Raouf Rasool

I bow my head in shame

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I bow my head in shame. We have not only let down the minor Boniyar girl, but we have exposed our moral bankruptcy to the hilt. And that is really shameful!

When Kathua rape and murder happened, we were up in arms against the gruesome incident, demanding exemplary punishment to the accused. Notwithstanding the politics surrounding the tragedy, our indignation was more than justified. A minor girl had been brutalized. So how could anyone not protest against it? We protested and did it as strongly as we could and should possibly have!

This week a similar incident was reported from Boniyar in Uri. Again a minor girl, more or less of same age as the Kathua victim, was subjected to a similarly brutality before being done to death. Here the perpetrators were not the ‘political or religious other’ but the entire conspiracy was hatched and choreographed by the girl’s own step-mother, and executed besides her by her step-brother and his friends.

But this time around there was no popular expression of collective annoyance, anger and indignation. A few condemnations that poured in from a few ‘political mouths’, were not even a feeble murmur in comparison to what had been evoked by Kathua incident.

Can anybody kindly explain why? Why this duplicity? How and why do we compartmentalize victims on the basis of their or the perpetrators’ background and lineage? Why is it that this time we do not see posters on cars and autorickshaws, or the banners and hoardings hanging in marketplaces calling for justice to the Boniyar victim and capital punishment to her tormentors?

My little child – the nine-year-old victim (whom I cannot name) – I am sorry. As a father of a similarly aged girl, I apologise to you. I have failed you, for I didn’t deem it fit to come even to the Press Enclave here with at least a candle in my hand to register my protest. My tearful apologies to you. May your soul rest in peace.



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