It was the 31st of dec, 2006. The year was dawning to an end. For the influential in this country, it had been a great year when Indians - and of late quite a bit of the world as well - keep talking about the new India's economic prowess and potential... of its 8-9% growth rate, how India produced more millionaires than China last year, and how India may become the world's largest economy after the US and China in the next few decades. As the rich and the well-heeled made preparations to ring in 2007 in style across a new, shining India, a sleepy, poor housing area - Nithari - almost ruined their party. On the 31st afternoon, the noida police dug the seewage of the alleged Mohinder Singh to find some body parts blocking the drainage. This was perceived by many, just as a scene of mass killings by some imbecile. India loosing to SA was greater concern for the rest. For the police in another part of the country, providing safety in Goa was a greater concern since there were many foreigners expected to party there.For some of them who witnessed nithari on the various media channels, it was like watching a horror film.An initial wave of revulsion swept through the country after details of the mass killings in Nithari village of Noida - a suburb of the Indian capital, Delhi - unfolded like one grotesque sequence.But after a while, most Indians came to see the killings as simply a gory crime committed by one or more sick individuals.In the end, most parties and festivities went ahead as planned. Just a few weeks ago when a rich software company(Adobe Software) CEO's(Mr. Naresh Gupta) son was abducted from Noida - not more than 3 miles (5kms) from Nithari - the case hogged the limelight 24x7 and the police worked overtime to solve it. The result? The child eventually returned home safely.
After weeks, months and years of complaints of missing children, the noida police have been found to give least importance to all the genuine hue and cry. Reason? these were parents who worked in farmlands, nearby mines and quaries, construction workers and resided in slums. No media ever went to look into their conditions or figure out what was happening. The skeletons were also dug in a questionable way to find any DNA traces and without any forensic experts, to say the least. Finally, i thought there was light in this situation when they got in CBI to investigate the issue. All the narco analysis and psycho tests conducted do not seem to give them much clue. It is premature to comment at this point on the findings of the CBI, but yesterday's news was devastating when they said the murder count increased to 40 while the noida police claimed it was 17. But, again, the media had better things to investigate: Abishek and Aish's wedding dates.
What is more drastic was the comment Mulayam Singh's son passed on the incident : "Such things are day to day issues and the police will look into this incident carefully".
What i tried to understand from both the incidents(Naresh Kumar's son's case and Nithari) was this: In the former case, the complaint was termed as "cognizable" offense as it is a reported kidnapping case while in the latter it was "incognizable" as it was reported as "missing children". Never knew an alphabetical soup like this could have such devastating effects.
On a second note, a couple of days nithari, 4 children were found dead in a factory in pubjab. Another case of sexual abuse and murder. And two days back, a child was beaten to death by her teacher because she (the child) did not pay her school fees. What better way to welcome the year.
While it is nice to look at the good side of Indian economy and sesex going upto to 14k and the likes, many Indians are also convinced that is the way the Indian story will unfold and all this growth shall be built on the graveyard of such innocent children. Nothing wrong with this optimism - it makes them confident and proud.But can many Indians say with same degree of optimism that there will not be another Nithari when India does realise its dreams?