One More Tale of Two Indias: The Ghaziabad Orphans, Shilpa Shetty and The Nithari Families

January 31, 2007
Anouradha Bakshi

A short news item aired yesterday showed relatives of children killed in Noida by serial killers blocking a road and protesting the slow pace of the probe.

My mind travels back to the week where the whole nation watched the nightmare of Noida unfold. Rewind to a few weeks earlier and one's thoughts go to the plight of the 50-odd Ghaziabad orphanage girls waiting to be released while their abuser smirked on.

Somehow the girls seem lost in some incomprehensible labyrinth of justice and bureaucracy that mere mortals cannot reach. The mind races back to the time when one could visit them in spite of the harrowing presence of their abuser, and bring them a few moments of solace.

Now one just sits helpless and lost.

Recently we experienced the deafening furore of Ms. Shetty and her tryst with Celebrity Big Brother. The racist remarks ultimately paid. A few months ago Jessica and Priyardhasini got the much awaited justice when voices took on their case. But those voices belonged to well educated, English speaking upmarket people and hence they were heard. They belonged to the right India, as did those that ensured that little Anant return home safely!

The Ghaziabad girls and the Nithari children do not have that luck. The voices heard yesterday were not the right ones.

Let us not forget that the true perpetrator of the crimes against the Nithari children was not the predator but the police and the administration. Today again it seems that the same game is being played.

In a few days or weeks, the tired parents will have to go back to the task of surviving and even these feeble voices will die out.

I had feared this would happen and hoped that we would see the writing on the wall and do something. My fear has been confirmed, my hope shattered.

Many heralded 2006 as the year of the rise of civil society, maybe one should add a rider: it only works in one India, the other remains unchanged.

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January 31, 2007
04:05 PM


but true

January 31, 2007
04:18 PM

Well...there are not two Indias. There are many, many Indias...spread across several layers.

Also,"Let us not forget that the true perpetrator of the crimes against the Nithari children was not the predator but the police and the administration."

I know what you mean but this seemed rather hyperbolic. The fact is that the accused raped and killed the victims in horrible ways. And the police was either complicit or apathetic at best. And the less said about the administration the better. They all share the blame...but really, to say that the *real* perpetrator were the police and the administration totally diminishes the horrible suffering of the victims and their families.
I share your distaste for this whole Big Brother thing.

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