Open letter to UP Chief Minister

We enter the New Year with an all-pervasive grief across the nation along with a strong resolve that we would not allow the sacrifice of India’s Braveheart to go waste. Never before tears were shed in every home of India for an unknown girl whose dreams were crushed by such a horrendous act.

Young India, regardless of caste or community, took to the streets to vociferously demand justice. The political class somehow failed to gauge the anger because of the huge age disconnect between the youth and the veterans in power who, living in the secured zones, perhaps find it hard to empathise with the problems the lower and middle classes face in the country every minute, every hour.

You are the youngest Chief Minister in the country and so can understand the fears and frustrations, expectations and aspirations of the restless youth. They are demanding compassion and action to make life safe on the streets of the nation and the state.

Notwithstanding the police data, the growing public perception is that law and order require your immediate attention – a stringent action plan that scares the life out of criminals and culprits. Amending laws and changing the mindsets may take some time but dealing with lawbreakers, even the high and mighty ones, with an iron hand can bring about some succour and confidence. People want to see the government in action.

As per an informal assessment done by Hindustan Times, people demand the basics: a clean and safe environment and good governance.

Mr Chief Minister, we at Hindustan Times have decided to run a campaign throughout 2013 on the safety and dignity of the man on the street – from womb to pyre – hoping your government would take pro-active measures. There are some simple steps that can be taken immediately. One can begin with banning display of arms in public, removal of all symbols of power – the party flags and the hooters – from private vehicles, display of important numbers at all vantage points in the state, severest action against cops ridiculing or denying assistance to women, children and senior citizens in distress and an effective policing that instills confidence and not fear. Gender sensitization could form a part of the school curriculum.

I am sure our readers will send us many more suggestions that we will continue to highlight to achieve the fundamental ‘right to live with dignity.’

Believe me the flame lit by the unknown daughter of India can light up the dark quarters where many sob, suffocate and suffer silently. Let her sacrifice bring justice to those who live with fear of injustice.

Hoping the New Year will herald an atmosphere in the state and the nation where everyone would breathe freely and happily.

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