It is a reply to those who are politicising rape, a serious social problem. It is no coincidence that the 49 ex-civil servants include members of the extra-constitutional body, National Advisory Council, set up by Sonia Gandhi under her own chairmanship.
Dear retired civil servants,
Like thousands of Indians, I too read your open letter to the Prime Minister. Not just you, all Indians, barring criminals and their supporters, feel ashamed of being Indians and are burning with rage.
Everyone will also agree with you that your “younger colleagues who are still in service, especially those working in the districts and are required by law to care for and protect the weak and the vulnerable, also seem to have failed in their duty.”
There cannot be any difference of opinion about the need “to offer special protection to Muslims, to Dalits, to members of other minority communities, to women and children so that they need not fear for their life and liberty and any threat to these will be extinguished with the full force of State authority.”
I agree that the Prime Minister was late in condemning the recent heinous crimes of rape.
On the basis of your rich experience, you have given some more suggestions for the consideration of the Prime Minister.
However, before raising some more questions and giving my views and suggestions, I would like to share with you and with all the readers some facts which are already in public domain but need to be repeated here.
Some disturbing facts about the incidents of Kathua and Unnao
Of the eight accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, four are policemen. Two of the policemen are believed to be involved in the crime while two others have been apprehended for destroying the evidence of the crime.
According to a write-up in the Times of India (“Katthua, Unnao and Elsewhere”, April 18, 2018), “cops first refused to take cognizance of what had happened when the Bakarwalas petitioned them for action. Later, one went so far as to allegedly wash the clothes and the private parts to erase all traces of what could have been crucial forensic evidence.” The writer of the article adds that “most Indians will not go to the police if what has befallen them is not something that has affected them gravely. There are instances where cops have demanded bribe from the parents of rape victims to lodge an FIR.”
In the Unnao case, instead of taking action against the criminals, the local police arrested the victim’s father who died in police custody. The deep injuries on his body proved that he had been tortured to death.
Not just the local police bosses, even the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state, could not show guts to order his men to arrest the main culprit, Kuldeep Singh. The CBI did what the state police should have done.
Let me ask some questions.
1. Should the Prime Minister ‘reach out to the families of the victims of rape in Unnao and Kathua and seek their forgiveness’ also on behalf of the DGPs of Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh?
2. Should the Prime Minister also apologise to all those victims and/or their families whose FIRs are not lodged by the police?
3. Should the Prime Minister reach out and apologise only to the victims and/or their families of Kathua and Unnao or to all the rape victims and/or their families?
4. Large number of rapes are committed by family members and family friends. In such cases, whom should the Prime Minister reach out to offer his apologies?
5. You have expressed anguish at the behaviour of “younger colleagues who are still in service.” But please ask yourself, had the people faith in police and local administration for justice during your days? Has this lack of faith not been a part of our system? I am 77 plus. I do not remember that, by and large, the people of India had ever faith in police and local administration for justice.
6. Like all others, you have every right to condemn the heinous crimes of rape but how have you come to the conclusion that “In post-independence India, this is our darkest hour”? Have you forgotten how thousands of Kashmiri pundits were killed, their houses burned and those surviving were forced to run away from Kashmir overnight? Have you forgotten murders of thousands of Sikhs in 1984 right in the capital of India when the central government of the day did not bother to call the Army for three days and ultimately called not from the nearest Delhi cantonments but from Meerut? Who was responsible for this “culture of majoritarian, belligerence and aggression”?
7. How have you come to the conclusion that the Sangh Parivar is responsible for ‘our darkest hour’? Have you got any proof which you would like to share publicly? Incidentally, Kuldeep Singh, the main criminal in the Unnao case, was a member of the Samajwadi Party before joining the BJP in 2014.
8. Yes, the minorities must be protected but what about protection to those who are considered ‘majority’ in the country but are actually ‘minority’ in several pockets of India and live in the midst of fear for life?
9. I should not be accused of diluting the seriousness of the heinous crimes when I ask you, is the present state of affairs because of the BJP rule? Quoting the UN Crime Trends Survey 2010, the Union Minister of State for Home informed the Rajya Sabha on July 23, 2014, that India (with 22,172 rape cases) figured third among the top 10 countries where the highest number of rapes were committed in 2010. He further said that the country ranked second in 2012.
My views which people like you may not like.
1. Dear retired civil servants, you have given political colour to rape, a human problem. The way you have blamed the ‘Sangh Parivar’ for ‘our darkest hour’ reminds me of the blame on the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’ assassination in 1948. The Nehru government banned the RSS on the suspicion that Nathuram Godse was associated with the RSS. If a few persons associated with the RSS plotted Gandhi’s assassination, was it fair to ban the entire organisation? If the RSS was responsible for the crime because Nathuram Godse had links with RSS, all the Maharashtrians were responsible because Godse was a Maharashtrian and all Indians were responsible because Godse was an Indian. Subsequent judicial inquiries established that the RSS had no role in the assassination but even now Rahul Gandhi, the latest crown prince of the Nehru-Gandhi, misses no opportunity to blame the ‘RSS thinking’ for Gandhi’s assassination.
2. Many people may say that Rahul Gandhi says so out of ignorance or stupidity but I believe that he does it deliberately. Probably, he has read what Hitler’s propaganda Minister Goebbels used to say. “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” “If you tell the same lie enough times, people will believe it; and the bigger the lie, the better.”
3. It was Nehru’s blunder that initiated the policy of ‘divide and rule’ for which he and other politicians, as well as historians, blame the British rulers. The initial years of post-Independence India were the years to lay the foundation of a modern India in which the abolition of untouchability existed not just in the Constitution but in the minds of people, in which the Dalits did not require reservation in government jobs after the initial period of transition. Unfortunately, the government did nothing to educate Dalits and Muslims to empower them to compete on merit and come in the main stream. Instead, they were fed on false promises and used as vote banks. Today, candidates are selected on the basis of casts, sub-castes, and communities to attract votes. It is not the BJP which is responsible for this sorry state of affairs.
4. The harsh reality of is that the so-called ‘intellectuals’ and ‘secularists’ feel uncomfortable whenever the supremacy of the Nehru-Gandhi family appeared in danger. During her 2007 Gujarat assembly election campaign, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had ‘infamously’ branded Modi as ‘merchant of death’ because of Gujarat riots in 2002. In April 2014, the Supreme Court expressed satisfaction that all allegations against Modi were baseless. However, his detractors could not digest it. In April 2004 dozens of intellectuals publicly warned the people not to elect Modi. There are numerous examples of the anti-Modi campaign during the 2014 general election and before as well as during state assembly elections. The voters are reminded again and again that Modi is anti-Muslim and a fascist. Remember the campaign of ‘growing intolerance’ because of stray incidents of violence in 2015.
5. However, these ‘secularists’ and ‘intellectuals’ had no problem when separatists of Kashmir organised an event at the Jawaharlal Nehru University to shout anti-army and anti-India slogans like ‘God willing, India will disintegrate’ and ‘Afzal Guru, ham sharminda hain. Tere katil zinda hain’. (‘Afzal Guru, we are ashamed. Your killers are still alive’).
6. You are not the first to condemn the present NDA rule as “our darkest hour”. When the investigating authorities started action against owners of a TV channel, nine imminent ‘intellectuals’ gathered together to express solidarity with them. 94-year-old Kuldip Nayar, a highly respected journalist who was himself sent to jail during the last phase of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in June 1975, stated that the situation was more or less the same as that during the Emergency, ‘though not to the same extent’.
7. Dear retired civil servants, please remember India remains a secular country because it is a Hindu majority country. Despite the fact that the Hindus are most tolerant people, the Congress and other self-styled secularists have been trying to blame the entire community because of misdeeds of some individual Hindus or even without any basis. Without any basis, Hindus were blamed for the riots following the burning of the coaches of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002. Subsequent investigations proved that the allegations were baseless. At least since 2010, several Congressmen have been using the term “Hindu terrorism” “Saffron Terror”. The BJP leadership has never used the term ‘Muslim terrorism’. It always maintains that terrorism has no religion. These secularists raise suspicions about police action against terrorists and try their level best to keep those suspicions alive for political gains.
8. It is unfair to blame the ‘Sangh Parivar’ for the heinous crimes of rapes. Is the ‘Sangh Parivar’ responsible for police help to the criminals in Kathua or Unnao? A criminal is a criminal and has to be treated so, whatever his religion, whatever his political affiliation. Unfortunately, our police and civilian administration do not think so. The single most important reason for the mushroom growth of gangs of criminals, whether led/used by politicians or independent of them, is the unholy alliance of the police and criminals. We have seen this in Uttar Pradesh after Yogi became Chief Minister. Suddenly, the police started action against criminals. What had prevented the state police headed by a DGP to take action when the criminals had political patronage? More recently, we saw the helplessness of the state police before a criminal politician involved in the Unnao rape case. The police developed cold feet and shamelessly said that the unpleasant task of arresting the criminal should be done by the CBI. Is the DGP less powerful than a local criminal? There are two reasons behind such ‘helplessness’. One is money. The corrupt policeman share the loot with the criminals. The second reason is personal ambition. Not just the police officers but most of the government servants try to keep the politicians on the right side for the favour of ‘good’ posting and post-retirement jobs. The administrative machinery has become self-serving. Even honest senior officers are unable to break the nexus. During 37 long years of service in Government of India, I saw several examples of senior bureaucrats (including economists and scientists occupying secretary level positions) stooping low to gain favour of the political masters.
1. Yes, there should be fast-track courts to try rape cases but there is also need of a law to award nothing less than capital punishment for raping minor girls. Many people say that more than a new law, ‘rule of law’ is needed. I say, there has to be a powerful law for effective ‘rule of law’.
2. The fast track court should be really fast and for that judicial process has also to be suitably changed. In the USA, sexual crimes are decided and the guilty punished within 2-3 months.
3. There should be a total ban on any association between police and politicians and between police and criminals. As judges are expected not to mix freely with lawyers (the ground reality may be different) and as the use of political influence by serving officers is an offence, any police officer found hobnobbing with politicians and/or criminals should be suspended and prosecuted.
4. Refusal to register a case reported by any victim or on behalf of a victim should be declared an offence. Every police station should have a CCTV camera and the activities recorded on these cameras should be monitored by a senior officer. If an officer in charge of a police station refuses to register a complaint, immediate action should be taken against him. If the complainant is a rape victim or relatives of a rape victim, refusal to register the complaint should automatically lead to suspension and arrest of the officer in charge of the police station. If five such cases are reported in a month, the SSP of the area should be suspended and arrested for failure of duty. If 30 cases are reported in a month, the same treatment should be given to the DGP of state police. Only fear of law will make the police officers responsible to the society.
April 19, 2018