Asifa, the eight-year-old infant victim of rape and murder from Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir state, has become a tale with recurring echos synonymous to the story of Narbhaya from Delhi a couple of years ago. The humanity hung its head in shame for having treated them so inhumanly that both of them decided to run away from this world of rule and law to an unknown world in search of protection, honour, safety and justice for women, to represent the atrocities inflicted upon the women at the hands of the civilized, orderly societies in the world.
Both of them have become the representative instances of how women are being treated and honoured amidst the slogans of women empowerment, Save the Girl Child movements, unfortunately led by those, who violate them the most.
Although both the tragic instances seem identical, yet there is a sharp contrast between the two. While Narbhaya shook the conscience of the entire civilised world, propelled it to become a force for change of attitude, revisit the set of rules on grounds of being inadequate and less powerful to maintain stability, Asifa drew a contrast and became a tug of law, inviting the antipathy, prejudice and inattention from the society due to her name, clan and faith and for having cried for justice against what had been done to her.
The handling of the cases of both the victims is different and there is every effort to complicate Asifa’s case so as to convert it into a legally twisted battle finally fit to be a forgotten story, closing all the doors of justice upon her waiting, wailing soul.
The reactions from the society in Asifa’s case are not sudden, random or dramatic. There has been a well conceived, integrated and instigating plan with the communal forces against the minorities to destabilize demography, push the minorities down to second grade citizenship and finally to achieve the target of complete extinction or at least their conversion to get rid of the secularistic character of India that has been haunting these forces over a century.
Asifa’s case of rape and murder must not be looked upon as a stray incident of unwarranted, barbaric behavior demanding justice in its routine. But, it is a part of the chain of incidents having occurred after the rise of communal forces to the echelons of power.
The venomous words chanted against the community speak elaborately about the designs and dreams of the communal forces at work.
The proceedings in the case also point towards a desperate effort by the engineers of the plan to drag the case out of the state with the aim of utilizing the influence of their masters in Delhi to end up the case in negative territory.
The Crime Branch of the state which is investigating the case of Asifa’s rape and murder has taken certain people into its custody with a police official being the main accused to establish the linkages. Every investigating agency has the constitutional right to adopt this procedure to ensure correctness of measures and right approach.
Feeling that the track adopted by the investigating agency might expose the whole plan, counter protests have been arranged with the demand of shifting of the case to mutilate the actual shape of the case under the din.
The painful aspect of these protests is that the sitting ministers from the coalition government have been leading the protests in support of the victims – the murderers of humanity, forgetting that their oath of office demanded from them unbiased justice in equal proportions to all. Moreover, the admission of the investigating agency through the state police chief that a few officials from the police department had assayed on tampering the evidences like washing of Asifa’s blood drenched clothes, clearly speaks of an integrated, well knit, cohesive planning hatched by the anti minority elements to achieve their goals.
During the past five years of governance, there has happened hardly anything with the present political dispensation, presentable to the people, as a result of which the Nagpur backed government has lost its grip on the people’s minds. Therefore, the decision to contest the forthcoming elections on Majority- Minority divide has been hatched and put in execution. The top brass of the ruling political party, after sensing failures, have already declared the current year as the preparatory period for next elections, of which the anti- Minority stance appears to form a part.
If this continues, there must be no doubt left in the fact that there could be “Asifa cases” against minorities in future till the elections reach and pass.
But, this must not be taken from that angle only. if the instigation persists with a negative slant, setting the unruly executors of the anti- minority plan free, it may lead to resistance resulting into a collosal loss of faith earned over a century’s bridging exercises, shattering the peace and order and bringing the nation’ s forward journey to a halt, giving birth to unquotable circumstances.
The mysterious silence adopted by the major coalition partner in the state raises many doubts in the minds of the people and is attributable to a secret surrender and approval to the communalists’ agenda of minority suppression allowing the anti- Minority elements to reach to their cherished goal hands down.
Let all of us remember that history goes by its own principles. It does speak what it sees.
The article was first published in Kashmir Reader