A glimpse of Rathore-Ruchika episode in own words and my take on it.
A Dutch courage is not needed for undeterred people in reaching their target. When life traverses through a bumpy path, we need to get enough nerve up for accomplishing the task. Here is one such women who had silently made her mark in the cacophonic world. The parallel to Ruchika Girothra case, The friend indeed, who stood through 19 years, 40 adjournments and more than 400 hearings against the vicious circle of system, The sole witness in the Molestation tragedy –Aradhana Prakash Gupta. The woman with nerves of steel, who stood, survived and struggled through the tragedy of her 14 year old friend being molested, tortured, who put with the politicians and its associated nexus.
Though India celebrates the past history with Triumph and pours accolades for current path breaking accomplishments, it does have incidents which smashed the ideas and aspirations of command man and left culprits unpunished due to lack of sections in the judicial system and making a foul play of the system itself.
Aradhana was a best friend of Ruchika, a promising Tennis player from Haryana. Both of them were classmates and found a nice time sharing their ideas, watching movies and lawn tennis matches. The nightmare began in 1990, when Rathore, then Inspector General of Police had molested the 13 year old Ruchika in his office. Aradhana was the sole witness of this incident, played a major role in filing the complaint against the shameless cop. And with it began the machinations of a government that strived to protect its own. Goons followed their families, intimidating them with threatening calls. Ruchika was expelled from school, her father S.C. Girothra, a bank manager, was forced to resign and her younger brother Ashu was arrested and illegally detained on false charges. He was later tortured and paraded semi-naked in front of Ruchika. Though brave enough to take on anything, but couldn’t see him like that and a few days later she committed Suicide. Things weren’t easy for Aradhana and her family. Her father was demoted and threats increased, cases were filed against Aradhana at the age of 13. The same incident has changed her lifestyle either. A promising tennis player almost led a reclusive life, hardly socializing with people and making friends. Always wept for what has happened to her best friend, tirelessly attending all the hearings in the court, fought for justice knowing her safety is in stake.
As life passed on, Aradhana got married to an understanding husband and now a mother of two daughters had recently flew from Australia to attend the final hearing of Ruchika’s case which continued for 19 years, where the convicted SPS Rathore was sentenced for 6 months of Jail with Rs.1000 fine for finding himself guilty to the probe ordered. Stating this was not commensurate for the cost of Ruchika’s life, Aradhana started raging the hue and cry against the verdict. Along with Public support and untainted family support she made all the cases re-visited and filed new FIR’s against the deadly cop.
A strong civil society – ever vigilant mass media, NGOs, pressure groups, professional organizations and public spirited individuals etc. joined Aradhana lending their voice against system and trying to provide new, firm and sustained initiatives. But unfortunately, politicization, criminalization and inefficiency of the police are overshadowing the efforts made by some voluntary organizations and well-meaning officers to introduce reforms in the system and, the law and order machinery.
Aradhana brings our her heart burn citing though she cant get her friend Ruchika back, the justice to her reaches out to common woman who is also victim of the system, frustrated at the state of affairs while not knowing how to Change the system. There was a huge ruckus in our Parliament against punishment to Rathore, stating this law offender should be hanged till death and cite this as an example for any such official who misuses his power . Though we see women reaching to stars, there are still tribal illiterate woman existing in our country, who are victims of such malicious men in every walk of life. But surely it seems that the people have to be in the forefront of the fight against corruption, communalism, illiteracy and criminalization of politics and life in the country.
With the resolve that in order to have a great nation that we can be proud of, we all need to get involved in the nation building process. So, let’s roll up our sleeves to fix the system we do not like. I salute Aradhana for her unwearying determination for the justice to her friend, above all for being a true inspiration for all the citizens to fight against the guilty.