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Mainstream, VOL L, No 8, February 11, 2012

Concealing Battered Realities

Tuesday 14 February 2012, by Humra Quraishi


Tell me from where to start off, to begin webbing details to the spread around! Murkier getting each single aspect—whether those scams, or those age rows of ageing Generals or babies lying battered or curtains getting drawn on the very screening of potently relaying documen-taries like Jashn-e-Azadi. Why can’t we see those realities that Sanjay Kak has focused on in his film—Jashn-e-Azadi? Why was its screening called off at a Pune educational institute? Why can’t the rest of India know what’s been happening in the Valley and to the apolitical Kashmiris living there? Why are we worried that realities should never spread out and ought to remain brushed under the carpet? Never mind if they are those dusty red carpets on which only the VVIPS march or slow walk.

Why are we hell-bent on projecting a battered image of ourselves by trying to conceal battered realities affecting the so many. In this day and age can realities be hidden in those garbs! No way! Yet those relays to project only the supposedly ‘safe-and-sound’ aspects and none of the realities of the day. Why are we sitting so paranoid of these basic ground conditions emerging out in the open? Face the realities prevailing in conflict zones of the country where the common man is facing odds of the worst kind.

In fact, whilst on today’s realities and on the plight of the Kashmiris, what is the Omar Abdullah Government doing to the sheer hounding of Kashmiri students in States like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat? It happens in other States and locales too but probably on a lesser scale. And this is no new development. Check the records of the former Chief Ministers of J&K, holding series of meetings with their counterparts, to convey that illegal detentions and hounding of young Kashmiris shouldn’t happen without checking those basics from the State Police. But how does one control communal trends and together with that, communal propa-ganda? It’s a serious problem and none of those superficial ways would make a dent.

Don’t We All Know This …

DON’T we all know at every single street of big towns and the metropolitan cities, hapless children are sold and bought, to used and abused?

In fact, this brings me to write about the two-year-old battered baby, Falak, struggling for her life at the AIIMS. She’s been sold and abused and used. What must be the fate of hundreds of children on our streets?

Many must be dying young, diseased and throttled. Those bigger questions—what does one do if one comes across a child on the road? Is there some well-splashed helpline? Is there someone out there who can help and keep the rescued child? Are there safer places and not the routine remand homes or police stations where the child could be further abused?

It’s about time that helpline numbers be splashed, of homes and centres where abandoned and abused children be lodged.

We Can Do Our Bit …

THOUGH Khudai Khidmatgar activist Faisal Khan is not joining the Samajwadi Party, he has been raising his voice against illegal detention and unwarranted arrests of Muslim youth. In December he had sat on fast in his home situated in Okhla to protest about two young boys picked up by the Delhi Police and now—from January 26 to 30—he and his colleagues went on a 100 hours fast to focus on “expeditious trial and release of innocents arrested in terror cases, rehabilitation of all those acquitted in terror cases, punish guilty officers of police and intelligence agencies who fabricated stories and implicated innocents in bomb-blasts, and the setting up a permanent commission to tackle this growing trend”.

At least young men like Faisal are coming forward and focusing on this little talked about reality of the day. Yes, you do need that confidence to take on the very establishment in that non-violent way. In fact, we can all do our bit.

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