Remembering Shaheen…

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Activism, Friends, Literature, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

“Karaara Jawaab,” described Modi his action of appearing before the SIT. The battle of Zakia Jaffrey has succeeded to an extent, one can say. As many think, this might be a positive sign of democracy being alive. For some it is not something to be celebrated because it is a shame that it took eight long years just to question the (accused) criminal.

In the past eight years we have listened and re-listened to many eye-witnesses and victims of Gujarat attack 2002 narrating the story of the brutal attacks and the damages and losses it caused. Lives were lost. Life yet to be born was lost (Kauser Bano case) Properties were lost. Trust and faith was lost. Hope was lost. Security was lost. Livelihoods were lost. Sanity was lost. And many witnesses speak of them.

One Vasanth Diwaanji remembers visiting the house of a friend with the great Kannada poet Da. Ra. Bendre. He recollects the instance where the child, in that house, was playing with a doll. As it was playing with the doll it slipped from the hands of the child. “Give me my child, i need to breast feed it,” the child said to its mother, who unemotionally threw the doll towards the child. Then Bendre said, “You shouldn’t have done so. You shouldn’t have treated the doll as a doll and destroy the emotional world the child had created for itself. You should have picked it up like lifting a child and handed it over to your child.”

Harsh Mander sir in his book FEAR AND FORGIVENESS records the statement by one Shaheen (pg 187). The seven year old girl is recorded as saying, “Ek cycle thi,” and adding “Doosri cycle bhi thi.” Shaheen was referring to her play items! “Ek kursi, ek choolha…” (one chair, one stove) she recollected and went further to say, “choolhey mein roti banaatey tey…” (we used to prepare roti in that stove)! However imaginary the roti wold be, however innocent the testimony might be, it is no less profound!

How is Shaheen supposed to register her complaint? To whom is she supposed to complaint? Will there be any SIT to look into the loss of Shaheen? How will she be compensated? How will the state ensure justice for her?

Mr. Modi is there any “Karaara Jawaab” for these questions? How many years (more) will Shaheen have to wait to listen to your “Karaara Jawaab”?

29 March 2010

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