Have you ever heard the lines “ Tu jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai? (Don’t you know who my father is?)” and every line affiliated to this statement of the powerful? If you live in India, you must have, and then comes the huge drawback of using this line itself.
From threatening the workers on the toll plaza to not pay, to threatening civilians who want to file a police report, there is always this one line that each privileged yet uneducated kid of a person in power says to molest, demean and cause hurt to civilians of a lesser privileged class.
This is not a problem that has only recently come into existence. It has been manifested through generations. During the colonial era, Britisher’s kids used their power to treat Indians with no dignity at all. All of this is only highlighted when something extreme happens and an innocent has to give up his/her life, for the general public to understand the extent of the issue. Still, no difference in such situations is in sight.
Recently, a daughter of India, from the district of Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, was sexually assaulted by a group of young boys. When the father thought of lodging a police complaint, the same group of young boys first threatened him by saying “Tu jaanta nahi mera baap daroga hai (You don’t know my father is a policeman)”. Later, when the father did not listen to the threat, he was shot dead in front of his daughter and wife, just to show the result of daring to complain about theircriminal activity.
Living in a country where power dynamics play a huge role in every single person’s life. Even the one who get the privilege of leading this power structure from the lowest pedestal in the hierarchy tends to abuse it, for his/her gains. All of these selfish needs become extreme and turn into an act of crime when an innocent person just trying to get justice forhis daughter has to fall prey to the hands of the same power system.
Who is responsible for this act? Why do family members and relatives of the people in power have the audacity to take the law into their own hands? Is the judiciary only for show in a country with the second-largest population, that it cannot control the crimes done by its people? Numerous such questions are raised, but what difference does it make? Do these people suffer in the hands of the law or do they use their privilege to lead a normal life after destroying someone else’s family? Even if they do, is the law strong enough to protect its defenceless citizens so that they do not have to go through an incident like this again?
The power structure just does not end at public servants. This power structure or system is a part of every individual’s life and every industry in itself contains small power systems that add up to be huge. Even a labourer faces threats from the boss’s son if the son does something wrong and wants to cover it up or wants to abuse his power and use his privilege in doing something which is principally and morally wrong.
The extremity of such acts can never be predicted. It may end up resulting in a person being dead or a girl being sexually assaulted without consequences for the perpetrator. Is there any change in people after hearing such cases? The privileged ones say “not all privileged people do so”. It is the same as when men say “not all men”. This is true, but does that mean a girl walking alone at night, on seeing a male stranger will feel safe? No, because she has the fear of being abused, and society then tends to stop the girl from living her life freely. Similarly, the ‘privileged criminals’ are stopping every regular citizen from raising their voices and standing up against the wrongs committed.
Along with all of this, there is still another major problem with this attitude. Today when the son of a policeman, who stands on the lowest pedestal of the hierarchy, does a shameful act, he tends to cover it up. Now, consider a scenario where this act is being done by someone high in the power structure, a politician perhaps, will the issue still come out in the public eye like this one? Or will it just subside, by buying off the law and media which should have shown us the real picture?
All of this leads to a vicious cycle of the people in power covering their tracks every time they commit any heinous crime. The ordinary people never come to know about the reality of these people and elect them again seeing only their ‘ideologies and sentiments’ towards a certain community.
Things need to change, from having money and media in their pockets and using them to send a good narrative all thetime needs to be shifted. Ordinary people should start voicing their opinions no matter how much these people try to stopsuch voices. At least, the world will come to know and recognize the problem within and try to get a positive change. If we keep silent and do not respond to such threats, such threats and behaviour will only keep increasing.
We never know who will be the next victim in the hands of “tu jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai” it can be you, and girls will have to live with the trauma for the rest of their lives, or they may be sexually assaulted and then even murdered, without any consequences for the aggressor. It can be a person not willing to pay toll tax, and in turn, shooting the person just doing his job, or it may be a father, brother, a husband trying to stand up for the wrong being done.
We need to stop giving in to threats and fall prey to the power structure, we need to choose our leaders carefully who would work for what they have been chosen for, that is helping the needy and the ordinary rather than trampling upon their lives.