Why Are We Pacified By Criminals Doing Charity Today?
If you do the crime, you do the time; charity notwithstanding.
“Jessica Lal’s sister Sabrina forgives killer Manu Sharma, says won’t object to release.”
I kept staring at the statement. Obviously, there is something wrong with this sentence. Not grammatically, but the basic essence of this sentence sounds so galat.
But for those living under a rock, here’s a quick recap to fill you in on what the case is about. On 30 April 1999, Model Jessica Lal was shot by the rich, politically connected, pampered man-child Manu Sharma at an unlicensed bar at a private party in Delhi, because Jessica refused to serve him a drink well past midnight.
Flash forward to the present, after 19 years, Sabrina Lal, in a letter to the welfare officer of Central Jail, Tihar, wrote, she has no objection to the release of Siddharth Vashishta aka Manu Sharma as he has spent 15 years in prison.
I am also told that in this period, he has been doing good work for charity and helping inmates in jail, which I feel is a reflection of reform.Sabrina Lal, wrote in a letter to the welfare officer of Central Jail, Tihar
‘Charity’? ‘Reflection of reform’? Poof! Here’s some news that’ll kick you in the gut. According to media reports, Manu Sharma, or Siddharth Vashishta, supposedly works with a non-profit in his name.
Sabrina showed a lot of courage to forgive someone who killed her sister. It’s never easy to take such a decision Even Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi, both have forgiven their father’s killer.
How can charity obliterate or diminish your punishment? This is where I have a major issue.
This is not the first time that someone has used charity as a yardstick when it comes to reducing punishment.
During Salman Khan’s Blackbuck poaching case, Jaya Bachchan made a comment, “Salman Khan does a lot of humanitarian work. He should be given relief.”
Yeh kaisa justice hai! Do ko mar dia koi baat nahi, bees (20) ko toh khila dia. Achcha human hai!
This is what I would like to call a pro-elite phenomenon.
You’re rich, you have papa’s money to do charity, and this helps to shape your perception. Suddenly, your criminal records take a back seat and you are a hero.
In 2007, Bhai launched Being Human Foundation (BHF), a non-profit charitable trust which provides financial support for healthcare and primary education.
It comes as no surprise that the Being Human Foundation was born only a few years after Salman was accused in the 1998 Blackbuck/Chinkara poaching case and his bad luck continued to run until 2002, with the Bandra hit-and-run case. Not to forget, he was even accused of being a girlfriend beater. Salman was dubbed as Bollywood’s bad boy, but ‘Being Human’ brought out the humanitarian side and soon he became the man of the masses. Just like that!
But what about poor convicts, who are still languishing in the jail? These guys have no finances to do any kind of charity to reclaim their image. Gulzar Ahmed Wani is one such man. Gulzar lost 16 years to false terror charges.
Gulzar was 28 when he was picked up by the Delhi police from Kamla Nehru market. Gulzar was charged of carrying out the Sabarmati Express train blast in 2000. He was a second-year PhD student at Aligarh Muslim University at that time. For 16 years, he was rotting in different jails of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
If only Gulzar had managed to enroll in some charity, his life, perhaps, would have turned out completely different.
The problem is with the correlation between charity and criminality today. If you do the crime, you do the time; charity notwithstanding.
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit Send.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.