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Crime, Punishment, Honour

This is the (unedited) full-text of the status update by Shaheen Dhada which was 'liked' by her friend Renu Srinivasan on Facebook:

"With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians?  Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect."

As the press reports summed up:

Though the girl withdrew her comment and apologised, a mob of some 2,000 Shiv Sena workers attacked and ransacked her uncle’s orthopaedic clinic at Palghar.

Getting the statement withdrawn or an apology under intimidation was clearly not enough for the brave Sainiks of the Sena as they went ahead and lodged a complaint with the police. It is instructive that the police, instead of taking action against the mob, wanted 14 days' custody for the young girls, not even straightaway releasing them on bail as provided under law.

Consider this: the police commissioner has confirmed that no action has been taken against those who attacked the clinic of Shaheen Dhada's uncle’s orthopaedic clinic at Palghar.

And just to put matters in perspective, let's remember that the state's chief minister yesterday chose to "honour the sentiments of Mumbaikars" by according a state funeral -- taking the body draped in the Tricolour in a procession on a gun-carriage with full police bandobast, besides a 21-gun salute ahead of the funeral -- to someone about whom the Sri Krishna report had stated:

From 8th January 1993 at least there is no doubt that the Shiv Sena and Shiv Sainiks took the lead in organizing attacks on Muslims and their properties under the guidance of several leaders of the Shiv Sena from the level of Shakha Pramukh to the Shiv Sena Pramukh Bal Thackeray who, like a veteran General, commanded his loyal Shiv Sainiks to retaliate by organised attacks against Muslims.

For more inconvenient truths about the one honoured with a state funeral, here's a random compendium.

The message from the ruling establishment about those it chooses to honour and protect and those it chooses to penalise could not be clearer.

Also read:

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