Monday, December 05, 2005

Two Powerful Articles

Akhil Krishna composes a powerful piece, almost a soliloquy of sorts, on his friend Manju; Outlook has the honor of publishing this moving piece:

But the details, as they emerged, turned the sighs into a rage - an impotent rage. He was not 'collateral damage'. He was killed. Murdered. In cold blood. Shot six times. Dumped into the dicky of a car. To be dropped off at a paddy field. For vultures to peck on. For having sealed a petrol bunk. A petrol bunk that mixed kerosene in diesel. For having turned down bribes. For shrugging off veiled threats. For having persisted with his ... values.

Read the full piece here.

As has become the norm, Dilip D'Souza has an outstanding post here, this time on a hapless victim of first the Bombay riots, and then our (in)justice-dispensation system.

And I met your father, Raju, some months after you died. He was trying to claim the compensation that the Government had announced for families, like yours, who had lost someone, like you, in the riots. I met him because some Government officials were giving him a cruel run-around, and someone asked me to help.

First, Samiullah paid a Rs 200 bribe for a coroner's certificate for your body. When he showed that to the bureaucrats in charge of the compensation, they said there was no proof that you were actually his son. In fact, had you existed at all? (Easy question, when you no longer existed). Broke because the bakery had been destroyed, your father borrowed money and travelled to your UP village. From the tehsildar there, he got a certificate saying he had really had a son.

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