Trial by fire

By MALAFIDE - Malvika Singh
  • Published 30.10.07

With the Tehelka exposé we have been jolted, yet again, into the reality of modern India where there is no respect for the rule of law, for the security of life and freedom of choice, and all else that is humane. From the mass killings of innocent people under the eye of government agencies supposed to maintain law and order, onto rape, abduction, extortion and the organized killings of individuals by individuals who are bigoted and greedy, who use their money, status and connections with the powers-that-be to defy the law when it suits their immediate and parochial whims, it is clear that governance has ceased to exist for the ordinary, law-abiding citizens who should be able to exercise their choice within our democratic framework.

India is in the throes of a civilizational upheaval and the worst of the muck has risen to the surface. Excuses and explanations abound as the privileged, and those in authority, run to cover up, flaunting their cash and clout. Every single leader has condoned this horror because there is not one that is willing to speak out, tell people the truth, resign and walk away from the persistent corruption that has debilitated India. Power has become a cancer that has overwhelmed all politics — Right, Left and Centre — making this country the worst, living and thriving, banana republic with a glorious heritage, which has been brutally destroyed by selfish politicians.

Nothing can change the situation and make it humane, except for a messiah who stands up and walks the length and breadth of this land reaching out to ordinary people, asking them to join in the rebuilding and reconstruction by setting aside the shameful misuse of creed, caste and class. No ‘management’ technique will work to cleanse the land. Only simple, humane values and inclusive ideals will turn the course of this killer tsunami.

Trial by fire

In a Left-ruled state that professes a progressive and clean rule, a Muslim boy is found dead on the Calcutta railway tracks because he married a Hindu girl. Well-connected, selfish parents were opposed to the alliance and harassed the young man, aided by the authorities that are there to protect individual rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Whether Rizwanur Rahman was killed or committed suicide is irrelevant — the entire sordid exercise was a violation of the law of the land and the officials involved need to be punished for admitting such ‘complaints’.

Stories in this realm abound and are gruesome. Indians know how corruption and the manipulation of the law by those in power destroy the truth. Sickened by this, people have already begun to revolt. Parents squirm at having to bring up a new generation in this space infested with all that is unacceptable in civil society. Religious philosophies are being abused in the name of faith. Whatever little res- pect and fear there might have once been for the police and the other varied administrators of the law have been diluted and thrown to the winds.

I feel sick whenever I am asked whether the Tehelka revelations and reaffirmations of the Gujarat carnage will consolidate Narendra Modi’s victory. That the self-proclaimed intelligentsia of the nation’s capital cannot distinguish illegal killings of innocent citizens, in what professes to be a modern and rocking state, from petty and selfish politicking for votes and seats in an election, speaks volumes about the intellectual fibre of the privileged class. Obviously illiterate, these ‘opinion-makers’ seem unable to revisit the human horrors inflicted on societies by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and others who killed and tried to decimate all those who did not fall in line with either their personal faith or their ideology. Is India in the throes of its trial by blood and fire?