Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The land that time warped....

I had posted on this subject sometime ago only to discover that blogger had taken some posts off due to some technical problems. I probably can retrieve it, but it is so much easier( not necessarily better though) to write instead of delving into technology to fix things.The story of young Moin Khan, a little child of ten, who moved from Bihar to Delhi so he could earn a living. What he earned instead was death at the hands of his uncle. That you should have to earn a living at just ten years old is terrible in itself, and working in a beedi factory for a pitiful one rupee an hour is worse than pathetic. Beaten and tortured on a regular basis for not being productive enough. With no avenue of escape and no hope of seeing any kindness. On 21st April, he was beaten so violently that his frail body just gave up against the onslaught. I can not even imagine the hellish nightmares he must have gone through before he died. The parents could not even come and collect the body as they did not have the funds. Such abject poverty in the land where scams run into millions of rupees and the corrupt seem to have more money than they can ever manage to spend. Such brutishness in a land that was known for its 'culture'. 'jahan daal daal par soneki chidiya karti hai basera' The sone ki chidiya is an elusive creature that seems to prefer to the gilded cages only the rich and powreful can provide.

In contrast to the story, was another that claims  India as the land where the concept of animal rights emerged from. Asoka the great, in the aftermath  (and remorse ) of the Kalinga war,  was the first one to realize the need  and pass laws that upheld animal rights. I believe that animal rights are on par with human rights. Yet when one human can treat another of his own species in this depraved manner, it is beyond depressing. The story was covered for a couple of days before another spectacular death took over the media. Osama bin Laden was dead and the world and its uncle could only talk of that. Moin is a forgotten  'story'. I do not know what/ how terrorists come to be, but maybe getting tortured to death for a rupee is less attractive than believing that one is dying for a worthy cause, however misguided the belief maybe!

 Then there was Dhanashree who suffered a similar if not worse fate in  gods own country and the land of 100% literacy. She was starved, physically and even sexually abused by a couple and no one among their neighbours or friends even noticed it happening. The popular song played on national holidays continues 'Jahan satya, ahimsa, aur dharam ka pag pag lagta deraa'. If this is the truth, non violence and dharam we are supposed to be proud of, count me out!  I am sure for every Moin and Dhanshree there are countless who go unnoticed.What Ahimsa are we talking about?

In a land that gave the world paper ( now they say it was us and not China) I wish we could devote some column centimetres of it to covering such issues to their logical conclusion. Making sure the guilty are punished and creating enough public opinion to get tough laws and enforce them put a stop to such torture. If Asoka, the monarch of all he surveyed, could change his way of life and legislation, should not his democratic descendants be able to do something to ensure all children and the future of this country is safe??  How can we talk of India's glorious past and brilliant future when we cannot take care of the innocent,  the less able, the defenceless?

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