The Deccan Chronicle may have referred to this incident as a “stinging slap in the face of corruption”, but it feels more depressing than any kind of celebratory.
A five-year-old girl from Meerut named Manvi walked into the office of the Inspector General of Police with her grandfather and uncle, presumably to discuss police (in)action in the case of her mother’s suicide. Her mother, Seema, had married Sanjiv Kaushik five years ago, after which he started torturing her for dowry. Seema had even filed a case against him at the time, but no police action was taken then.
When they were leaving the station, Manvi held back and asked the police officers to arrest those who caused her mother to commit suicide, and then offered them her piggy bank.
When she was asked why she had brought her piggy bank and offered it to them, she responded, “Sab kehte hain ki paise ke bina kuchh nahin hoga (Everybody says that without money, nothing ever happen).”
The IG asked her to take back her piggy bank, and said that action would be taken in her mother’s case. As if all this isn’t sad and poignant enough, as she was leaving, the piggy bank fell from her hands and broke. She burst into tears while collecting the coins and notes she’d collected, and her uncle promised her a new piggy bank.
It’s being reported that the IG investigating the case has said that he is under pressure from BJP MLA Sangeet Som not to arrest the accused.
There’s absolutely nothing heartening or heart-warming about this story. It wouldn’t be unfair to lay some amount of blame on the police’s lack of action on Manvi’s mother’s original complaint: perhaps if they had taken her dowry and harassment complaint seriously and taken some action at that time, her mother Seema could have avoided taking the step of committing suicide. It’s also pretty shocking that a culture of bribery and corruption has become so ingrained in our society and the way it works that a five-year-old could have put enough together to understand that police take action in serious cases only if you pay them off. On the other hand, considering the fact that the investigating officer in this case hasmentioned the political interference and pressure that’s stopping him from conducting his duties properly, maybe its not so shocking after all.