Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Silchar Shame: The last nail ?

"Oh dear 'Island of Peace', we ravaged you, we looted you,
and killed you with our own hands. And now you lay 
in a shambles, in pieces."

At a time when Delhi is gripped with issues related to the safety of women, here comes an absolute shocker from our very own Silchar. Once considered an 'island of peace', this South Assam town is now ‘infamous’ all over the country for witnessing its first ever gang rape case.

In the Cachar district of Assam, 21 rape cases were registered between January and November this year. But this gang rape incident involving adolescents studying in reputed schools and colleges has caused great embarrassment to our otherwise sleepy town.

I admit, Silchar never had good roads, never had proper electricity and dishonest officials and corruption are corroding our systems to the core but our town had never seen anything like this in its history. It is just not acceptable.

It is not only shameful but humiliating to know that teenagers from this small town could be involved in such a heinous crime. It has hanged our heads in shame and tarnished the image of our town, which has the glorious history of youngsters laying down their lives for the sake of their mother tongue.

Silchar has always been a safe haven for the fairer gender. There has never been any discrimination, bias or violence against women. No girl in Silchar has ever been afraid to wander on her own even at night. 

Therefore, this incident comes not only as a shock but also poses a lot of uneasy questions. Are we seeing a moral degradation among the youth? Are the parent-children relations changing? Are our politicians and police so corrupt that a feeling has sunk in among their kids that they can get away with anything?

I know we won't get an easy answer for any of these questions but let’s not brush all these issues under the carpet and pose as saints or turn a blind eye as if  nothing has happened.The criminals involved in this heinous crime are all students of Class X, XI and XII -- all belonging to reputed colleges and schools spread across the length and breath of Silchar. They are kids of policemen and government officials -- responsible and educated people who enjoy power and are answerable to the public. 

Some local reports also suggest that the victim had allegedly gone to that house willfully after she was promised a certain amount by the boys and the incident flared up because she was not paid her dues as per the deal. But does this new angle take anything away from the seriousness of the crime? If impressionable teenagers are indulging in such physical rendezvous even before they have attained the mental maturity to handle such issues, there are serious concerns about their moral and ethical upbringing.

Well, I am not trying to be a moral police or trying to pass judgment but then nothing can hide the fact that it is a case of complete administrative, societal and academic failure -- a failure to stop the youth of the town from indulging in such delinquent activities.

So, who should be held responsible? The teenagers, their parents, the administration, the academia or the society as a whole? Will justice be done to the victim or influence of high-profile people will gloss over the crime? Will the police ever be able to punish the gang rapists adequately and exemplarily?  

Well, only time will tell. For now, we can only mourn the death of Silchar in silence. 

References : 


  1. Sensational article indeed.I condemn the indecent as much as you do,but don't you think it is an easy way to become famous.Saving all the filthy news from your own town in a blog to showcase the sadness globally?

  2. The so-called 'globe' is not bothered about what is happening in a sleepy little town in the south of Assam, where there is no road, no electricity, no basic facilities and on top of it the social fabric is undergoing erosion. I am not an advocate of washing my own linens outdoor but silence has never brought any change .Vocal protests has always triggered revolutions. We are no revolutionaries but this is the least we can do. I'm sure you have better ideas and I am hoping that you will share with us your alternative road map ,that helps bringing the change, we all yearn for.

    By the way, we didn't know that writing about a unsung, unheard, unacknowledged town like Silchar can be a road to fame.


  3. Shameful indeed. But more than the incident, the attitude of the administration bothers me the most. You are right. We need change.At any cost. But the question is, how many of the so-called educated, cultured, 'earning their living outside Barak-Valley' youths will really take part in it ? I am ready to take part in it and will urge all our friends to join in. Let us increase the number and do something substantial for the good of our own 'Island of peace'.

  4. @Dear Anonymous, Read the blog for the first time and then read your comments. You know, we have managed to hide our well kept secrets so well that forget the Prime Minister, even the Chief Minister doesn't know about our problems as a result of which some veteran scamsters are looting us continously. Even state level newspapers and channels like Assam Tribune and NE TV dont show our story. I always used to wonder why? Having read your comments now I realise that there are people like you who excel in taking crap silently in the name of dignity.
    @The Irony..: Brother I am with you. It is indeed time for change

  5. @ The_Irony_Of_Being_Sarcastic and Shibabrata.

    Thanks for supporting us and voicing out your views.We appreciate criticism as long as it is constructive.Criticisms gives direction and fuels movements like these.So get inspired and join in

    and Spread the word

  6. After a long time I came across something that speaks sense and that too about Silchar.Concern for Silchar is a great initiative.hope it is a sustainable one.good work.

  7. Great work, Guys.

    Don't mind Anonymous' remarks, all noble efforts need to undergo criticism, and yours is no exception. Keep up the spirit!

  8. what the hell kind of an article was that?.....felt like a class 10 essay.....

    and its not the last is the shape of things to come....and that class 10 boys did exactly the point....


  9. this is a great blog.we need more work like this.I can see some people angry.Thats good in a way.
    The person who commented above need to know that if this look like class 10 essay,it is positive thing,that people have started to think quality so early.but that is not happening.Infact when we were at class ten,we didnt even think about about all these things.with the changing times,it is the moral responsibility of aware citizens of Silchar to tell them the right way.khub bhalo proyash.Shubecha

  10. its foolish to talk about punishment ..without doing an analysis of what happened..and why..not from the perspective of a court ..but from the perspective of a social historian....

    in this generation of ubercoolness and infinite posibility...such sporadic incidents are happening all over the country...why? it a a cultural trauma?..katrina kaif dancing to sheila ki jawani maybe a nice blend of rustic music and sensuality to some ...but to some it is all hidden vulgarity behind the curtains(i hope u get what i say) there a line?have we come a long way?..i dunno...

  11. @Anonymous 2 :
    Sir/Madam, Language is a tool of communication, to convey ideas, to express your thoughts clearly. Going by your thought, if we are indeed communicating in class 10 standards, probably we have achieved our first goal. We are sure we can get the message across and that too, to the target audience. We aren't really aiming at a literature review here.It seems from your comments that you don’t understand the purpose of the blog.
    We couldn't decipher what exactly you were trying to express in the last two lines. I think if you could at rewrite it in at least class 10 standards, we would grateful.
    From the bare minimum of what we could comprehend, you don't seem to be too hopeful about the future of Silchar. While we had questioned if this incident could be the last nail, you prudently opined that "it is the shape of things to come”. And well, if this is true, we would certainly need more attention, more discussions and constructive criticism towards a better future. Topics like these have had been hidden from us through out childhood. Hidden indecencies spurs up more devil than indecencies dealt with exemplary penalties.
    And CFS is hopeful that through initiatives like these, the extent of the offence will come to fore. People in and around Silchar, will come together and raise voice against similar obnoxious events in future.
    - CFS

  12. @Anonymous 3 :
    We like what you said. Probably in this age of shine, skin and miracles, it is indeed foolish to ask for justice. We know that the causes of these incidents lie in deep-rooted socio-cultural and historical empiricism and gradual decay of thought process this generation is experiencing. We also agree to the point that it is not atypical of a place like Silchar to experience such inhumane atrocities, in this age of intellectual impoverishment. Amidst all the complexities of the time and the apt questions you raised about the fine line that differentiates the relative definitions of sensuality and vulgarness, CFS still hopes for justice and believes in talking about adequate, exemplary punishment. In a place like Barak Valley, which is disconnected from all tangible recourses that defines an urban life, the penetration of evil intangible externalities of urbanization is a dangerous social disease. And this is exactly what CFS is trying to address. This article doesn’t claim to study the sociological reasons of rape, rather it portrays the sad story of a society that has experienced a continues cultural degradation with time, without any sign of Economic and infrastructural Growth .It is worse than the basic assumptions of development model, that assumes a certain degree of social and cultural distortion, to achieve a particular level of economic growth. Social theorists call it ‘trade off’. Sadly, this is a unique case of continuous social and cultural degradation, even at a zero or negative economic growth.

  13. @CFS.. you have really brought up a very sensitive topic in this article, but do you really think Silchar was always fair to the fairer sex. I am now in my late 20s now and since my teenage days I have seen people ogling and passing lewd remarks even at girls who dress very decently. Some of the people who indulged in such activities were from good reputed families and even teenagers who went to good schools and colleges, let alone the people from the lower strata of the society. Some days ago I saw a school boy being beaten up for harrasing a much older lady. The main reason I think for this behaiviour is degradation of social values. The education system moulds people to excel in academics but not in the social values. Social education is a must if such things have to decrease.


Silchar through the Lense