Portrayed as a talented orator and a public figure with an active presence on social media, and more importantly, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Damodardas Modi is expected to speak firmly against oppression, abuse and violence in the nation; especially when the entire country is on the roads, rallying. But silence. A long silence. Until he finally realised that the mistakes by UPA government over Delhi gang-rape in 2012 mustn’t be repeated. “Our daughters will get justice”, he said.

Indians across the country are filled with angst and disguise, they decided to take over the streets – demanding justice and demanding punishment to the perpetrators of a crime that is beyond even inhumanity, it is pure evil. India is outcries for justice for the 8 year old girl who was abducted, drugged, captivated, abused, gang-raped for days, strangled to near death and finally brutally killed with a large stone hit on her head twice. India seeks justice for the 17-year-old who was raped by a “lawmaker” and his brother a year ago and her father was allegedly killed by the accused in police custody. India seeks justice for the abduction and rape of a teenager in Surat. Once again, the nation is filled with rage over attacks against women, children and the minority communities. But out leader is silent.

Every single politician who shouts with a pitch of a hundred loudspeaker just so that all his phony promises reach to the ears of every potential voter – they all are silent when such horrendous crimes occur in the very same society, with the very same voters. It is not just the Prime Minister of India who is silent, it is every politician, every leader who were the loudest during election campaigns. The question is, why reluctance to talk against the rape and murder of an 8-year-old? Why reluctance to talk about the rape accusation against a lawmaker?

Doesn’t this show that all these leaders have failed in performing the most basic of the responsibilities given to it by the people? And what are we doing? Doesn’t this fail us as a nation which took pride in its ethical, spiritual and cultural heritage and as a society which treasured its civilizational values of tolerance, compassion and fellow feeling? We all will forget about Asifa, the Unnao teenager and the Surat victim – like we forgot about Nirbhaya and a thousand other girls. Isn’t this acceptance of bestiality and barbarity a huge failure of us as a nation, and our politicians as our leaders?

In this darkest hour, the Prime Minister’s statement comes in the backdrop of nationwide outrage over Unnao and Kathua rape-and-murder incidents that have shaken the nation’s conscience. While focusing on the Ambedkar Jayanti this week, he did convey a hollow compensatory comment – “I want to assure the nation that no criminal will be spared. Justice will be done. Our daughters will get justice. We all have to work together to end this internal evil.” This is as perplexing as it is distressing. Surely, we cannot expect leaders to discuss every crime committed in the country – but these crimes are not isolated or random examples of violence. Instead, they are intentionally planned and systematic campaigns from groups who want to terrorise children, women, minorities and other underprivileged citizens. It is one’s duty to stand for it, if one really cares about the health of world’s largest democracy that India is.

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