By: Ramesh Menon
August 16th, 2002
Being an avid surfer of news portals, I stumbled upon one article
in www.Chalomumbai.com, (The Mid Day, a Bombay based daily). It
was about a 12 year old child, raped by a 22 year man, in a local
train in Bombay. I was very saddened by the news, and for a
moment, felt very helpless and angry.
I scrolled down the page, and saw another article, related to the
same incident, which said "Rape could have been
stopped". I opened that link and read it. It seems, there
were 10 people, including a couple, and a Times Of India news
reporter, inside the compartment when this heinous crime occurred.
I was lost for words for a few seconds. How can such an incident,
happen in full view of 10 people, and, not one person came to the
rescue of the hapless 12 year old deaf and dumb, perhaps mentally
I read a few lines more, and also the eye witness account of a 27
year old male, who happens to stay just around 2 kms from my
ex-apartments in Borivli, Mumbai. These are his exact words.
"He could have been armed. He could have hurt us if we had
I could read no further. Shell shocked, I went into a state of
cogitation. What is that makes, human beings, more so Indians,
such cowards and self centered people? What kind of society are we
living in, where a 12 year old child is raped by a pervert in full
view of 10 people? Have Indians, sold their souls to the asuras?
If not , are they in a decaying state? How will these 10 people
live the rest of their lives, with the images of the act? How will
they feel when they look up to mirror to adore their god given
beauty, but the rotten souls within it? Will they feel guilty?
Will they ever be ashamed? Or will they just take it as just
another incident and live on their lives?
Most probably they will carry on their lives without any remorse
or guilt. Just like the women, who did nothing but watch the young
college student, Jayabala, robbed and pushed out on the tracks,
only to lie there with her legs cut off, waiting for help. The
life of a young woman, was turned upside down just because of the
indifference of a group of women. I still remember the photograph
of the father of Jayabala, crying and telling the reporter,
"what will we do with the compensation?"
I was in Dubai when the infamous December Hijacking of the Indian
Airlines plain took place. The plane landed in Dubai military
airport, and the hijackers dumped the body of a newly wed man, the
husband of Rachna Katyal. I seethed in anger, more so, because my
colleagues said, the man must have done something wrong to
infuriate the hijackers. In contrast, the men of the plain which
crashed in Pennsylvania, after the men took on the hijackers, were
hailed as heroes by the Americans. I fail to fathom the Indian
mentality, which discourages courage, and encourages passive
Now to another example of indifference. Last year, Bharat Shah was
arrested for getting his film financed by the goons across the
border. If it was anywhere else in the world, the movie would have
been an utter flop. But, the Indian public, more so the
youngsters, flocked to the theatres to see their favorite actors
and actress (who were paid to act by the underworld). Things were
not different this year too. This year too, the same producer, got
one of his movies (a pretty expensive one), financed by the
underworld. Guess what, the movie is a super hit.
Such is the indifference of the Indians, a young girl interviewed
by a newspaper, when asked whether she would boycott the movie,
said "I go to the movies to see Salman Khan, I don't care who
he works for or works with!" Even if he works for Dawood
On one hand, people like Capt. Vijayant Thapar (age 22 when
martyred), die for the sake of freedom and sovereignty of the
nation, and on the other hand we have such indifferent people.
In a country where the politicians are busy filling their coffers,
the bureaucracy is busy plundering and the young generation, busy
partying, who cares for the cries of a 12 year old child, who
anyways was perhaps an orphan. In a country where movies financed
by the underworld are super hits, who cares about the tears of the
widow of the slain man in the Indian Airlines Hijacking. Who cares
for the tears of the old man whose daughter's legs could have been
saved, but for the interference of the indifferent group of women
in the compartment. And who cares for Capt. Vijayant Thapar, who
in his last letter said that if he was to be born a human being
again, he would join the army and fight for his nation. Who cares
for the millions drowned in the flood waters of Bihar, or the lacs
of women who walk miles to fetch one single bucket of water. Who
cares for the thousands killed in militancy related incidents. Who
cares for the demographic changes in Assam and West Bengal because
of the illegal migrants from West Bengal. Who cares for the
millions of children slaving it out in the factories making the
rich even richer. Who cares for the lacs of uneducated illiterate
Indians duped by the Goodman and swamis. Who cares for the ethnic
cleansing in various parts of the country. Who cares for the women
raped every hour in India. Who cares for the lacs of child
prostitutes in the brothels across the country. Who cares for the
inhuman conditions in the hospitals across the country. Who cares
for the 16 BSF men killed by a miniscule country, such as
Bangladesh. Who cares for anything.
Last week, I listened to Sadhvi Ritambhara's taped speech when she
came to New York. She said one thing about Indians. "Hum apne
liye nahi, apno ke liye jeete hai". That is, we Indians don't
live for ourselves, we live for our people. A country, where a
guest is considered God, a country where even animals are
worshipped, and almost every temple has at least one female deity,
a country where festivals like Raksha Bandhan flourished, a
country of Bakt Prahlad, who carried his blind parents on his
shoulders for a pilgrimage, a country where compassion and a sense
of duty towards society was part of the culture, what has gone
wrong so bad, that even basic human compassion is rare?
Perhaps, the souls of Indians are decaying. They have become
immune to the dirt and filth around their souls in the form of
corruption, nepotism, moral degradation and greed. Perhaps, they
have become like the pigs who enjoy eating filth and living in the
I too, am part of the society, though I don't live in India
currently. But it is my motherland, and I am an Indian. "We
are busy man. We have our own lives. " was the answer I got
from one of my friends when I told him that we should do something
to stop this rot. And then, I came to the USA.
Hypocrisy, isn't it?
Yes, I don't claim to be a saint. I have not done anything for my
country yet, except for sending some foreign exchange regularly,
and I will not be hypocritical about it. I am living a relatively
comfortable life in the USA, and making judgments about India and
But, for sure, if I was one of the 10 people, in that train on
that day, that child would not have undergone that trauma. The
pervert would have had to get to her on my dead body!
There are a lot of people, who at least have their conscience
intact. There are lot of people like me, whose blood boils every
time such event occurs. There are a lot of people like me whose
heads hang in shame every time these kinds of events happen. And
yes, there are a lot of people who want to do something to stop
this rot and decay of the souls. I would endeavor, what ever is
possible, either by writing, and when opportunity presents itself,
to physically and monetarily help build my motherland, and cleanse
the decay in our system.
I pray that I get the strength for the same. At least, let not my
soul rot, like these people who watched the crime and did nothing.
If that 27 year old man has a sister, I don't know what confidence
she will have in this brother of hers to protect her dignity and
honor, when the time comes. How will she tie raakhi on his hand?
God, never make me like him.
Previous articles by Ramesh Menon
Cost of Patriotism: August 7th, 2002
demand for re-interpreting the Koran: August 12, 2002