What do the protesters in Delhi over the Gang-rape incident want? Almost everybody wants death penalty for rapists. The only thing that doesn’t seem to fit is why they are protesting at Rashtrapati Bhawan. After all, the president doesn’t make laws, he just signs them. The previous president probably made the current one a victim by pardoning some brutal murderers and rapists. Grievance, whether real or imaginary, affects all of us. The protests were long overdue and it’s quite a surprise that none in the media ever mentioned the amazing “resilience” of Delhizens to so much crime all these years.
In times of crises leaders speak with people. They deliver reassurance and confidence to them. They can feel the pulse of the people. Instead, what were our folks from GOI doing? They were all talking to the media. Well, the one thing we did get to know is how many daughters some of our politicians have. Everyone who spoke in the media made sure they told us “I have 3 daughters, I have 2 daughters” and so on. Home Minister Sushil Shinde even told us the Delhi Police Commissioner has 2 daughters. They are checking with everyone on how many daughters they have before speaking to the media. Why should I be left behind? I checked with everyone I could chat with about how many daughters they had. Next time there’s a murder we may have to check how many murderers some politicians have. Oh don’t laugh, that’s not a joke. If you see this clip from MailOnline you will see why politicians are hesitant to talk to people. Over 200 people with rape cases contested elections it seems. Other reports mention at least 2 MPs and 6 MLAs from various states who have rape cases against them. This doesn’t include “petty” crimes like murder, kidnap or assault.
There is no harm in a statement or two to the media through a presser. But let’s do a roll-call of the sound-biters. We had RPN Singh, Manish Tiwari, Sandeep Diskhit, Ashwini Kumar, Sushma Swaraj, Sushil Shinde, Renuka Chaudhary (She spoke in Telugu too for added emotional effect). Then we had Sheila Dikshit using all TV channels as a weeping pillow. Er… that is all channels, but TimesNow. I’m sure she will face the full fury of Fastcourt Arnab sooner or later. Then, moment of the crises arrived, when Sonia Gandhi finally got down on her knees to speak with some protesters. Only, nobody knows who she spoke with. Naturally, some suspect these so-called protesters were hand-picked NSUI (Congress supported union) members chaperoned by RenukaC and others for a special audience with SoniaG. Take a look:
Who are these people? First, on Saturday night (Dec.22) SoniaG meets a few kids outside 10JP and then the next morning she meets six of them. TOI-Delhi headlined the story as “Delhi gang rape: Unknown six meet Sonia, Rahul for justice”. Unknown six is fine to begin with but even after a day they are still the ‘secret six’. This govt has a funny way of meeting people. I remember last year Manmohan Singh met the “secret five” editors in a closed-door, private meet. The TOI report further comically adds the response of the six:
They (Sonia, Rahul) have assured us that certain sections of law like 201 and 307 will be added to rape cases so that the accused are severely punished. They also told us that the law and order situation in the city will be improved so that women feel safe," said one of them. Renuka Chowdhury said that the same group of protesters was seen outside 10 Janpath on Saturday night when Sonia came out to meet them around 11pm. "Sonia had asked them to come and meet her this morning. None of the protesters knew each other and they all have different backgrounds," said Chowdhury. Another protester said, "Rahul said while it is natural for us to be emotional, we should not be irrational. They have also told us that capital punishment is being considered for this case and it is being slotted under the 'rarest of rare' category. We are now appealing to all protesters to maintain calm and continue protests non-violently.
What exactly is the need for RenukaC’s clarification on the ‘mix’ of protesters? And the clincher, of course, is from our fearless national leader, Rahul Gandhi. He is reported to have said: “capital punishment is being considered for this case”. Really? So the ‘game-changer’ with politics in his pants and shirts is going to have a law for “this particular case” or is he now Justice Gandhi? If RahulG advises protesters not to be “irrational” as the TOI report mentions then he should first start with himself. But well, that is too much to ask. Even so, if this was indeed the thinking of the Congress heads then what was the idea behind excessive police force, water cannons, lathi charges, beating up innocent protesters, injuring journalists? Doesn’t make sense! It doesn’t make sense because like some media “lumpens” the Congis were busy making absurd statements in the media.
Did I say lumpens? Hmm! The protests had started off peacefully but by the third day headlines started changing. All the media channels were now flashing “protests turn violent”. Frankly, none of the protesters, aged 5 to 91, looked like violent types. So the specialists came in to fulfil the prophecy of a known media charlatan. These were the nice guys who came far more prepared with stones, sticks and inflammables. There are many who suspect these sponsored “lumpens” were from the NSUI and word got around on Twitter and Facebook too. The picture of violence does not seem to be from students, men and women who started the protests. There were women of all ages, even some over 70. Many claimed to be house-wives or working mothers with daughters. So who sponsored the violence? There’s only party that can gain from disrupting the protests and that is not hard to guess. So while the sponsored violence happened on the ground the ministers continued to float on the air. Home minister Sushil Shinde was everywhere.
Shinde said he met protesters on a Sunday. On Sabbath? He’s lucky some Jewish Rabbi didn’t hear that. He asked if 100 Adivasis were killed in Gadichiroli should the govt rush there. No sir, definitely not; the GOI should go to Kudankulam, there’s no Congress govt there. Then he warned that if the govt met students today they’d have to meet Maoists tomorrow. Come on! That’s not true. The govt does meet Maoists whenever they kidnap people and hold hostages. I wonder if Shinde was secretly suggesting students too should start holding hostages. This guy would have made a great VP for George W. Bush. “We failed in Afghanistan. So what? Let’s go bomb Iraq”! In defence of Shinde I must mention that he is not a complicated man but making some genuine points but with some bad analogies. His act followed the wailing Sheila Dikshit who wetted our screens through CNN-IBN and NDTV. It’s unfortunate SheilaD is in politics. She could have been a great replacement for the late Meena Kumari, the tragedy queen. She told everyone how helpless she was and how she had no guts to even go and meet the rape victim. These are the Ministers people elect and then complain.
So when Shinde and Sheila failed to conquer through the media, the Congress pulled out its most powerful WMD; Weapon of Mass Delusion. They sent Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I doubt anyone, other than media stenographers, even remembers what MMS mumbled in the few minutes that he read from a POP (Piece of paper). But to his credit MMS did leave the whole nation in good cheer and stomach-cramping laughter as he looked up from his POP at the end of his mumbling and asked “Theek Hai?” (Is it okay?). Debates are still on over FB and on Twitter as to who MMS was asking that question to. Some say the cameraman, some say SoniaG, some say Barkha Dutt, who desperately yearned for his speech. I even thought he was asking the national guest for the day, Vladimir Putin.
It amazes me that seasoned politicians don’t learn that media is made up of scavengers who live off bad situations and victims. Manish Tiwari’s I&B Ministry even sent a threatening advisory to curb the media showing ugly pictures and reports (read Google-translated version on Bhadas4Media). They say politics is the last resort for a scoundrel. They forgot to add that for headless chickens who have lost touch with people the first and last resort is a corrupt media. Instead of talking with people they were doing photo-ops and interviews in the media. Imagine how they are going to handle law and order.