The Government is of the rapists, by the rapists, for the rapists

Metro stations at Barakhamba, Mandi House, Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog bhawan, Race Course, Khan Market and Pragati Maidan have been closed until further notice. 

          - The notice at a Metro Station, December 23, 2012.

 Well this wasn't just another day in Delhi. Alighting at Jor Bagh travelling 4 km on foot to the heart of Delhi, India Gate, one is amused, surprised, and shocked to see an ocean of people screaming and chanting. You look up and see fog all around, so characteristic of Delhi winter. As you move closer, you discover a peculiar pinch in your nose. Suddenly you realize this isn't just Delhi's winter and that wasn't just fog. Congrats! You just had a first hand experience of tear gas.

When you move further, you discover people, people and more people. For the first time ever I see young girls in such huge numbers. We have seen Anna Hazaare, Arvind Kejriwal, and Baba Ram Dev protesting few kilometers from here not so long back, but not for once we have seen such massive women support. Where did they just come from? Why are they here? Well the answer is that 'girl' who is struggling to breathe at an age when she should have been struggling to get through exams or to find the best dress for a party.   At a time when it wasn't late, when she wasn't alone, when she was not roaming on the road, she was brutally raped and savaged by 6 obnoxious men. 

I had a notion that the moment I am going to enter India Gate I along with hundreds of peaceful protesters would be greeted with water canons and lathicharge. But what I saw was far from it. The ratio of innocent people to hooligans was 1:2. On one hand, people were discussing the matter in peaceful groups like a round table conference; on the other people were breaking wood work around the premises and enjoying bonfire. In her shrill voice, a girl was yelling "We want" and people followed up with "Justice". A few meters away, you find people yelling "Sonia Gandhi Sexy" and "Tutak Tutak Tutiya, Rahul Gandhi chootiya". Some were standing with banners that said "Peaceful Protest Please" and others were breaking and jumping over barricades.

Hundreds of policemen stood silent in patience. Some were talking to people, sharing experiences and grievances. One said, "Bhaiya hum to aapke saath hain. Ye sab badalna chahie. " (We are with you. The system should change). A few meters away, a policeman was standing with tear gas equipment  I clicked his picture. He said with a downhearted face, "Bhaiya humaari koi dushmani thodi hai aapse" (We have no grudges with you). Then suddenly, one of the hooligans, apparently NSUI people, threw a brick piece on the police vehicle. Water canons and tear gas were triggered, and the protesters too had to bear the brunt. The same policeman asked us to move away. As we begin moving, another came and said "Bhaaj ja warna tera chasma phod dunga "(Leave, else I'll smash your spectacles). I was about to gift him my specs. All were warned, a lot were lathicharged and many were hurt. Need not say, all of them were not hooligans.

After a couple of hours when everything got silenced, suddenly we saw a guy being chased by police and subsequently lathicharged. He actually said to a policeman if something happens to your mothers and sisters we'll come to India Gate for them as well. Policeman should have controlled his temper but maybe it was not his day. Another policeman helped us with a stretcher, and ambulance to take that victim to RML hospital where many others were rushing in and rushing out. Entry into the hospital was restricted for fellows of the victims, I somehow managed to sneak in and I found a man with flowing beard, scantily clothed in saffron, inquiring after the victims. Baba Ram Dev went from bed to bed, talked to the victims, noted their names on his notepad. He exclaimed over and over again, "Arre dekho na kitni berehmi se maara hai"(how brutally they have beaten people up). I said, "Babaji please try to channelize this effort. People really need leadership. We cannot just let people getting hurt with no eventual result". Someone intervened, "Babaji Anna Hazaare", Ramdev quickly snapped, "Arre Anna Hazaare to budha ho gaya hai, baba jawaan hai baba hai na tumhaare saath"(Anna Hazaare has become old, young baba Ramdev is with you). Suddenly I withdrew.

A few hours later, 6 people came running in and started reaching out to patients. My friend went to them. One of them shooed him away saying that he was busy as he was helping an old man with bandage. After 10 minutes, he came and apologized for being rude and said "We are from Aam Aadmi Party". When inquired why they were not out, facing the media, he replied "we work where it matters".

A few moments later he was  taken by the DCP to the still body of Subhash Chand Tomar. The DCP said "Kyu hone du main aisa portest. Ab ye mar gaya to iske bachon ko mai kya jawaab dunga"(Why should I let a protest happen. If this man dies, what shall I say to his family). The Policeman died on Thursday 27th Dec.2012. That policeman didn't took one day off in last 6 years of service. Who cares? The victim for whom the nation prayed in unison had her last breath on 29th Dec. 2012.

Will we again succumb to  " Kuchh nahi ho sakta is desh ka " attitude. Or will things change?

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