The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Madhumita did not live to tell this tale

Hum to barbad ho hi gaye hain. Lekin sochte hain ke apne bhaiyon ki zindagi banade

New Delhi, Aug. 4: Madhumita Shukla wrote: “I am devastated. But let me try and see if I can give my brothers a happy life.”

On May 9, Madhumita’s life ended in the search for a happy life for her lower middle-class family. The 24-year-old, described as a poet, has left behind her story in a five-page letter — signed but undated — to Amarmani Tripathi, the Uttar Pradesh minister who was forced to resign after her murder.

The letter, now a part of the dossier of investigators probing Madhumita’s murder, says she was carrying Tripathi’s child, and not for the first time, too. She was six months pregnant at the time of her death, shot through the heart at her Paper Mill Colony residence in Lucknow.

“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,” Madhumita writes.

Her personal diary, along with the letter, was seized by police from her residence and handed over to the CBI, to which the case was later transferred.

Madhumita was in love with the man, despite being used as a “commodity”. “I would stay with you at night like a prostitute but was thrown out in the morning. Still I felt happy meeting you,” she says.

Tripathi was questioned by the CBI in Delhi late last week. Sources said his relationship with Madhumita was the focus of the interrogation.

It was a relationship in which Madhumita had surrendered completely to a man who was older, was married and wielded enormous influence as a politician with muscle.

“Because of your kindness I believed that you would share all my responsibilities. 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.”

Madhumita’s family consisted of her mother — her late father was a class IV forest department employee — elder sister Nidhi and younger brothers Ajay and Sunny.

“The guardian” she refers to got her brother a job all right, but it was transitory — like much else in her life. “The day the government fell, he lost it (the job),” the letter says.

Before Mayavati’s, Tripathi had been minister in three governments — of Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh — but it’s not clear which regime she’s talking about in the letter.

She only speaks of impermanence. “You did not do anything permanent,” she writes. Least of all in their relationship.

The letter reveals Tripathi’s wife was aware of the affair. It also speaks of a third woman. “You could not resist yourself and got associated with another woman, ‘Pandey’,” it says.

She also felt cheated that she was being pressured to abort the baby after being assured until five months of the pregnancy that she could go ahead and have it. The letter refers to another occasion when the same charade was played out, leading up to an abortion.

For the appearance of another woman in Tripathi’s life, Madhumita held herself responsible. “I was to be blamed for it because I was keeping a distance (from him).”

She says she still tried to win him back but had realised that the relationship was over. “Mera adhikarchetra kam ho gaya (My claim on you had shrunk).”

The phone line was cut, the servant was taken away, the car was gone. But she was not referring to all that. “The question is not money but our feelings,” she writes.

Madhumita appeals to him: “Read this letter in full. It is possible we will never be able to talk at such great length.”

She wasn’t.


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