Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Great Indian Civil Society and its Sudden Stupor

Wrote a post a few days back about the entire nonsense surrounding the Justice For Jessica jamboree and its after-effects. Have had a few conversations with people on the subject as well.

And interestingly, a day after receiving the following post from a friend, I’m feeling rather vindicated about everything I wrote.

This is what the friend wrote in my comments section:
"You think Prince was a beautiful face, or a bade-baap-ka-beta? But channels kept it up; and frankly it saved the day for a poor family. You think Rinky the baby elephant was a bade-baap-ki-beti? But the media did help.
Please don’t mix media hype with just one case (the point here is exclusivity; we all know how injustice prevails in Indian small and big towns, how there are grey areas of Sanjay Datt and Shibu Soren or Vikas Yadav; that is why there are celebrations when, for a long once in a while, justice of the heart wins in spite of Jethmalani, muscle power and money).
Popping champagne (I could feel your sarcasm) is just another way (in another society) to express happiness; as silly to us as Holi/diwali) ."

The point is well taken, but I am not in agreement. And when I said I felt vindicated, it had to do with the Noida killings. Here are 30-odd victims of a rather heinous crime. There are 30-odd sets of parents and their friends and relatives out on the streets protesting. All the channels beamed live visuals of the police physically assaulting these protestors.

Then why aren’t the candles out yet?

I’ll tell you why. It’s because these families are from illegal colonies, who have never really been able to lodge their protests or raise their voices in the mainstream. They have a serious – very serious – marriage of convenience with the police, and the contract includes the clause of silence.

There are no pretty women involved. There are no fashion designers involved. The people involved, to use a cliché, are the children of a lesser god. A god, a people, that don’t matter to the Great Indian Civil Society that is still trying to wake up after a successful year that was celebrated with a few solid pegs, a few pile-ups, many accidents and afogged-out New Year.

PS: I won’t reply indignantly if someone were to question my inactivity on the subject in the comments’ section.