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Savage mob-killing of three girls in Tamil Nadu..

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Shrikant has rightly put this on the IPI agenda.   Mob-rule (which is always
sporadic) is rampant in many many places in India.  The recent horrific
killing of three college-girls in a bus by an AIADMK mob is a case in point.
A seminar on mob-psychology is vitally important!  -- followed by nationwide
education and propaganda on the subject.

I have myself been assaulted at IIT Kharagpur's gates by a mob last July.  A
local politician had been killed by another in the town.  A political mob
came into IIT and demanded its closure by bandh.   Everyone capitulated.
I had vital work going on and insisted upon entering the campus to work, at
which point I was manhandled by one or two of the mob.  I took the name of
the main culprit and reported it to our local police fifty yards away.
Nothing happened of course.  The key fact I observed was that normal
individuals become absolutely savage as members of a mob.... as Dickens told
us in A Tale of Two Cities.

Subroto Roy.

-----Original Message-----
From: Shrikant <bawarchee@yahoo.com>
To: debate@indiapolicy.org <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Date: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 3:37 PM
Subject: Is this what politics has stooped to...

>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>A cruel incident which sadly has been carried out by
>'Political Parties' trying to set their own rule to
>life and living...
> 'God! I couldn't even see her face one last time'
>                     She sat on the floor, staring vacantly, her
>                     dishevelled hair obstructing the tear-stained
>                     face.
>                     A man came over with documents for her to sign. She
>                     mechanically put pen to paper. The moment she came to
>                     know that the signatures were for Rs 200,000 as
>                     compensation from the government, her eyes welled with
>                     tears.
>                     "Rs 200,000 for my daughter! God! I couldn't even see
>                     her face one last time. Did I give birth to her for
>  this?"             she sobbed.
>                     Kasi Ammal teaches at a corporation school in Madras.
>                     Comprising husband Kesava Chandran, four daughters
>                     and a son, hers was a happy family. Till Wednesday.
>                     Her daughters were all good at studies. The eldest,
>                     Maheswari, is a research student in microbiology in
>                     Madras University. The second, Thripura Sundari, is
>                     doing her post-graduation. And Hemalatha was a
>                     graduate student in the Tamil Nadu Agricultural
>      university.
>                     Was.
>                     Like her eldest sister, she too wanted to research and
>                     become an agricultural scientist. But Hemalatha's
>                     ambitions were burnt to ashes on February 2 by a group
>                     of hooligans. Everything was over in minutes.
>                     War cries filled the air outside the courtroom when
>                     Special Court Judge-2 V Radhakrishnan read the
>                     verdict on the Pleasant Stay Hotel case.
>                     Former Tamil Nadu chief minister and All-India Anna
>                     Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief J Jayalalitha was
>                     sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a year and a
>      fine                of Rs 1,000. So were four others, including a
>                     minister in her cabinet, T Selvaganapathy, now a
>                     member of Parliament.
>                     The AIADMK's response was violent. They blocked
>                     traffic at many places, stopped government buses, not
>                     only within Madras, but in other parts of Tamil Nadu
>                     too.
>                     In Dharmapuri, it went a step ahead. A group,
>                     of the AIADMK, stopped a bus carrying 70 students of
>                     the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, and set fire
>                     it.
>                     The students were returning to Coimbatore after a
>                     tour. They were forced out of the bus through the
>                     door; the back door was locked. But before Hemalatha,
>                     Gayathri and Kokila could get out, one of the mob
>                     locked the front door from the outside.
>                     Even as other students and teachers cried out that
>      there                     were people inside, a miscreant threw a
>petrol bomb.
>                     The whole bus burst into flames. And three young girls
>                     were charred to death.
>                     "We couldn't even see her face," Kesava Chandran, her
>                     father, choked.
>                     It was he who had left Hemalatha in the hostel three
>                     months ago. She was planning to return this week. But
>                     instead, her charred body came back.
>                     "What did my daughter do? Why do they have to punish
>                     innocent people?" Chandran asked. "She [Jayalalitha]
>                     was not even arrested or taken to jail. If this is the
>      way
>                     her men behave on hearing a court verdict, I don't
>                     what will happen later."
>                     Chandran, an Indian Bank employee, came out from
>                     work in the evening to find no vehicles on the road.
>                     was surprised. He had heard about the court verdict
>                     the violent reactions, but little did he know that a
>      mob
>                     had turned its fury on his daughter.
>                     By night, he got a message from Dharmapuri that the
>                     college bus had met with an accident and his daughter
>                     was in the hospital.
>                     "I am not a member or supporter of any political
>                     but I work for the welfare of my community, the
>                     scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. I have heard of
>                     miscreants setting fire to transport buses. But till
>      now
>                     they did it only after emptying the bus. Here, even
>      when
>                     they knew that some girls were inside, they did it!"
>                     Chandran still can't believe it.
>                     "As it was the university bus, they looked at it as
>                     government's. I do not know which party people did
>                     this. Whoever it is, we are the sufferers, are we not?
>                     We lost our daughter. It was very, very cruel. That's
>      all
>                     I can say."
>                     He continued: "My daughter wanted to be an
>                     agricultural scientist and do research. So the country
>                     has also lost a young scientist. Three young lives are
>                     gone. They will not come back. What did they gain out
>                     of this? My heart breaks whenever the image of her
>                     smiling face appears in front of me. We could not even
>                     see her face..."
>                     While returning home with his daughter's body,
>                     Chandran saw thousands of students on the streets,
>                     protesting. "They did not belong to either the AIADMK
>                     or DMK. They were merely angry students. The
>                     political scene has become so dirty that I feel we
>      a
>                     change. All these people and parties should go and a
>                     new set of leaders should come up. Only then will our
>                     youngsters have a better future.
>                     "If those in power do not stop such heinous acts,
>                     parties will disappear. If political parties are going
>      to
>                     behave like this, students will rise and rise from the
>                     ashes of these girls," he said.
>                     Hemalatha's uncle, who had been listening to the
>                     conversation, added: "The boy who tried to help Hema
>                     and the other girls told me that the hooligans refused
>      to
>                     listen to their pleas. If they had not locked the
>      the
>                     girls would have escaped.
>                     "She [Jayalalitha] says they are not AIADMK men. But
>                     tell me who went berserk that day after hearing the
>                     verdict? Her party workers. So it is anybody's guess
>                     who they were... Whoever they are, the loss is ours."
>                     By then it was time for Chandran to go to the
>                     crematorium. To collect his daughter's ashes. As he
>                     up, tears rolled down.
>                     The flow of well-wishers had not subsided when he
>                     returned. The house was still crowded with people:
>                     students from nearby colleges, friends of Hemalatha
>                     her sisters, students from Kasi Ammal's school,
>                     Chandran's colleagues and the entire neighbourhood.
>                     Meanwhile, the political scene in Tamil Nadu has taken
>                     a turn for the worse. The AIADMK and DMK accuse
>                     each other of trying to gain political mileage from
>                     incident. You could see posters condemning
>    Hemalatha's killers on the walls, obviously pasted by
>                     the AIADMK's detractors.
>                     "What do they think? That they will be able to get
>                     with this? No, the students will not let them," some
>                     the emotionally charged crowd fumed.
>                     "A change is going to take place. Please write in
>      detail
>                     about this gruesome incident.
> Let the whole world know                     how our political parties
> behave."
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>This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/