A Country Hanged

Somewhere in India
Somewhere in India
Somewhere in India

“The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation.”
~ Thomas Malthus

I look at the sun and it is not the same.

How does it look to those hanging in a tree, trampled and trudged, ploughed and pounded, gang raped by herds of savages? Perhaps a pale yellow something, choking on its own haze, so much cooler than the lava exploding in their groins? Do they repent they ever existed in the shameful light that shrouds this land?

I wish it were a sick, dark fiction, but somewhere in the Gangetic plains, it is happening with the faithful frequency of a clockwork. A pair of father and son is blissfully running their fiefdom, exhorting the kith and kin to plunder the hapless girls and women, and dispose the waste products according to their tastes that range from hanging on random trees, burning with kerosene and acid, chopping to pieces for the benefit of wildlife, or burying alive in mass graves. A formidable, well-oiled machinery exists to ensure ‘the mistakes’ are executed and obliterated with perfection.

It is alleged that most of the girls and women under these skies enrich uncloseted space with diurnal bodily wastes to relieve themselves of the morsels they grab to live, and hence are bound to invite the rapacious wolves upon themselves. I am one with the conscience of the civilization that deems it ‘an enduring shame’, and that it should be halted at the earliest. Yet, I fail to see how the female of the species can be any safer even in reinforced bunkers in the face of the thunderous phallic ambition, buttressed by the hands of the state.

Democracy in the hands of fools can be the most lethal weapon of self-annihilation. Whenever I am forced to brood upon the state of this northern province, and often it is, I am amused how someone as prophetic as Thomas Malthus forgot to mention this grisly calamity capable of decimating a race. Or, is that a sign, a symbol of reversal of the pendulum of evolution back to the primeval nada?


  1. Couldn’t have agreed more. I am tired of being shocked and disgusted and ashamed of the deplorable state of affairs. One of the major reason why I am preparing for civil services..to get inside the system and make the change in my capacity. I cannot talk about it anymore..I feel it to be a personal responsibility to not wait to see these atrocities happening in broad daylight and not be able to do anything about it. We are what makes up this state.. this mockery in the name of the “Welfare State”.. The sun is not and will never be the same again. Public memory is very short.. these victims and their stories will be forgotten soon..but I hope someone somewhere decides to get into the filth to help clean it. Nothing will happen if we don’t change our attitude of tolerance and adjustment to scenarios and circumstances.

    1. I’m grateful to you, Rohiensis: the nation is gasping for crusaders like you. My best wishes on your auspicious journey.

  2. You words generate a chilling effects, Uma. What a tragedy, a denial of humanity and “civilization”. And this kind of nightmares are still going on and on. I too wish it is a “dark sick fiction”, but I know, always deep inside my heart, that reality is usually darker and sicker.

    “Democracy in the hands of the fools can be the most lethal weapon of self-annihilation.”
    — Great insight, Uma! I couldn’t agree more. I often wonder what would democracy brings to China too, where humanism is yet to awakening.

    Yes, the Sun doesn’t look the same.

    1. Yun, I have this sinking feeling monsters will live as long as humans live. We must keep eliminating them ruthlessly —taming may not be an option. Our troubles begin when the delinquent become a part of the law of the land.

  3. That made my hair stand on end. Wonderful writing; horrific actualities.

  4. Democracy in the hands of the fools can be the most lethal weapon of self-annihilation. SAYS IT ALL

  5. I wish it was so simple to solve. One of the victim’s father I heard on the media asking ‘Am I not a citizen of this country?’ (from memory). His question is lauded with meanings implicit and explicit. If he were one, how come he was not afforded with the very bare provision for human existence-a lavatory? It’s unbelievable that people live there, under such conditions which alone violates their fundamental human rights a thousand times and the level of violation increases again when for the same reasons they become easy targets for social criminals protected by law and order and even by their stand in society on account of wealth a part of which genuinely belongs to the former.

    1. Talking about fundamental human rights, PR, there are people starving to death out there. Come to think of it, they may not have enough grains to expel out of their bowels, privately or otherwise. Poverty, scarcity of land, water and other infrastructure compete with a billion other pressing needs baying for priority. Yes, it is one steep, towering cliff to be overcome and the passage above will yield to the creepers inch by painful inch. I’d be shattered if our dear ones were to be forced to relieve themselves under open skies. That said, no one will remain safe within or without a toilet in a Talibanesque regime.

  6. The incident itself was so abhorrent and I must say your words are very strong. The sad thing is that those who perpetrate these crimes are not able to read them 😦

  7. such inhumane ,ghastly incidents are repeated day and again. The culprits not only roam free without any fear of punishment but are never remorseful and repentant. And the people who witness it happening…what exactly is their state of mind. How can we tolerate and remain unaffected,indifferent to such acts. You know every time these questions hit me violently I remember that Sabha of Kaurava where Draupadi cheer haran took place. how the brave,the wise,the sage sat there with their head hung but no one accept one kaurava son tried to stop ,resist and condemn it. I always wonder why such an event was written in our mythological text,. Is it a proclamation of the way our psychic function? Such ruthless ,blatant mockery of humane dignity and existence leaves such deep wounds and scars which can not be obliterated.

    1. Namita, it is said we carry the most primitive of genes in our body, dating back millions of years. There will always be enough rapacious predators among us. You have correctly put your finger on the most putrid part of Mahabharat. The trick is to keep crushing the vermin ruthlessly —deterrence is the key. In the case of Uttar Pradesh, it is getting harder to trust the so-called law enforcing machinery. It is understood the protectors themselves are the perpetrators in many heinous crimes.

  8. Well said. Only a society rotten to its core can allow something like this to happen at all. We are all culpable at some level. What great ‘culture’ do we and our self styled moral brigade keep harping about? This?

  9. Your words invoke the coldness of the grisly act ! Its such an absolute utter shame. Shocking the senses with the brutality, with the indifference of the act. ‘Humari parampara and sanskriti’ have taken a walk and don’t seem to be returning home. The hypocrisy indeed wants to make you puke. Its as if India has to clean out its guts with acid to be clean again – there’s just so much of rot !

  10. What is more apalling is that they are not shy of intimidating in front of camera by such careless and apathetic comments that ‘nothing has happened to you’?

    Someone has rightly said that with power comes great responsbilility. In other cases, it is usually the beginning of the downfall.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  11. Umashankar, thank you for writing about this unbearable tragedy with such compassion and sensitivity. The first time I heard about these girls being gang-raped and hanged on display was on your FB post and I was immediately horrified. Later I saw it on national TV news here. What has happened is so chilling it is beyond words in a common vocabulary to describe the horrors suffered on these young innocent girls. It truly makes me shudder and it makes me angry that in the 21st century, girls and women are still preyed upon daily all over the globe and not just in your native land.

    “Democracy in the hands of fools can be the most lethal weapon of self-annihilation,” those words are so true. Your last paragraph regarding Modi, the visionary recently elected there, is hopeful. Nothing changes overnight and long-standing attitudes are hard to sway, but perhaps he can be the voice of reason, the “streak of gold through the cold, thick smog.” Until such time, the sun will not be the same.

    1. Madilyn, I can feel your shudders and shock: any tender soul would suffer to read that. However, unless the rapacious wolves on rampage out here are ruthlessly eliminated and eradicated, humanity will continue to be ashamed. Unfortunately, the ‘democratically’ instituted outfit itself is proving to be the most malignant cancer of this province.

    1. Did you notice how Mr Shashi Tharoor take a U-turn on Modi? You have to believe in Modi or else tell me who is a fitter person to rule the jungles called India?

  12. So very sad.

    What is it that does such a thing? Unjustified privilege, ajar from the real world….ours a separate foreign place of feelings, compassion, love…..& the pain of broken hearts. Keep your beautiful girls close US.

    1. History is replete with monstrosities, Ian. And history is replete with repetitions this side of earth. Thank you for those kind words.

  13. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’m following you, so I’ll be back!

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