In January this year, a tragedy befell the lovely little Kanjak of Kathua. For over 2 months, no body in the country outside that area knew about it. Then, suddenly, a few so-called “activists” entered the picture, and gave the matter a communal and political turn.
The media jumped in like never before. Some journalists took the opportunity to embellish their credentials by writing articles that blamed, in a thinly veiled manner, a large set of people who had been asking for a CBI inquiry. Protests were mis-characterized– -a protest for CBI inquiry was narrated as a protest “in support of the rapists.”
The entire Hindu Samaj of Jammu (which includes our Keshdhari Gursikh Bandhu) was denounced as supportive of rapists, being communal, using the tiranga to hide rapists etc. So much was the hurt caused by this that if one listens to any interview taken in the village Rassana, something they complain about bitterly is being characterized as “pro-rapist.” This is tag that no decent person can tolerate, yet it was bandied about carelessly, and applied to an entire Samaj.
Let me first confess that since (like most people), I too get my first news from the mainstream media, I too developed the above prejudice towards the Hindu Samaj of that area. I thought “these people are shameless– -they are taking down the name of my dharma with their dark deeds.”
It was partly out of this anger, that I started looking for videos/reports from the ground. Those told a very different story:
1. That the Hindu Samaj there had lived happily and been very graceful towards Gujjar- Bakarwal nomads. Every people repeated that they had no issues with them. Their issue was with the settlement of Rohingyas (who are not Indians) into Jammu in order to change the demographics of Jammu by Mehbooba Mufti.
2. That the Kanjak was “twice their daughter, once the daughter of the Bakarwals” (wo hamari beti do baar hai, unki ek bar hai).
3. That in their Samaj, a Kanjak is a very cherished and worshipped person, they could not think of doing harm to a Kanjak.
4. That their ONLY demand is a CBI inquiry because they felt that the crime branch investigation was very high-handed, very brutal (remember, long before the news of the Kanjak became national headlines, there were small pieces saying Hindu families were migrating out of Rassana because of brutality of the crime branch).
5. That they NEVER asked for the accused suspects to be freed– -let them be held in custody, but let the investigation be done by the impartial and professional CBI, not by a Kashmir CB team that has tainted members, who may have separatist/Hurriyat influence on them.
Now, here is the thing: All of these claims of Hindu Samaj can be corroborated. By whom? Not some RSS ‘Sanghi’. But by a bakarwal of the same community as the Kanjak:
Here is his interview. It is very short (3 minutes). NOTE: This person is not the father of the Kanjak, as is wrongly stated in the video. I want to make that very clear as part of journalistic ethics. However, he is a bakarwal who appears to have been close to the events (perhaps of the extended family of the Kanjak?) judging from his answers.
He says about each of these points (emphasis mine):
1. We have lived happily with the Hindus. Indeed, the Hindus have settled us: It is on their lands that our livestock graze.
2. We wanted a CBI inquiry, and the Hindus supported us. If the police took 7 days
to retrieve the body of the Kanjak from cattle shed, we could not trust them.
3. The Hindu women were crying, (when they found out about the Kanjak) saying “What
happened to our Kanjak”
Let us think about the reaction of the Hindu women: they were crying for their beloved Kanjak (little goddess)! Now, that in itself does not mean that the 8 men accused are innocent. But it does mean that the entire Samaj there should not be tarnished the way it has been. It is a traditional Hindu Samaj where Mata-worship is very central, and Kanjaks are highly cherished.
Does anyone even need to say that we must find the culprits, and we must deliver the harshest justice (whoever it may be– -let the competent agencies determine that; it may be the 8 accused, and it may be someone else yet unknown). Of course! There is not a single person who will dispute that (compare that to the reaction of parts of Islamic samaj on the case of Geeta, covered by Hindupost here). But, out of respect for the Kanjak as much as for any other reason, we cannot use such tragedies to vent any feelings we may have towards any Samaj as a whole.
Clearly the liberal media and political dispensation (of the Congress) feels that the Hindu Samaj, especially those that regard themselves as “nationalist” are antagonistic, regressive, etc. But while the Hindu Samaj of Jammu is certainly very religious and nationalist (they enroll in large numbers in the military), they had nothing but genuine tears for the Kanjak. Whereas, the liberal media had crocodile tears.
How do we know they were crocodile tears: because they do not flow when a similar tragedy befalls a Hindu girl. So it is not the tragedy itself, but the religion of the victim and perpetrator that matters to them. These are the worst kind of people– -masquerading as concerned citizens, when their concern is actually dependent on the religion of the victim and the perpetrators.
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