On the day, when another rape victim died, in a blaze of 24-hour media coverage, I cannot help but remember some other victims who have suffered even longer...
Men in Blue - They were the No. 1 ranked team in Tests. Next, they won the limited overs World Cup on home soil. Then they got screwed (to put it mildly) by everyone.
Parliament - This is the august house that has been witness to towering personalities & great speakers. It now longs not only for meaningful & productive parliamentary debates, but also sane, sensible & civilised members. It draws solace from the fact that its occupants have still not stooped to the level of their brethren in Karnataka legislature (or, have they still not been caught?).
Bengali aspirations - Having lived in the red lane for decades, the denizens of West Bengal gave Didi a chance. Apart from their state being renamed Poschim Bonga, their aspirations dived to play catch up with their conditions. Who cares for her tantrums in Delhi, the poor chaps in Kolkata have been subjected to Didi's shenanigans ever since she occupied Writer's Building. And forced to import their Tata Nano's from Gujarat.
Ramlila Maidan - This was the venue where Ram killed Ravan year after year as a symbolic victory of good over evil. But the holiness of the place was trashed the instant one of his footsoldiers, and yoga exponent, fled disguised as a woman! Though Ram will return next Dusshera, so will Ramdev when an opportunity presents.
Hunger(strike) - A curse of the have-nots, polished as a political tool by Gandhi. But a gandhian from the hinterland of Maharashtra overexploited it to a extent that his health deteriorated & he had to withdraw to Ralegan Siddhi, abandoned by his comrades.
Bhadralok - They have always occupied the intellectual highground, the font of original thought. Over the passage of years the stature of the debaters also reduced to the extent that the last remaining ones are found in the studios of news channels. Even those voices would now be silenced by the dented & painted opinions of those left behind.
Expose - The word no longer titillates. What was once associated with the likes of Mamta Kulkarni, Mallika Sherawat & Poonam Pandey, brings the image of Arvind Kejriwal waving some photocopies at press conferences. Even this image has been so over exposed to really interest anyone. While the bollywood starlets are facing stiff competition from the IPL cheergirls.
Investigative Journalism - Arun Shourie, N. Ram & Chitra Subramaniam have long retired. Today, the investigation is done by Kejriwal & the journalists are victims of sting operations by the likes of Navin Jindal. Who needs Tahelka today?
Youth - They witnessed not the emergency or political assassinations, but the Y2K jackpot, dotcom bubble & BPO/telecom boom. Not for them the 15-year wait for a scooter but instant gratification, where they change their mobiles every 6 months. But the fire of youth rekindled by the unending scams & gory crimes in the capital is being doused by water cannons & suppressed by policemen's lathis.
Society - Its suffering started the day Manu documented his philosophy, whose legacy is today carried forward by the Khap Panchayats & executed by our elders. But for a brief respite when the Dayanand Saraswati's & Vivekanand's pushed for positive change, its always been a small coterie that demarcated the boundaries of social acceptance, from who can one marry (and when) to what should one wear (and how). Sadly, even today.