Friday, February 12, 2010

Hail Utsav

Utsav Sharma has shown a mirror to the country's shameless establishment – that includes police and judiciary. His aggression has added to our self-confidence. It has indicated that possibilities still remain. Only the youth can do it – as Utsav did. DGP  S P Rathore, the tainted police officer of Haryana, has once again been saved by the police and establishment. Ironically, this officer never went to jail in the Ruchika case, whereas his attacker Utsav is in jail now. We are grateful to Utsav, as we were ashamed of Rathore.

Utsav's background is relevant. His father S K Sharma is a professor in mechanical engineering, and mother Prof Indira Sharma has been the head of the psychology department. The teacher couple is among the highly-respected faculty members in the Benares Hindu University (BHU). Their only son Utsav too has been a bright student and a gold medalist in Fine Arts from the BHU. At present, he is said to be working on an animation film project. He used to express his intolerance for growing injustice in society. He was not a pretender and therefore instead of slogan-raising, he acted with aggression. Utsav has proved once again that the youth of India still has the capacity to fight injustice while the establishment is deployed in protecting the devils.

A question to our media friends - where were they when this Haryana DGP used to indulge in character assassination in typical police style? Since he was the DGP then therefore most journalist friends did not take the risk of writing about his exploits. About ten years ago, I had written a book Aartnaad – Manav adhikaro ki upeksha aur apeksha (The Outburst – Expectations and Disregard of Human Rights) and some parts of the book are being reproduced here so that our readers can learn the truth about Rathore.

"Ruchika Girhotra was a promising 14-year-old tennis player. She was the daughter of a bank officer and studied in an elite public school in Panchkula near Chandigarh. Rathore was then the IG of Police and also president of the newly – formed Haryana Lawn Tennis Association. On August 12, 1990, Ruchika and her friend Rimu reached the association office that functioned from a garage in Rathore's house. Rathore sent Rimu out on some pretext and molested Ruchika. Ruchika mentioned this to Rimu but not to her parents. On the second day, Rathore sent a policeman to Ruchika's house to call her but she declined, scared of a repetition of the previous day's incident. The policeman got annoyed and a scared Ruchika went to Rimu's house and narrated the entire story to her mother. Rimu's mother Mrs Madhu Prakash mentioned the incident to Ruchika's parents. Ruchika's father made a written complaint to the state's home commissioner, who ordered the state's police chief to inquire into the matter. In the inquiry, the allegations were prima facie found to be correct and an order to file charges against him was issued. After this, the file got lost in bureaucratic maze for several years but an arrogant Rathore did not leave Ruchika alone. Goons in plainclothesman kept on harassing Ruchika and she had to leave school. Her younger brother aged just nine years was framed in 11 criminal cases. It is remarkable that all these cases were lodged after Rathore's attempt to molest Ruchika. Her family became quite helpless in protecting her. Fed up with police harassment, Ruchika committed suicide on December 29, 1993. It took another seven years for Mrs Madhu Prakash to arrange documents and locate files that had been pronounced as lost by corrupt clerks."

Finally, on the intervention of the Supreme Court, the CBI filed a charge sheet against Rathore under sections 364, 376/511 (attempt to molest and rape) of the IPC. The case was heard, the judgment was pronounced but Rathore did not go to jail even for one day, although Utsav is in jail. The establishment even then was protecting the pervert Rathore, and even now, when a frustrated citizen has taken the law into his own hands, the system appears on Rathore's side as his protector. What can a hapless citizen do? In this suffocating environment, a frustrated young man has shown that the youth still has the urge and will to be a good student as well as fight for a good cause. The nation is at crossroads and has to decide whether it needs people like Chatwal or Saif, or young men like Utsav Sharma who are brilliant students and yet fight back. It seems that in a corner of the country, Bhagat Singh is still alive. Thanks to Utsav.
(Published in By-Line National Weekly News Magazine (Hindi & English) - in February 20, 2010 Issue)

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