Ruby Rai became an overnight star for all the wrong reasons. Facing her class 12th board exams, she looked to her father for help, thinking he could “pull a few strings” and get her passed. After all, the occurrence of such, is not an unheard of a phenomena in our daily lives, whether we accept it or not. What she didn’t expect was being declared the topper in her stream.
On the other hand, we have the hit and run case in North Delhi where a young man, Siddharth Sharma, was killed when a minor hit him at high speed while he was crossing the road. The media carried the outrage, which was felt by the masses, with the case being followed (atleast in the initial few days) with much furore and attention. Much was made about the case, how the minor had been involved in accidents earlier and how it was with the full knowledge of his father, who not only didn’t stop him, but also enabled him.
In both cases, we have minors, both class 12 students, both from affluent backgrounds. In Bihar, her parents were in a comfortable position enough to help circumvent the board exams. In Delhi, the boy’s family had already once helped in making a previous accident case go away, hence this escape was nothing but a cake walk. But the evident difference is in the stark contrast in their treatment. While in Delhi, the boy, who was denied bail on 19th April, but hardly a week later, the Juvenile board decided to change its order on the application and was let out for entrance exams on 26th April, the same wasn’t applicable for the girl.
Ruby Rai, caught in the middle of a storm, failed by her parents who were willing to manipulate the system, failed by her teachers who helped them in doing so, wasn’t lent with the same helping hand. We are informed today that her bail has been denied, while investigations are still ongoing into those who had a hand to play in the fraud.
One minor kills and the entire system works towards allowing him to walk away from it without much thought. Other minor trusted her elders and is now being shunted from jail to juvenile centres for it.
The system has failed them both, making scapegoat out of one and letting the other know he can get away with even murder. Is this the upbringing we wish our youth to have?
We debate the patriotism of Kanhaiya Kumar (popularly known as an anti-nationalist), who would raise his voice for a cause he believes in. But our system would reward the one who mowed down a pedestrian and then tried to run as if he weren’t involved.
Our system would have us punish the girl whose only crime was to trust her elders, while they manipulated the process put in place for the child’s welfare and prosperity. Punishment, in this case, involves sending her to a Juvenile centre where children of every age are thrown together from all backgrounds and (in some cases) with some having psychological issues. There have been cases of sociopaths being in such homes without ever being diagnosed or even discovered.
The various bodies involved should be answerable to us, the public. Is this the kind of society we are bringing up our children in?
Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar