DAILY DOSE By Bikram Vohra
So, what do you think? Should the woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Union Minister of State Nihal Chand get to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She has asked for just such a meeting and wants to prove to him there are grounds for which to sack her assailant. She claims she is receiving threats and that she was promised a job in return for withdrawing the case. That,she says I will not do. More guts than some others in the limelight.
Nihal Chand is the Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers in the Modi government.
Point is, you cannot have different rules for different people. You locked up Tarun Tejpal because a woman made a complaint. You kept him inside for six months. You haven’t locked up Ness Wadia yet but he is being given the runaround. Why is the minister not even being suspended by the same token?
You might say, oh but it is not yet proven and it happened in 2011 if it happened at all. Okay, then, that yardstick should be across the board. Innocent till proven guilty. In India ,despite all the brouhaha over rape per se there is not even a fast court acceptance for self-confessed rapists caught red-handed, like those in the infamous hanging tree case in Katra or the cops who raped a complainant or the husband who handed his wife to nine others. They will be fed, clothed and protected by the system till kingdom come. They might even quietly be returned home, who knows, who keeps track, the incident forgotten as the next ugly sensation comes along. Recall the Nirbaya case…how many know where the accused are and isn’t one of them about to be set free for being a minor.
“This is really unacceptable. Even when a minister commits a heinous crime like rape, the punishment meted out to him should be the same as that for a commoner,” NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma had said. Difficult to fault her so then why the delay.
This is a Minister of the Modi government. Should he not just volunteer to step aside till he is proven innocent as he claims?
You are not a commoner, Sir, you have the power of office and that power can negate justice.
Which brings me back to my original point. Should the PM meet the victim? Is it a healthy precedent and does his meeting her constitute:
a) A PR exercise in which he flings a member of his government under the bus.
b) Over-riding the judicial system by tacitly accepting that the man is guilty because after such a meeting he can hardly say, agree or disagree…he is not the Supreme Court.
c) Setting a precedent for all other victims of all other crimes. Why is this any better or worse a tragedy than a thousand others.
d) Be brutally honest and say it is not his job to meet individuals, there are systems and the systems cannot be undercut.
What he could do is mothball his minister and tell him to get on his bike and get out. Will he do that?