Thursday, 2 May 2013

Rocky road to Raisina Hill

Election 2014 is more or less a year away from now and looks like both the sides have a lot of ground work to be done. Assuming an election is called for earlier than expected, the incumbents have a lot to worry about. Not only will the ruling have a turbulent time, so will the others, as all are tainted with one allegation or the other. This being the case, no party would like to see an early election, despite the mud slinging played around by political players time and again.

Shaky incumbency 

Starting from the ruling party, it is very evident from recent reports and developments that their base is turning insecure by the day. The 9 years of governance of UPA by the day is being portrayed as years where the policies were framed to please the rich and loot the coffers. The latter part of the UPA's term also witnessed activism by constitutional bodies such as CAG (Comptroller Auditor General). This body had the matchstick to ignite the flames of criticisms on the ruling. It all started with the tabling of audit report on 2G spectrum allocation showing a Rs. 12,600 crore loss to the national exchequer. The report questioned the method adopted for the allocation and directly implicated the then telecommunications minister A.Raja of implementing flawed policies. The ghost of 2G lingers around every now and then bringing out more pointers and even more names into the case. Mr. V.Narayanasamy, Minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office brought in more trouble for the UPA with a statement saying, the government has plans to make the CAG a 'multi-member body'. This was a statement that had to come up at the wrong place and time. It gave an explicit impression to the public that the government is trying to silence the barking watchdog which has been troubling them.
Following the 2G audit report was one other major audit report raising red flags on the allocation of coal blocks. The CAG again blamed the policies adopted. This time the incumbents got a step ahead accusing the CAG of overstepping their mandate. Post these controversies, the apex court decided to de-allocate those coal blocks which had not yet begun production.
The best ones came up a few days back. The director of CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) had confessed in the Supreme Court during a hearing that the report on coal block allocation scam was shared with a few in the government including cabinet minister in-charge of law, Mr. Ashwani Kumar. This put out a message very clearly, it signposted a fine message that the CBI was not an independent agency, instead it works at the hands of the ruling. This was one allegation that was up and running for a long time but this is the first time that it hit the spot light. During a debate on the Lok Pal Bill, a few months back in Rajya Sabha, reputed lawyer and MP from BJP Mr. Ram JethMalani, vociferously demanded that CBI be made independent body like CAG, to have better and transparent investigation. Even in recent time, a month or two down the line, the CBI was accused of being used as a political tool by the Congress to tame allies who are drifting apart, it was alleged that the incumbents used cases of impropriety in wealth against some political kingpins.
None of what was mentioned above help the ruling in any way possible, though there are some good schemes brought out by UPA, the good deeds of theirs are being overshadowed by the allegations of corruption against them. UPA has to address these flag points, if they wish to even think about seeking a claim for a 3rd term.

Not so different opposition

The opposition are not in much different or better position than their rivals. The BJP has a lot of issues to be addressed to, with internal clash on naming the 'Prime Ministerial candidate'. Funny though it may sound with all these talks popping up with not even the election dates being announced. Also it is not mandatory for a party to name its candidate for Prime Minister before hand. This comes after the election results are out and decision is taken by the elected representatives of the party or coalition. It is comical to see how the BJP and its allies in the NDA( National Democratic Alliance) are involved in a tug-of-war on whom to name or not name as a prospective PM. The prominent figure in this race to the PM candidate in BJP circles is the Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who has garnered himself a huge wave of support within the party also has a good reputation of keeping BJP in power for 3 consecutive terms in his home state.
As always there is always grumbling over one's popularity. Here, it is the Chief minister from Bihar and leader of Janata Dal (United) Mr. Nitish Kumar, who happens to be a key ally in the NDA. The JD(U) leader said he would walk out of the alliance, if BJP failed to project a secular leader as a candidate, he also openly accused the Gujarat CM to be communal, despite the popularity that the latter has. Since then, the congress has in a way started lobbying to gain the support of JD(U).

Third front?-- Little too far-fetched

Keeping aside the mainstream political entities of BJP and Congress, since the last elections there has been talks about establishing a 'third front' as an alternative to the existing parties. This never saw the daylight after the parties of third front failed to muster the numbers. It was supposed to be coalition of some regional parties and leftist parties. These talks have surfaced again, but it is likely to fail again, probably do marginally better when compared to 2009.
One other party which should be keenly observed is the newly christened Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) started by former civil servant turned activist Arvind Kejriwal. Though they might eat into the electorates of other party to a certain extent, AAP cannot capture power, for a very simple reason of them being inexperienced having not much of political exposure. AAP might take a sizable number, whose aegis maybe required to pass important bills and legislatures. But the performance and the reach of AAP is too early to be evaluated. Their road map to Elections 2014 might depend upon their performance in Delhi assembly elections that are around the corner. Prima facie, they have a severe shortage of active party members due to the fact that they are a newly formed party. One thing they have to learn is that politics is way different from merely wearing caps, sitting in famous grounds, protesting and going on hunger strikes. It takes something more, an ideological thrust that pushes them, effective policy stance in terms of all aspects of governance. Until that is in place in AAP, they cannot be considered anywhere near in claiming the responsibility of governing the people.
When looking behind on what the political scenario actually is, it is very evident that not a single party can boast around claiming popular support. All the parties have too much to do in too short a time. It is high time that the parties start working on them instead of mud slinging and stalling the proceedings of parliament, as it is going to be a rocky road for all in the journey towards the parliamentary elections of 2014.     

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Student Trump Card

The future leaders and citizens of India are up in arms and in the streets of Tamil Nadu protesting for a harsh resolution against Sri Lanka and to declare its incumbent president as a war criminal. A lot of voices have endorsed their support to this protest by the students, who usually do not get involved in any political issues as such. This being a brief about what is happening in the state, it is imperative to look at the larger picture of how these protests are being politicized. The main focus here is about DMK playing a trump card with these protests to gain political brownie points, in the view of the upcoming Parliamentary elections in 2014.

The pull-out

The one notable and sensational headline visible after the protests against Sri Lanka kicked off, was the DMK deciding to withdraw its support for the UPA government in the center. The DMK is the second largest party in the ruling alliance and has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha including some minsters in the cabinet. A star politician in the cabinet that needs mentioning is Mr. M. Karunanidhi's son M.K.Alagiri.
With the DMK severing the ties with ruling alliance the UPA might have lost a bit of ground, yet they are stable with the support of parties like SP which though not part of the mainstream alliance but provide an outside support to the ruling party. One thing is to be made very clear, no party, both ruling and alliance don't  want an early election.Both the ruling and the opposition do not have a very popular name to get them elected. News of corruption and scams from the ruling side comes up quite like a weekly edition of magazine. The opposition do not have a consensus over their Prime Ministerial candidate yet.  So one thing for sure is that, the voters do not need to get their nails inked until 2014. But there always lingers a sense of drama when a party acts as if it holds the power plug to the government despite that not being the fact.
The party MPs quit the alliance as a mark of protest against the laggard attitude exhibited by the ruling in the Sri Lankan issue and in the subsequent draft resolution. 

Playing the Demographic advantage

This move by DMK looks like more of a political move rather than a protest. One thing to be very keenly looked upon is the timing of this decision. The DMK decided to pull the cord at a time when most of the students, in other words, most of the first time voters were involved. The party at the moment have nothing to boast off that could ensure some seats to the Parliament. DMK had come under heavy criticism especially after the 2G scam which derailed their political campaign to give the ADMK a very convincing win in the state assembly elections. The DMK evidently has started on calculations for the future and them quitting the ruling alliance is the first step. 
One thing that must be done by any party to ensure a comprehensive win in any election is to get the first time voters on board and the number of first time eligible voters have multiplied by several folds in the past 5 years. It is mandatory to gain the popularity of  these youngsters to foster some good numbers for Lok Sabha, so that DMK is in a bargaining position, no matter which party comes to power. 
This pull out from the UPA government is definitely bound to be used as a political campaign strategy by the DMK.

The trump card

As indicated in the title of this article, this act by DMK is nothing more than playing their trump card which had just come to their hands in the form of students protests. This protest, though initiated by a group of students of Loyola College, Chennai, spread like a wild fire to other colleges as well, bringing in all medical, engineering, arts and science colleges within the ambit of this protest. 
Many parallel this protest to the Anti-Hindi agitation of 1965, where it witnessed a huge turn out of students to protest against the proclamation of Hindi as the sole official language of the then Madras State. The protest in 1965 was famous not only for the student turn out it witnessed, but also the violence that it brought along.
The then DMK party had capitalized on the Anti-Hindi agitation and won the consequent election that followed in 1967. Similarly, the protests on moving a very harsh resolution against Sri Lanka would be used as a political tool to gain DMK back the ground it had lost in the past few years.

A protest too late?

Many seem to feel that this huge uproar by the student community seems to have come a little too late. This comes after the Indian government refused to make any amendments in the draft resolution sent by the US. The government labelled it too late to make any amendments. 
Now with the resolution being successfully moved in Geneva and not surprisingly it carried no harsh amendments, there is a call for continued protest in the state by the students. It seems very pointless to continue this protest, as there is really nothing to be done.
When asked one of the students about the cause for the protest, there came a very vague reply saying "it is about the Sri Lankan issue". The sad part of it was that, the student studying in a private engineering college, was not able to detail upon what the issue was really about. So with this, arises a question of how many students are really legitimate in this protest? One thing to be noted is that this particular private engineering college is gearing up for the protest in their premises from today (25/03/2013). Though it is agreeable that by declaring a blanket holiday, they were not given time and space to protest, the protest could turn out meaningless other than for the sake of registering their voice as a formality.

Despite many political flag points that this protest carried, it is really appreciable that students took it to the streets and putting out a clear message that they are not bound only to the four walls of classroom. Given the timing of it,when students are quite often labelled to be uninterested in social issues, this protest of theirs comes as a clear voice which says otherwise.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Not so punitive fine for offences

In many petty offences in India, the laws mostly require the guilty to pay a fine of certain amount. I was travelling by train yesterday, noticed a sign put up which said "Use of explosive material in train is a crime and liable to be punished with a fine or imprisonment or both" and that is when I got the idea of writing this entry. The given fine amount was Rs. 1000. This made me laugh. A friend of mine spends nearly 500 a day on food, travel and other stuff. Even if he was to be fined, it would just be the loss of two days' pocket money. I assumed that this fine amount prescribed by the lawmakers might have been heavy on the pockets during the time this law was enacted. But it needs to be reviewed. If the fine amount is not something that takes a toll on the guilty's purse, then it cannot deter these petty offences. 

I'm not only asking to review the Railway laws alone. There must be a review of all existing laws which involve fine amounts. There might come an argument by lawmakers that it may be a tedious process to review each and every law and amend the fine amounts. Also they might come up and say that, such debates in the assemblies and parliament would be wasting the lawmakers' time since this review and amendment must be made on a regular basis (i.e.,) every time the value of money fluctuates.

Relative fine amounts

In order to ensure that the fine amounts are serious enough to prevent or to the very least control petty offences, a review of the laws are required, but not a case-by-case review. Instead all the existing laws can be amended and included a clause that establishes an equivalence to the amount in the year these respective laws were enacted to something whose value is relative to the economy.With that respect, gold would be  a very viable option. Since, the value of the gold is to a certain extent relative to the value of money. With fine amounts being related to the value of gold, we can have a control over the offenders and also to an extent ensure that there are no repeated offenders, since the price of 1 gram of gold in 1980 would not be the same in 2013.

The reason I am impressing on this equivalence is that, once I was travelling in train with a friend of mine. He, being a smoker couldn't restrain himself in the 8 hour long journey and went ahead to have a puff or two, despite telling that smoking in a moving train is an offence. He shrugged off my warning saying that he would pay the small amount of fine that is quoted as a punishment.

Including the 'equivalence of fine amount to the value of gold' would not be as tedious process as a review of the all the existing laws. All the lawmakers, even today, do not take into account, the future economic status of our country before enacting laws that involves punitive fine amounts. They resort to review only when faced by a huge public protest and mobilization. 

Extension of relevance 

This 'relevance to gold' system would not only be helpful in checking petty offences, it can also be put into use in various welfare schemes that are already existent. For example, the state government of Tamil Nadu provides Rs. 18000/- per annum to the disabled, as a relief measure for persons disabled in accidents in Factories and Industries. But this Rs. 1500/- per month would never help in meeting the person's needs. If the accident has made the laborer immobile because of the accident, this amount does no help, unless there are special grants by the Ministers or Chief Minister, which may not be the case for all the victims. Thus, to ensure a constant funding to keep the victim and his family, up and running, it is mandatory to establish an equivalence system. This equivalence system would also ensure that the laws need not be amended from time to time to catch up with the swelling economical situation of the nation. 

This relevance would definitely be a boon to the citizens, as it brings a 'win-win' situation, where the government shall benefit from the higher fine amounts and the citizens enjoying higher grants, as the amount they get would definitely be relative to the general economic situation of the country.   

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Wish you a very regretful New Year--Part 3

The Reality, Punishment and Future

I know it is quite late to publish the 3rd part of the article. But i had deliberately waited to publish it late, in order to make people realize that how forgetful they are about issues, despite it creating a ripple throughout the nation.Its been nearly a week since the articles and reports regarding rapes have started declining by the day and people have started to forget the incident and have started talking about other issues. 
With a brief introduction above, this leads us to the first Sub-heading that is mentioned in the title.

The Reality

Protests all over major cities, especially the capital. Metro rail services blocked, roads barricaded, announcement of section 144, etc. These are the many steps taken by the authorities to prevent the people to gather in places such as India Gate in order to echo for the Delhi gang rape victim who died a few days back. While the concern of the general public is to be appreciated as a whole, I happened to get skeptical about the crowd who had gathered for protest. I doubt whether all of them are protesters indeed. It is not meant to be offensive of the concerned people who have taken days off to protest in order to ensure justice for the victim, but while people are looking up at the crimes that have reached sky-high, we sometimes fail to look down upon the reality of the situation. 
This sub-heading was not meant to be a part of this article initially, but I brought it out after i saw a report that made me feel ashamed of the nation I live in and the state of affairs that it is in now. A female journalist being groped by some random guy in a mob during a protest against crime against women. It sounds ironic, but in reality it is something which shows us that, we have not yet evolved (at least mentally) as civilized human beings. The situation is even worse when this victimized journalist happened to tweet this. Very few people sympathized her, whereas others blamed her of seeking publicity, some called her a liar, some people (whom i wouldn't even consider calling them humans, but had to) even told her to enjoy the masculine touch. This incident shows us how low can mankind stoop for the sake of a pleasure lasting for a few minutes which comes with a price tag of the victim's mental agony. 
This was just one case that came to light, even that had because of the victim being a journalist. There could have been many more issues, opportunistic people capitalize on such situations. One can always find in any gathering of people, Drunkards or non-drunkards trying to misbehave with women in the crowd, pick pockets, who thrive on the income from the purses of protesters and many others. Sadly enough, people are not aware of the reality that exists in protests.


With the whole mob of protesters on their brim of explosion and many demanding for a lynch mob style punishment, it is necessary for us to think wisely and decide with the course of action and the legal proceedings. Though the entire group of protesters are united in seeking justice for the victim, they stand divided on the punishment that is to be awarded to the perpetrators, if found guilty. Currently, the laws provide life sentence for rape and unless the rarest-of-rare crimes , death penalty is not awarded. 
There is a group demanding death penalty for the perpetrators, one demanding castration of the convicts and another pressing for life time confinement in prison. When looked on a case-by-case basis, though the idea behind death penalty was to instill fear in the people and prevent them from committing crime, it does not prove to deter the rate of crime, especially with crimes against women. Following this is the demand for Chemical castration, but one must understand that, there can be no drop in rape instances, with the implementation of castration either. The criminals would find some other innovative way to humiliate the woman, these would be so gross that i do not wish to discuss in my article. One must understand that rape is not just penile vaginal intercourse, as in the Delhi rape case, the perpetrators used an iron rod as well. OK  now back to the discussion of the various cases of punishment for perpetrators of rape. When looked at life imprisonment, it can prove to be a deterrence to the crime, especially if it is solitary confinement. This is so because considering death which kills the convict within a matter of minutes. Castration which ensures that the convict does not have an erection but will still give him a considerably amount of freedom in other terms except sexual pleasure. Whereas with solitary confinement, it would be hell on earth, not on literal terms but it will subject the convict to a mental torture of being cut off from rest of the world. It would also give time for the perpetrator(s) to introspect on their crime and give them space to regret for the same, if they wish to.

The Future

Now with discussing the reality and the punishment that can be implemented on the convicts, naturally comes the question about the future--is it going to be anyway safe for women? Well, as an answer to that question, we need to understand one thing. We live in India, a place where people have started thinking progressively in a materialistic way, but still are way behind in the stone age in terms of thinking progressively for the place of woman in the society which was governed by the men in the yesteryear. Most of the people today lack maturity in thought regarding women donning the roles which were meant for men otherwise. All the uproar and talks regarding women empowerment just remains on papers and when it comes to implementation, everyone slows down.
As with immature thought, we blame the women of stimulating crimes against them. A Self acclaimed god-man arbitrarily says that the crime would not have happened if the victim had pleaded to the perpetrators and addressed them as brothers. Can we be more stupid than this? It is a shame that a man who is respected spiritually doesn't even know to respect the dead and uses the victim's case as a tool to give his discourse. 
If a god-man can turn out to be so ignorant, we have an entire government, who are supposed to crackdown on the criminals, instead impose restrictions on male and female interactions and bring in dress codes for women with a belief of controlling crimes against women. It is very sad that a government in a huge democracy like India, had to blame the women's dressing sense and brought in dress codes. The government is also intruding into the social sphere of the women by restricting interaction between men and women.
It is indeed, the need-of-the hour that we bring about some change that makes the street safer for women, but no one asked for the safety that comes with strings attached, such as sacrificing social freedom. By imposing such directives by the government, it does not serve the purpose of protecting womankind, instead it shows the inability of the government to act upon criminals and its readiness to just sit and start the blame game.
But the real change can come only on a long term, it is time that we don't hide everything under the guise of culture, girl children must be reassured that they can approach parents or elders to report anything that might make them feel uncomfortable. Parents must start speaking up and explain children about harassment of women. The schools must start implementing value education in school curriculum in order to ensure that the children understand moral values and turn out to be better citizens tomorrow to stand up for the cause of women or at least would not indulge in violence against women. It is the childhood days which put up a foundation pile to the adulthood tomorrow, hence it is necessary that the children are properly groomed. The change that we need cannot be enforced, it must come from within and the best place to implement those changes is childhood.

As you can see, this is the last of the three part article. It is indeed very sad that a civilized country like India had to witness such a brutal case of rape, especially in the capital. My respects to the victim who died even after putting up a fight and expressing her desire to live on. May her soul Rest In Peace.

Friday, 4 January 2013

The Crowded 1st class and a policeman

Since there have been some serious reports in this blog so far, its time for something light and I have decided to do an observation of mine with regard to an incident that happened today.

A man in his late 40's with a cover full of case papers. Clad in a khaki uniform with a name badge on his chest gets on to the 1st class compartment of a train starting from near high court of madras. These features are of a police inspector who after a long day of duty, is probably heading back to his shack. This man sat next to me. The train, given the time was crowded and there were a few senior citizens who could not find a seat. The seats here in the first class compartment are meant to seat 3, but it can be quite comfortable with 4 as well, provided if people adjust. 
It so happened that the police inspector noticed a senior citizen standing and offered a seat next to him and i did not mind giving some space as well. Before offering a seat to the senior citizen, there were a couple of young boys sitting right opposite to us who were asked to free some space in their seat to accommodate one other passenger. 
Rather than just the gesture of offering a seat to a passenger, the attitude with which he interacted with people and without even exhibiting remorse nature of arrogance made me write this article.

Passenger Arrogance

People may find this attitude of policeman to be an arrogant and commanding one, but i saw it in a different way. I felt that the people had totally forgotten about respecting elders, especially seniors and needed someone to force them show the respect. I would call it enforcement of respect. Many youth today lack respect and sympathy towards co-passengers in any public transport, hence to bring into order, such external 'enforcement' was necessary, in this case from a policeman. Since if it had been an advice by just another civilian, it would have gone unheeded. 
Most of the youth passengers today are arrogant as such, who care about nothing unless it pertains them. Such attitude might have risen because of the way they are brought up. Apart from their peer groups, the parents of the youth are to be blamed. These parents, in their attempt to please their children, have made anything and everything accessible to them that has instilled such an arrogant nature into today's youth. Also the friend's and other social circle of the young ones have turned out to manipulate the thoughts of the youth and make them in a way selfish and least bothered about the others around them.

Uncomfortable passengers

The other passengers are also as arrogant as the youth, if not always but in times where it involves police. The public do not have a very good impression on the police force and are in a way phobic to them, even to the name "Police". There was this one fellow passenger who had literally laughed at the gesture of the inspector to offer seat to a passenger. Personally, I find the passenger's attitude to be offensive. No matter what shall be the attitude or arrogant nature of police, it is not right to make fun of a man pure at heart who has the courtesy to show some respect to a fellow passenger while our cynical passenger was glued to the seat and did not even budge an inch. Many other passengers as I could sense were particularly not comfortable with the presence of a policeman in the compartment, in spite of the police inspector having a casual word or two with people around and exhibiting a friendly attitude.

A soft corner

"Even the hardest of rocks have a soft corner", is what i believe and it suits aptly to what happened in the train today. This may not be something of a very important news or a social issue, but it is my reflection on how people tend to behave when it comes down to interactions with bureaucrats called police. Despite the toughness that the police show in their attitude after for long dealing with criminals, they do have some soft corners and it is not everyday one sees this. Though he might be a very tough officer, he had a very basic humane nature that we all lacked back in the train. And this makes me overlook his arrogant attitude(if any) as a policeman. Even as i write this article i could vividly picture the police inspector asking me in a very courteous manner to make some space for a passenger. I could still remember the case sheet of an 'anticipatory bail' he was having with him. As i got up to get down at my station, I had a chateau of respect built for this officer in late 40's who exhibited an essence of human nature that we seem to be losing nowadays.    

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Wish you all a very regretful New Year--Part 2

The Pain, Protests and Politics 


The rape of 23-year old physiotherapy student was a wake up call to all of us. This incident questioned the very basis of women empowerment for which we have been striving hard for decades. Though rape cases are reported almost every other day, this incident struck us hard in the sweet spot. It might have been because it happened in the Capital or the gruesomeness of the crime. However, the entire nation was mobilized to protest for harsher punishments and stricter regulations that can ensure safety of women in our nation.
A report by the United Nations had pointed out that India is the most dangerous place for a girl to live. This statistic was based on several factors such as female infanticide, rape and its subsequent conviction rates, etc. In a nation where women are respected to such an extent that even the nation is fondly called "Mother India", this report forces us to introspect ourselves and ask the question "Are we respecting the women in reality as much as we speak"? 
The Delhi rape case is one such incident which defames India in front of all the nations. All the countries are now having a keen look at the developments of the case. With this, the onus is on the government to ensure deserving and timely justice to the woman who left the world mourning on 29th of  December, 2012.


The entire nation had voiced in unison demanding stricter punishments for crimes against women, in order to make the streets safer for women. The protests were on in almost all the major cities in the country. The capital, however had witnessed the largest number of crowd that thronged for the protests. India gate and Jantar Mantar were the two venues, where the protests were carried out. Later, section 144 was imposed near India Gate following a riot like situation which had injured many innocent protesters and also resulted in the death of a constable. Many protesters were detained and there were also reports of harassment of a few detained women by the police. Political outfits, such as AAP( Aam Aadmi Party), ABVP( Akhil Bharathi Vidhyarthi Parishad) and the student's union of JNU(Jawaharlal National University) took part in the protests which was not comfortable with many protesters who were apolitical. There were various demands put forth by the protesters. Some demanded capital punishment to the perpetrators, some pressed for castration of the criminals, in order to ensure deterrence of such crimes. 
Minus the political parties, the group of protesters lacked a leader. This has now turned out to be a big problem as the strength of protesters is getting smaller by the day and they are unsure of their course of action, except that they are preparing to give suggestions to the 3 member Verma Committee, which is working on a report for the steps needed to strengthen legislation and the further course of action. This committee has invited suggestions from various political parties regarding the punishment and legislation that needed to be drafted for stricter norms.   


As with all the issues and protests in India, even this case was played around in politics. The protests were joined by the newly self-acclaimed alternative "Aam Aadmi party", ABVP (Akhil Bharathi Vidyarthi Parishad) and the student union of JNU( Jawaharlal National University). Clearly, it was visible that sympathizers of the rape victim who had gathered for protests were not comfortable with the political parties joining in. A few political leaders had tried to make a mark on the media with their "opinions" to curb rape. One of the most embarrassing would have to be a remark by the President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee's son, Abhijit Mukherjee, a serving MP who commented on the protesters. His comment " Walking in candlelight processions, going to discotheques, we have been students. I well know what the character of a student should be", triggered a series of accusations for his sexist comment. "Though he gave an apology, it was very vague and not unconditional, he added if's and but's to it" was the view by communist leader Brinda Karat. Later, Sharmishtha Mukherjee, sister of Mr. Abhijit Mukherjee rendered an apology on behalf of her brother.
There were a few other politicians who blamed the girls of today for wandering out in the nights and for wearing provocative clothes. Such remarks by these political leaders could have been either for creating a publicity for themselves by capitalizing this sensitive issue or they might have been still an "old school" type who are phobic to progressive development of women.
There was one very embarrassing incident regarding the recording of the victim's statements. The Sub-divisional magistrate in her report had mentioned that the Delhi Police had tried to interfere with recording the victim's statements. The police chief however, denied it. The Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit had demanded from the Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, an inquiry regarding the alleged "interference" by the police chief. The Delhi CM demanded the resignation of police chief, but the Union Minister and the Congress defended the police chief, stating that there had been no interference. This issue created a ripple in political circles in Delhi.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Wish you all a very regretful New Year--Part 1

The Crime, Treatment and Death

This is the first of a 3 part series of articles, giving an insight of the Delhi Rape Case, which has created a ripple throughout the nation. Even other nations are having a keen eye on this issue.

It seems a little to pessimistic to wish everyone a regretful New Year. But it is a fact that we are starting the new year with a regret, especially we as Indians. I think you might have caught the whiff of what i am talking about. Yes, it is about the death of the 23-year old rape victim, who was a wake up call to the nation to ask ourselves the question of whether we are ensuring the protection to women that we just talk about. It was a time to introspect. The worst part of this was that, such an unfortunate incident happened in our nation's capital.
The entire nation grieved for her, people took it to the streets, protested that justice should prevail and the guilty be prosecuted and punished swiftly. They voiced in unison, they hammered the politicians for bringing the case as a political issue. The government gave the best possible medical care and promised to bear all the medical expenses. But, in the end, despite her will to live, she left the world in the early hours of December 29, 2012. Leaving us to greet a New Year with a sense of guilt and regret.

The Crime

It all happened on the 16th of December in Delhi, when a 23-year old physiotherapy student along with her male friend boarded a bus at 9:30 pm. The male friend grew suspicious when the bus doors were shut, also the bus deviated from the normal route. By the time he raised an objection, a group of six who were in the bus had started taunting them about being out so late. 
The friend of the victim, when tried to intervene was beaten up by the pack and knocked out cold with an iron rod while the woman was dragged to the rear end of the bus and raped by the gang while the driver continued to drive. The driver is also been reported to have raped the woman. The worst part of this was that the woman suffered damages to her intestines abdomen and genitals. Doctors believed that a blunt and rusted object might have been used to penetrate the woman, on investigation it was found to be the rod that is used along with a wheel jack. Doctors said that the rod inserted which was inserted into her body when removed seems to have removed most part of her intestines along. It is to be noted that the woman when hospitalized, was found to have just 5% of her intestines intact. 
After the assault, the woman and her male friend were robbed of their possessions, stripped naked and were thrown out of the moving bus. Passers by informed the police, who hospitalized the victims. The perpetrators had cleaned the vehicle to destroy the evidence. The police later arrested the accused and impounded the bus where the crime is said to have occurred.


The government had taken responsibility for the 23 year old and made sure that she got the best of treatment. She was admitted in Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi. The 23 year old victim was literally battling for her life for 13 days before she died. Throughout her ordeal, she had shown the will to live. For most of her days in the hospital she was under ventilator support. There were some serious medical complications from the brutal attack on her. Most part of her intestine were missing and around 5% was left, which was heavily damaged leading to a gangrene as a result of which the doctors had to remove it to prevent further infection. Her organs such as Kidneys and Liver had shown some dysfunction at the initial stages of treatment. Her abdomen had to be opened and cleaned to ensure that there were no risks of internal infections. The 23-year old paramedical student could not orally communicate, hence she communicated through gestures and at times used to write down the message. The government of India had promised to take care of all the medical expenses of the victim and ensured medical treatment in any part of the world. It also promised to sponsor for the transplants that the victim would have to have.
Throughout the treatment process in India, the doctors were worried about her WBC and platelet count, as it showed abnormality. Also at times she developed internal bleeding which the doctors attribute it to clotting in the blood vessels. The worst part of her medical condition came when she was about to be air-lifted to Singapore. The doctors were unable to detect her pulse for nearly 3 minutes, also she suffered cardiac arrest. She had also suffered brain damage and doctors believe this damage to have triggered the cardiac arrest.


The valiant warrior who had fought tirelessly for 13 days, just for the sake of living a normal life once again, breathed her last in the early hours (IST) on December 29,2012. She died in Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore, a super specialty hospital where the victim was transferred the previous day. Doctors say that her death was due to multiple medical conditions. 
The main cause of her death is said to be because of Cerebral Oedema, a condition where the brain swells and stars to collect fluid inside the swellings and the increase in volume of the brain increases the pressure in the skull. Usually such conditions are treated by draining out the fluid collected. But given the case of the victim, the severity of the condition and her instability , in terms of her health condition, put an end to her life as the brain cells were damaged and destroyed due to the Oedema. A CT scan revealed blood loss in the brain, it was later found to be during the time when the doctors at Safdarjung hospital couldn't find a pulse or blood pressure on the victim for 3 minutes, prior to the 23-year old being air-lifted to Singapore.