Have you seen Shool, the movie starring Manoj Bajpai as an upright police officer trying to clean up rowdyism and crime in a Bihari town. Apart from recalling Shilpa Shetty gyrating to “Main aayee hu UP Bihar Loot ne“, do you remember being filled with rage each time an anti-social element indulged in rampant rowdyism on the streets in broad daylight and safely hid behind their benevolent political masters? If not, I bet you felt a tinge of anger when Manoj Bajpai’s ten-year old daughter is the object of some derogatory eve-teasing (badi hoke maa jaise rasilee banegi…urgh!) in front of her father. The movie’s protagonists then goes on to thrash the goons black and blue but ends up losing his daughter’s life just because he dared to fight back. And if you thought such dramatic incidents are reserved for the screen, then we were given a dose of reality recently when Meher Bhargava, a 52-year Parsi woman succumbed to bullet injuries after being shot by couple of goons. Her fault — she dared to object to eve-teasing that is currently a bane of our urban existence. She was shot almost bang (no pun intended) opposite the district police chief’s office — in the compound of a residential apartment. Can it get any more brazen than that?
The ruling Samajwadi Party allegedly patronized these local goons and that gave them the sense of invincibility to shoot a middle-aged woman simply for protesting their despicable actions. If you are still unconvinced about the damaging aspects of eve-teasing or street harassment that Blank Noise Project crusaded against few weeks back, then this incident ought to make you think again. The attitude of the local police was also found to be wanting as they sprung into action arresting the prime suspects only after the Chief Minister intervened.
Hundreds of protestors raised their voice by marching peacefully. I am sure, my blog doesn’t matter much in the greater scheme of things but at least if one person reads this and makes his or her protest regards such blatant crime be known, then I would have achieved a lot. Few months back, bloggers united against a seemingly innocuous attempt by IIPM to stifle opposing opinions and the result was that we made a statement that we shall take things lying down. You think that we cannot band together each time a travesty of justice occurs. I say, why not. It does not take much to voice out your opinion and in this ‘game’ of injustice-n-protest, numbers count and get things moving. Let us hope that legally this doesn’t go the Jessica Lal way, as it is widely feared.