Justice, truth and everything else, for Manjunath

Today, Gaurav announced on Vantage Point that Manjunath’s case will be taken up by a trust being formed by IIM alumni and well-wishers. I encourage those who want to help to head over there and contribute in which ever way they can. I certainly will do so myself. If your following current affairs in India, your probably aware that the Jessica Lall case has run its course and the accused have been let go for lack of evidence (as Gaurav also pointed out). Your also probably aware that Salman Khan has been awarded a one year jail sentence in his ‘Black buck’ affair while the others involved have been let go. Indeed, I do feel that justice may have evaded those who were affected or hurt. However, I am also torn inside about something else.

And yet, I am torn. Like the US which suffers from the “Missing white woman syndrome“, I am starting to worry that India could soon be suffering from the “murdered whistle-blower graduate of IIM/IIT syndrome”. I guess at this point I have to declare, I am not a graduate of either institution so yes – that could indicate a prejudiced viewpoint. But at no point should the astute reader assume that I want to deny justice to Manjunath’s relatives and friends. My concern stems from the worry that no one would bother about justice for me, if I were to be in Manjunath’s shoes. Resolute do I stand by that concern and am not embarrassed to sound it out.

Please do not misunderstand, this is not about me in particular. I only realise that resources are finite and that life is not fair. Manjunath’s case may get a larger share of the resources while someone else’s might not. There are so many who might have died anonymously under similar circumstances. We could never tell the extent of the problem, or it’s specific mechanics, but we can fight it one at a time – and this is our chance and place to begin.

Also, this is also not about the Manjunath’s friends and well-wishers who are pooling in their resources to ensure he gets justice. I do not want to imply that their act is selfish or superficial, instead it is selfless and originates from their concern for his family and for the general well-being of the nation.I don’t doubt that the IIM folks involved are resourceful and really want to make a difference, they want to show that crime should not go unpunished.

This is about balance. This is about our perceptions, and about our belief that only the IIT’s and IIM’s define the nation, about the fact that we have begun to perceive ourselves as ordinary. I wish every single Indian institution of learning was as good as an IIT or an IIM. I wish we Indian’s were all as strong as the graduates who now stand behind Manjunath.