Monday, December 5, 2011

Gejje Hejje

Aqseer was taken into custody yesterday. Preventive custody but custody all right. When she called me up around 12.30 pm last noon while her Dad and I were at the German Christmas fair, German House, New Delhi, she was at pains to explain that no charges had been pressed nor an FIR lodged. My antenna quivered for any tone of distress. Her voice sounded leashed and taut; she spoke with deliberation, choosing crisp, economical words but there was also an undercurrent of excitement.

I was more concerned with the fact that I did not feel concerned in the “sick with worry” way. There was confidence in her ability to handle it, although it did make me wonder at us as parents! Here was our girl, calling us up to say she had been bundled into a van by the Bangalore Police with eight others, to be driven off on a city darshan, lurching from one police station to another, in an attempt to shake off the trail and all we had to say was, “Take care. Keep us informed! Let us know when you are out.”

After years of facilitating her study of ethics, history, empowerment, social development, justice, could we possibly tell Aqseer to back off and play safe at the first sight of a speed breaker ? Did we have the moral ground to ask her not to get involved and to lie low? Would we have been right in extolling her to mind her own business in the interest of her personal future and security? Ought we to stick our heads in the sand, now that she is in the line of fire and pretend nothing unusual is happening.

I wish to reclaim her instead. Yes Aqseer, we know you have taken up cudgels for a cause you believe in. You are confused and dazed and jolted and wrung dry at times but you are at it. You are dealing with a whole lot. Keep your faith up. We believe in you and your judgement. We are so very proud that you are out there with other courageous young people, placing your statement on record. 

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