I renounce my Indian identity.
In the last couple of days, the remains of over 25 children have been found in a house in Noida, near Delhi. Those of many more are expected to be found. Most of the children are from poor labourers' families, from Nithari, a migrant workers’ hamlet. Almost a hundred children have gone missing in the last couple of years from Nithari and other nearby places. Children whose parents had pleaded in abject misery to the police to help, only to be spat upon.
This is my India.
The killers will be hanged soon. But what of the whole society, its institutions, its ethos and its mores, its joys and comforts, its preoccupations - which enabled and allowed this to happen, to be condoned?
I wish I could be extinguished.
The mythic hero had only to kill the monstrous beast under whose shadow suffering folk lived in nightmare, delivering a virgin to be sacrificed every full moon. But we have to live with such a monster, and transform it peacefully.
I cannot think of a sadder day for India. I am haunted by the cries and grief of the parents of the children. I cannot stop weeping my gut out; unless I become a stone. Life has no meaning or purpose. To be alive is to be accursed. Why am I alive?
But as long as I am alive, I must stand apart.
If the USA were to walk into this country and wreak havoc, like they have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, then that assault on this nation's sovereignty would not matter a whit to me if this precious freedom means what happened in Noida can take place; if the anthem of the nation is the deafening silence to habitual inhumanity.