Tuesday, September 3, 2013

At last, rule of law enforced

A court in Jodhpur sent self-styled godman Asaram to 14 days of judicial custody in connection with charges that he had sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl. Police arrested the self-styled godman Asaram for an alleged sexual assault on a 16-year-old school girl at an ashram in Jodhpur. The girl had lodged a police complaint on August 20, accusing the 74-year-old Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram. It is correct to say that as long as the rule of law was not applied the self-styled godman remained at large for more than 10 days even after the charge of sexual assault of 16-year-old girl at his ashram was levelled against him. Asaram has a large following among Hindu community and he has established more than 450 ashrams in India and abroad. His asset runs in crores and he has been living a lavish life. It is because of vote bank politics that his arrest was delayed. But the lone campaign against the accused godman was launched by the media of the nation that brought pressure on the government to ask its police to act against Asaram. The sixteen year old rape victim was living at his ashram. His parents were the followers of Asaram. That is why they had admitted her daughter to his asram for studying there. The girl herself lodged FIR with the police at Kamala Market police station in Delhi about the sexual assault on her by Asaram. Though the charge of sexual assault is true or false is a matter of investigation, it was so grave that if the accused were an ordinary man, he would have been arrested forthwith. But as the charge of sexual assault was against self-styled godman Asaram, he was provided enough time to make way-outs. The moment the name of Asaram figured, the main opposition party BJP came out in his support on one hand and Rajasthan Congress government of Ashok Gehlot with an eye on coming assembly elections instructed the Jodhpur police to go slow against the godman so that his large followings could not go against the Congress party on the other. This is the deteriorating culture of our ruling and opposition political party. The Asaram incident also shows that the political class, especially, the ruling and the opposition has no respect for women in society. After the Nirbhay 16/12 incident, laws against sexual assault on women were enacted afresh and made stringent, but to no effect. New laws against sexual assault under which the complain with the police by the women is enough for the arrest of the accused. The delay in the arrest of Asaram has exposed how everything in the functioning of the government is based on political gain and loss motive. If media had not built enough pressure, Asaram might have been left to roam freely from one city to another to hold his Satsang.

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