‘Asifa’ – the raped and murdered tender girl is no more with us. Even saying such hard and callous words needs a heart of iron and blood of water in our veins. We can only observe with coward look while having bangles-clad wrists in our pockets and impotent gaze fixed on many facebook pages highlighting Asifa’s hard and cruel fate.  Religion and politics have again taken another life and this time Asifa. Since the ancient times, religion and politics have become great instruments of power, dominance, hate, and revenge in the bloody-cum-seasoned hands of our draconian politicians – the politicians for whom even a minor and tender girl (who can be our own sister or daughter) of eight can be taken as expendable or a strategic pawn. And we all know very well what a deadly cocktail it can become when some sly people and political parties with vested interests mischievously mix religion (something pure and sacred) and politics (something evil and murky) to further their covert, crooked, and draconian purposes.  And this was what happened in ‘Kathua’ district of Jammu and Kashmir where the politicians and some elite people have mortgaged their great ideals of humanity, kindness, sympathy, and compassion to hatch a criminal conspiracy and where the politics of power and dominance have been touching its ever lowest, ever worst, and the ever shameless level.

It is highly bloodcurdling, soul-shaking, and mind-numbing to know that an eight-year minor girl Asifa – the girl who didn’t cross the threshold of her teenage and who even didn’t see and enjoy the wonders and the joys of the world with her parents – was gruesomely raped (not once but many times) and was then mercilessly stoned to death (as if stones were targeted at some ferocious animal). Moreover, it is also to be particularly noted that this whole macabre scenario took place in the sanctity and the ambrosial ambience of a religious centre – where the only invisible eye witness was our much cherished God! Isn’t such a ghastly and dastard act on the part of those enemies of innocent childhood and culprits of humanity something repugnant, disgusting, and outlandish? What message does these brutes, wolves, and swines in the garb of human skin intend to send to the rest of the humanity who even didn’t spare their religious place?  Don’t these very people have their own sisters and daughters at homes to satisfy their lust?

Like naïve and credulous people as we masses always behave, I too was thinking and crossing my fingers that after the thorough and in-depth expose of such a preposterous and heinous crime, all the culprits would face the whip of the police and the judiciary and so eventually would be sent to the jail. But to the contrary, it so happened that instead of supporting and taking sides with the victim party (as the principles of truth, righteousness, and fairness demand), the religiously and politically brainwashed people from a majority community started defending the rapists with as much gusto, courage, and integrity as they could (as if they were supporting the epitomes and paragons of some great and hallowed cause and social revolution). Not only this, the so-called protesters were passionately joined by lawyers and cabinet ministers whom we consider the perfect saviors and the defenders of law, peace, social and cultural harmony, and justice in a state.

The matter even took a sorry and an embarrassing plunge when the protesters supporting and defending the accused (of the sinful act) raised religious slogans in the name of Ram (sacred religious figure of the majority class in India). Why such hypocrisy and two-facedness in the name of religion when we all know very well that even ‘Ram’ like great figure can’t keep shamelessly mute over such dastard crime, when we all know clearly that such a monstrous crime couldn’t be taken as something trivial and dispensable, and when we all know very well that if such a thing can happen to someone else’s daughter, then tomorrow it can also happen to ours! Politicians and plaster saints residing in India are no one’s loyal and sincere, they do what they intend to do, they do what gives them the relishing taste of power and influence.

Marching from street to street the so-called pretentious protesters and supporters of the accused were raising religious slogans in the name of Ram. It seemed that they even didn’t have an iota of basic shame (on what and for whom they were doing) and fear of Ram (whose name they were misusing). It would not be wrong to say that these so-called protesters were putting cloak of saffron over the gruesome rape and murder of Asifa so that the impressionable hearts of the majoritarian class could be easily won. Is this the way our state machinery dealing with Asifa’s case? Do you think that our chief minister should keep perpetually mum and show her coward silence or behave irresponsibly when the tension is snowballing throughout India? We agree that she has accepted the resignations of Chowdhary Lal Singh and Prakash Ganga (state cabinet ministers), but this is just an eye wash. Public needs strict action. Are our state leaders really serious about Asifa’s murder case or are they working in collusion with the police force to hush the matter as if nothing has happened and especially at that tender and critical time when the whole country is demanding speedy and rightful justice for Asifa’s family? Is this the way our central government under the stewardship of Narendra Modi promoting his ‘Beti Bachaao, Bet Padaao’ much-hyped public welfare programme?

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