What is happening to the jailed population of this country in these pandemic times? What are the latest inputs to the health of the imprisoned? Are they fine or are they semi- alive, in the clutches of a collapsing system?
In fact, last week I was appalled to read the particular news report which described that the jailed ailing journalist Siddique Kappan has been chained to the hospital bed in a particular hospital in Uttar Pradesh. Many more traumatic details followed to the treatment meted out to this young journalist, arrested last autumn whilst he was on his way to Hathras to report on the gruesome gang rape and burning of the gang-rape victim of Hathras. Imprisoned since then, he has been going through hellish situations, continues to languish.
There's no denying the fact that many jailed inmates, including Umar Khalid, have been ailing, with the deadly Coronavirus playing havoc. Quite obviously, with the congested jailed conditions this was the expected outcome, but who is bothered what happens to our fellow citizens! Many jailed inmates, like Mukhtar Ansari, are fearing for their lives and safety inside the jails! Again, who gives a damn whether jails become centres for disease and destruction!
As a citizen of this country, I want to know what's been happening to my fellow citizens sitting languishing. Why can't the under-trials be released? Why can't the overcrowded jails be less burdened? Why can't open jails come up in the various suburbs? Why can't the jailed be allowed to survive in dignity and not sit chained in the most humiliating, barbaric way? Why can't we, the not- so – jailed, get to know the well- being of our jailed citizens? Why can't it get drilled into our heads that almost two - thirds of the jailed are under –trials and so could be innocent, yet they are sitting in such hopeless conditions?
It's simply un-nerving to realize the human destruction that's on. Getting infected with the virus is just one aspect. The more dangerous aspect is the misery that follows as patients are left dying. At the mercy of a failed and collapsed governmental system, with the political rulers in hiding and even from that hiding unleashing obnoxious threats to the devastated human being.
Mind you, to date no political head has rolled and no bureaucratic tail has been twisted. Why should we be ruled by the lot that doesn't bother about the semi - alive and dead citizens of this country, who have been left dying and dead, as though stranded in some jungle land, with no one held accountable for the inhuman conditions spreading out from cities to towns and qasbahs of our country…from homes to hospitals to graveyards and cremation ground and cemeteries. In fact, a very disturbing news report is just coming in: with the death toll rising in the capital, New Delhi, the stretch of land allotted for dogs crematorium in Delhi's Dwarka locality, could be used for the cremation of human beings!
Mind you, in the midst of deaths and destructions and despair and dismay and shrieks and screams and sobs, the Central Vista project is still on and ongoing and upcoming! What would you say to this!