| Madhumita Shukla
The following are excerpts from a five-page letter purportedly written by murdered poet Madhumita Shukla to former Uttar Pradesh minister Amarmani Tripathi. The letter in Hindi was part of a diary Uttar Pradesh police handed over to the CBI, which is investigating the case now.
The letter does not carry any date to show when it was written but it indicated that the two became close after a meeting on November 22, 1999, when Tripathi was a minister.
“Isi beech, dhai mahine ka abortion hua. Tab bhee aap suru me kahte rahe ki ‘theek hai, paida karenge’ aur bad me aap Dilli se phone par kahte hai ki ‘chahe jaan chali jai par abortion karwa lo’, hame aaj bhi yaad hai (In the meantime, I had to get the two-and-half-month foetus aborted. Then, too, you used to say ‘it’s fine, the child will be born’ and then later you called from Delhi to say that ‘even if you die get it aborted’, I still remember).”
“Ek vaisya ke tarah ham raat bhar apke sath rahe, phir subah hote hi phir bhaga diye jate. Khair phir bhi khusi aapse milne ki rahtee (I would stay with you at night like a prostitute but was thrown out in the morning. Still I felt happy meeting you).”
“…I was convinced that my entire responsibility and problem will be shared by you. Once you got a job for my brother, my entire family started trusting you. I started believing that from now on we would not have to bow to anyone; that we would not have to make compromises any more. You became not only my, but my entire family’s guardian.”
“You had told me in (name of a five-star hotel in Delhi) that I used to roam around, penniless, and that I was a thief and a prostitute. You got my brother a bad job. The day the government fell, he lost it. You did not do anything permanent.”
“Up to five months of the pregnancy, you insisted on having the child but from the sixth month you started pressuring me for an abortion. Did I not dream of having a baby for four months' You may refuse to accept the child but as a mother how can I do that' Should I murder the child after bearing it in my womb for six months' Did you not think of my pain' You treated me as a commodity. Did you not think what would happen to a woman who had already had two major abortions' You would have felt the pain if it was one of your own.”
“Read this letter in full. It is possible that we will never be able to talk at such great length.”
“Bought a house for Rs 1.10 lakh. I was abused by your wife for it. She came to my house, abused me and went off.”
“You could not resist yourself and got associated with another woman, “Pandey”. I saw with my own eyes (you) kissing Manju, but I thought I was to be blamed for it because I was maintaining a distance.
“That is why I’m once again after you, leaving behind the construction at my house. Slowly, you returned to the track. My influence on you was evaporating, the telephone connection was snapped, took away the servant, stopped giving vehicle and going out, but all this without any provocation. I think this happened because I’m no longer fresh for you, even physical strength has taken a knocking, and you started looking for a new one.”
“Even after so many days, I requested you to get my fridge, cooler and house repaired, and you agreed. You said that ‘money is nothing, I will get it done soon’. I feel that the question is not money, but about our feelings.
“Now you are a big minister. I am devastated. But let me try and see if I can give my brothers a happy life.”