In the Hindi picture ‘3 Idiots’, the lead character Rancho mouths an oft repeated dialogue – ‘All is well…’ as a response to problems faced by him and his friends. The logic stems from the understanding that the heart is always fearful and it needs to be reassured at all times by tricking it to believe that all is well. With the events unfolding in Uttar Pradesh in the recent past one is left questioning the impunity of the government and the authorities by using the same dialogue, but as a question – ‘All is well?’
The gang rape, physical assault, death and subsequent burning of the victim’s body in anonymity, have shaken the collective conscience of people across the nation.
“Society is finally waking up to the seriousness of caste related violence against women from backward communities, their sheer helplessness in fighting for justice and the utter disdain of authorities towards their plight.”
The government, in the state however, has chosen to peddle a completely alternate narrative based on a botched up forensic examination and autopsy report. In statements issued by multiple voices of the law and administration in the state, there have been allusions to the following:
- Statement by the UP Police ADG: There was no rape. (Based on an 11-day late forensic report and sample collection). In trying to hush up its own incompetence (which has seen three police officers suspended) it has conveniently ignored the amendment to the IPC in 2013. One can read the same here, apply the elements of the amendment to the Hathras case and form an opinion.
- The chief minister on the other hand has come up with a new theory involving international conspiracy aimed at causing riots and defaming the government. A PR firm based in Mumbai – Concept PR was tasked with sending out a press release to substantiate the claim. I searched for the reporting, and the language used in two different instances and here are two reports one from NDTV that reports on the issue, and another from Republic World that has already started investigating the theories put forth by the UP government.
While on the one hand one could see the full force of the authorities when they forcibly burnt the dead body (no it cannot be called a cremation for it was not one), they were seen trying to pacify (rather meekly) vocal members of the upper caste Thakur community who were issuing threats openly. The administration had its own way of imparting a threat or local wisdom (depends on one’s viewpoint) to the girl’s family.
All this leads me to questions that have been festering for a while now.
– What will happen to the girl’s family?
– The serious charges stated in the 19 FIR’s filed by the police, who will they affect and how?
Will the nation, society and the government acknowledge crimes against Dalit women, and bring the perpetrators to justice?
Or will we be left with an All Is Well…